According to filmmaker Onir, the Bollywood Industry is full of homophobes. “Industry is full of double standards. A lot of people of influence belong to the community but you don’t find that forthright support comes in. There are a lot of people who are also homophobic. Politically everyone will say the right things but in action that’s missing,” Onir told PTI. He and his brother both believe that people are not yet comfortable with the idea of an LGBTQ+ community.
“Today, how many people actually supported the SC verdict? You don’t have to be gay to support it. That shows there’s a bit of discomfort, fear of being perceived in a certain way and losing out on an audience, which doesn’t happen. There’s this insecurity in a lot of people. They don’t see these films as something that can churn money,” he says. Talking about lack of Bollywood actors taking up roles with an LGBTQ+ narrative, he said “At the end of the day, it took Fawad Khan to come from Pakistan and do a film here. And it is wonderful but India is the largest film producing country in the world but the percentage of such films is minuscule.”
He also believes that the people who do take up such roles, don’t get enough recognition for them. “None of the mainstream festivals acknowledged my films or the actors playing these roles. When an actor is taking such roles and still not getting recognized because he or she is not a big enough star, it discourages risk-taking as the industry doesn’t celebrate it and more often ignores it,” he adds.
Talking about Section 377, he said that understands things cannot change overnight. “There’s a long way to go. It’s not that after 377, everything will become easy. What has happened now is that it has empowered a lot of us and we wish to see things change. It’ll take time, but it’ll happen,” he added.