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Bollywood’s “Brokeback” Leads to Award, Disownment

You’ve heard this all-too-many times before: A family disowns their gay son.

But have you heard this one? A family disowns their son for playing a gay man in a movie. That’s just what’s happened in India, according to this story from the Times of India:

The Delhi High Court’s judgement in favour of homosexuals last year hasn’t had much impact on the family of actor Yuvraaj Parasher, the lead of Dunno Y … Na Jaane Kyun that has India’s first gay kissing scene in it and also shows love-making and several intimate moments between two men.

Yuvraaj has been disowned by his family for playing a homosexual on screen and has been thrown out of his home in Agra.

Worse, his father is ready to go to court and officially cut off ties with his son. Seen as India’s answer to Ang Lee’s sensitive drama Brokeback Mountain that boasts of remarkable acting from Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, Dunno Y … Na Jaane Kyun sees Yuvraaj partner with actor Kapil Sharma to breathe life into their bold characters. Yuvraaj’s father Satish Parasher told BT, “I feel what he has done is against the culture and tradition of our country and it challenges the purity of the relationship between a man and a woman. He kept us in the dark right from when he signed the film and told us that he is acting with a girl. When we heard about the poster and the things he has done in the film, we were shocked, hurt and humiliated. People will make fun of us and we won’t be able to live peacefully ever again.”

Satish believes Yuvraaj will never get a girl to marry him. “His mother is totally devastated,” said the aggrieved father. “We are a respected family and I’m appalled that he is playing a gay man’s role. We’re finished. All the dreams and hopes we had built around him are over. For just a film role, he has lost out on his blood ties. We don’t want to see his face ever… not even when we are dying.” Interestingly, Yuvraaj’s act with Kapil fetched them an award from Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal for their sensitive portrayal of gay men. For the actor’s family, however, such accolades mean nothing.

OK, the guy probably should have told his parents what he was doing, so they’d have a chance to figure out some kind of response in advance. But it’s hard to believe that doing so would have made a difference. After all, they don’t want to see him ever again “even when [they] are dying.”

Just a question: Would the parents have reacted this way if their son (pictured below; if he’s not gay he should consider it) had been, say, a murderer in the film? Would they then have disowned him? And what does your answer say about the fear and loathing that gayness still inspires in some quarters?


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