TOP 10 BOLLYWOOD MOVIES WITH LGBTQ REPRESENTATION
Indian cinema has a long way in dealing with social norms and stereotypes, and homosexuality is one such topic. Rather than representing it in a negative light or using it for humor now, the LGBTQ representation has made its own space. The community is getting the voice they deserve to tell their stories, struggles, and issues and help society break the stereotypes and accept the people of the community. Bollywood, over the few years, has given its audience some wonderful movies that do justice to the LGBTQ community. So, here are the top 10 Bollywood movies with LGBTQ representation.
1. Shubh Mangal Zyada Shavdhaan
In Indian cinema, where there are very few representations of gay couples, this movie was a game-changer. A queer rom-com that also sheds light on the parts like acceptance and coming out, and shows a queer couple in some much-needed non-sexual ways. This movie starred Ayushmann Khurana and Jitendra Kumar, who gave the proper justice to their roles and characters. The queer portrayal is very realistic and humoristic, which makes the film a must-watch.
2. Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui
In Bollywood, where trans representation is less to none, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui is an excellent and promising stepping stone in the genre, starring Vaani Kapoor and Ayushmann Khurana. Vaani Kapoor played the part of a trans woman who shuffles her way through life in hopes of finding love, respect, and dignity. The Cis-Trans dimension of dating was portrayed very well where a trans woman and her straight partner try to understand each other. This movie also deals with the support that the straight partners give and need in return.
3. Badhaai Do
This movie treats the issues of homosexuality with sensitivity while being funny and entertaining, making it an excellent movie to watch over the weekends. The plot highlights the societal pressure of getting married as soon as one hits mid-twenties and the issue of coming out as a gay person in the family. The lead characters in the movie (Rajkumar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar) are both queers, who enter into a marriage of convenience and decide to see other people who they like. Both the characters through marriage, bond over shared traumas and struggles. This movie also looks into the pressure of patriarchy and gender stereotypes.
4. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
This movie is the first mainstream movie that touched on the topic of homosexuality after repealing section 377. Starring two mainstream actors of Bollywood, Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, this movie ventures into acceptance of LGBTQ among traditional families and the idea of abnormality that comes with being gay. The character of Sonam Kapoor has always dreamt of being a bride, and as she grows up, she realizes she still wants to be a bride but not in a conventional way. After she comes out to her family acceptance, becomes a real issue, but the movie ends on a happy note.
Though the main focus of this movie is not LGBTQ, it still puts light on the matter. Fawad khan, who plays the role of a queer person in the movie comes out as a gay man at the climax of the film which gives it a good and unique touch. With already the ongoing family drama going on in the movie -- dysfunctional family, collapsing marriage, and more, the revelation of Fawad khan’s sexuality adds to the drama but at the same time deals with the factor of coming out sensitively.
6. Margarita With a Straw
This movie features Kalki Koechlin, who plays the role of Laila with cerebral palsy. This movie explores the area of female sexuality and disability and raises some excellent questions. Laila’s journey in this movie is portrayed wonderfully as she understands who she is and comes to terms with her bisexuality. Kalki has done a very good job of bringing Laila to life through her acting. Laila looks for her identity and figures herself out while being torn by her family issues and cerebral palsy.
The movie was based on the event of true life that tells the tragic tale of professor Siras who teaches classical modern Indian languages at Aligarh University, played by Manoj Bajpayee. His career ends after the local media finds out he is gay and gets ridiculed by society until a journalist (Rajkumar Rao) comes along to help him. The movie points out the conditioned homophobia of Indian culture, especially the educational institutions, and the hypocrisy of being modern and woke.
8. Bombay talkies
The story revolves around two gay men played by Randeep Hooda and Saqib Saleem. In the movie, Saqib’s character was abused at home due to his sexual orientation, due to which he leaves his house. He meets dev (Randeep Hooda), his colleague’s husband, and realizes dev is a closeted gay man too. The movie focuses on stereotypical loveless marriages due to the different sexual orientations of partners and coming out as a queer person after marriage.
9. My Brother Nikhil
In the movie, Sanjay Suri plays the role of Nikhil Kapoor who is a closeted gay state swimming champion. After Nikhil gets HIV and is kicked out of the house and swimming team, his life gets upside down. During his time of crisis, his boyfriend and his sister support him and become his pillar of strength. This movie not only talks about homophobia but also about how people with HIV are being treated. The struggle of a gay man who has HIV is portrayed quite well through the acting and storyline.
This is one of the very first movies that throw light on queer relationships, released in 1996 starring, Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das. The award-winning performance of the two characters brings together a unique love story of two queer women who fall in love with each other after their husbands leave them. This movie was a stepping stone for LGBTQ relationships, especially in a society where homosexuality was considered taboo.