These 10 personalities have been proud ambassadors of LGTBQ+ community even before the historical reversal of section 377 and as India celebrates its first Pride Parade we celebrate them.

India has come a long way from 2013’s declaration of 377 to decriminalizing it in 2018. These 10 famous LGBTQ+ personalities have proudly accepted their sexuality and choices while paving the way for fellow Indians. They took a stride towards breaking age-old stereotypes and fought against the bias that has previously existed in India

Mumbai Pride 2019 is going to take place Saturday 2nd February, its the annual march of LGBTQ+ community in August Kranti Maidan. With India hosting its first pride parade after decriminalization of section 377, we celebrate LGBTQ+ communities iconic activists who stood up against all odds.

10 famously out and proud LGBTQ+ personalities

  1. Keshav Suri

He recently got married to his boyfriend of 10 years in 2018 in France. He had a tough battle with being bullied in school to carry the baggage of being Hotelier Lalit Suri’s son and proving his worth. His sexual preference has also let to people judge his abilities but he hasn’t been a person to shy away. 

2. Vasu Primlani 

She is the first openly gay comic of India. She is a victim of child abuse and rape and has also served time in jail. She has time and again spoken against how this law has led to Indians fleeing away in other countries.

3. Gauri Sawant

She is a transgender activist and director of Sakshi Char Chowghi helps transgender people and people with HIV/AIDS. She was also featured in Vicks’ TVC which showed the story of Gauri and her adoptive daughter.

Also read: 10 movies about AIDS that should be on your must watch list!

4. Ashok Row Kavi

He is a renowned journalist and first came out in Savvy magazine in 1986. He was the first person to openly talk about homosexuality and gay rights in India. Humsafar trust was founded by him which provides legal help to Homosexuals in India

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?Ashok Row Kavi? – – Ashok Row Kavi is a journalist in India & one of India's most prominent LGBTQ+ activists. He was pioneer in visibility & acceptance for sexual minorities in India. He took the marginalized community to come together & push for social acceptance. In 1990, he started "Bombay Dost," an LGBTQ+ publication that exclusively spoke of issues confronting the community. This publication was the first of its kind; the magazine was also around so people of the community could come together & share similar experiences they've faced. The magazine worked towards reducing stigma towards the community & shared resources about AIDS. By starting Bombay Dost, it brought the community more together, then he was able to show India that the community is there & not going anywhere. Ashok also started Humsafar Trust, an organization that provides services & education about being HIV positive, safe sex, & providing care for the community.. Ashok also uses the Trust to inform the people about their rights & government benefits. Humsafar Trust gives reasonable attitudes towards sex & gender. The Trust partners with the medical, social, and educational world to educate about non-heterosexual sex/sexual activity. Humsafar Trust also trains people to teach proper sex education. Ashok started both of these things due to the fact the community was practically invisible in India as it is considered inappropriate to talk about sexual activity & other topics publicly. He wants to break down barriers & stigmas with proper education. – Tags: [#activism #activist #leftist #justice #equality #intersectionalfeminist #intersectionalfeminism #feminist #feminism #intersectional] #AshokRowKavi #suitseducation #lgbt #lgbtqa #lgbtq

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5. Manvendra Singh Gohil

He is the first openly gay prince of India. The Lakshya Trust is run by him which that lends help to LGBT community. He came out in 2006 which caused quite the roar and lot of public humiliation. He opened the Euro Pride for gay. He recently started rehabilitation centre in his palace for people who have come out and have been abandoned by family

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Overwhelmed by all the support I've received ??

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6. Vikram Seth

He is a celebrated poet and has received various awards such as  Padma Shri, Sahitya Academy Award, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, WH Smith Literary Award and Crossword book award. He became the leader of the campaign against section 377 in 2006.

7. Parmesh Shahani 

He is the head of Godrej India Culture Lab, also awarded as the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He is the author of the book Gay Bombay. He is continuously working towards making India safe post section 377

8. Laxmi Narayan

Laxmi represented India at UN in 2008. She was the first transgender person to do so. She petitioned the court to recognize transgender as the third gender in India. She also heads many organization and NGO’s.

9. Rituparno Ghosh

He was one of the only few openly gay people in India. He has done some legendary work as a filmmaker and has won many awards. He was proud of his gender fluidity. His work was widely acclaimed for its bold content and starting a conversation about LGBTQ+. He passed away in 2013 due to a cardiac arrest.

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Ghosh’s films having the most effect on the Bengali middle class, his uninhibited exploration of his own sexual identity, and the intrepid portrayal of the third gender, had more profound impact than perhaps even he imagined. He took pride in being himself and led the way for so many others to open their minds, and ‘come out’. His loss affected the Bengali middle and upper middle class audiences deeply, for it was as if every one of us had suffered a personal loss, even though we might not have set eyes on him while he was alive. And that is why, it was so important that one of our own had taken it upon himself to make the case for the ‘other’ gender, use his craft as a means to drive home the point. For when he spoke, people listened. And God knows the country needs someone like that – a leader who gave a voice to the marginalized, challenged normativity, lived fearlessly, and taught others to do so. Author-filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee will launch the first teaser poster of his new short film "Season's Greetings" today, which is his ode to the acclaimed Bengali filmmaker. Read full story at http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/newsdetail/index/7/13950/rituparno-ghosh-remembering-the-champion-of-the-third-sex #rituparnoghosh #thirdgender #genderqueer #lgbtcommunity #lgbtq #lgbtsupport

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10. Sushant Divgikar

He was Mr.Gay India 2014. Rani-Ko-He-Nur is his drag avatar, he has spoken about how drag is a part of Indian culture. He has also done a drag tour in india. He is a singer, VJ, filmmaker and reality TV Star.

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From the first time I was on television in a TV commercial to this day , when I’m on the board of directors for multiple international organisations , my parents always told me to believe in my work and my talent ! Never once was I told that I can’t do something because I was GAY ! In fact my dad always told me , you do you and do it like nobody else can ! Today , INDIA , Abolished section 377 and proved that LOVE has NO GENDER ! Love is love and love always wins. My mother and I have been together all day holding each other’s hands and crying happy tears ! To all of you , who have showered me with all your love , I would like to say , I bow down to you and thank you from the bottom of my heart ! Today , democracy has won and I’m so happy that the Supreme Court has taken a stand for the sexual minorities of our country ! Equality for all ! #lovewins #equality #lgbt #lgbtq #loveislove #byebye377 #377 #gay #gayrights #humanrights @unitednations @free_and_equal @thehumsafartrustofficial @yaariyan_lgbtq

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Kudos to these iconic legends for paving the path and giving confidence to closeted Indians to accept their individuality. If we have missed out any other remarkable personalities let us know in the comment section or write to us at team@socialsamosa.com. Tell us below if you will be attending #MumbaiPride2019