Friday, Oct 07, 2022

Karan Johar, we’re not ready to hear those three words!

And for the gay community, one of you is actually one of us… and isn’t that what the fight has been about? For now, the only three words we want to hear from him are, “I am Karan” and that, for anyone, should be enough!

Karan Johar, Karan Johar news, Karan Johar book, Karan Johar biography, karan johar films, karan johar movies, shah rukh khan, kareena kapoor, kajol, karan johar homosexuality, karan johar sexuality, entertainment news, indian express, indian express news Karan Johar’s coming out has been a gradual process. It’s almost as if he was giving us time to get used to the idea, even as he himself dealt with his sexuality.

Since the time Karan Johar came out of the closet, without actually saying those three words, there have been enough voices calling him out on it. Some accuse him of being too “sanskari” to say those words, while others say he’s letting down the cause. But are we really ready to hear those words? In a country where we’re ready with labels, do we really want to put India’s prolific, gregarious director in a box, neatly tied up with a gay ribbon?

Karan Johar’s coming out has been a gradual process. It’s almost as if he was giving us time to get used to the idea, even as he himself dealt with his sexuality. From years of “Is he? Isn’t he?” to reaching a point of “knowing”, we’ve all come a long way. The good-natured teasing seen on the Koffee couch shows how everybody in his circle has been in on the “secret” for a long time now. There is really no elephant lurking in the room that needs to be addressed, when Twinkle Khanna prompts him to dance with husband Akshay Kumar, telling him, “Try your luck!”. And seeing Akshay romance his wife on national television, Karan sportingly remarked that he wished he was married to the actor. So, if that didn’t count as a lightbulb moment, then we’re pretty dim as a nation that we need those three words said out loud. The excerpts from his book An Unsuitable Boy let us know that the writing is clear on the wall, if we want to read it, that is. It’s not as cryptic, as we think. Just like in Kapoor & Sons, Fawad Khan’s character doesn’t actually say the words, but everyone in the audience got the message loud and clear. Did he really need to say it? No. And his not actually saying it out loud kept the film “family-friendly”.

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And perhaps that’s what Karan Johar is aiming for, with his persona that is out there, judging reality television shows, appearing on panel discussions and of course, making and promoting movies. He doesn’t need to come out, he’s already out there…and as Kareena Kapoor joked on his show, one just has to put on the TV, and there he is! He may be India’s leading director, running among the most successful production houses, but what makes Karan Johar stand apart is that he’s perhaps the most relatable. When he talks about being lonely, searching for that elusive relationship, wondering as a single child if there’s anybody to take forward the family legacy, he voices all our fears. Once he says those three words, he might be claimed by one particular community and swallowed up whole. And, for people like us, who love to tag with convenient labels, if he does give in to the clamouring, the tag will precede everything he does. So, no, please don’t say it…we still have some growing up to do as mature individuals! One article has already accused him of perpetuating the gay stereotype of being obsessed with sex on his show. (Hello, isn’t that just anybody?)

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Also Read: India needs a gay icon to stand up for the entire LGBT community, here is why

And for the gay community, one of you is actually one of us… and isn’t that what the fight has been about? And as Bollywood’s biggest and most popular brand, he’s calling the shots. A moment to pause and celebrate, perhaps?

For now, the only three words we want to hear from him are, “I am Karan” and that, for anyone, should be enough!

(The writer is an editorial consultant and co-founder of The Goodwill Project. She tweets @anuvee) Views expressed are personal.

First published on: 17-01-2017 at 03:03:45 pm
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