A gay dance featured in the film Bol Bachchan
Indian Films Have a Funny Way of Featuring Gay Characters

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com July 16 2012 3:30 PM ET

Bollywood films made in India are beginning to feature gay characters, but some say their portrayal is hackneyed and stereotyped.

“The general effect of an unusual body language or way of speaking could come across as funny, but it’s really not,” Indian actor Gulshan Grover says. "In India, we are not used to seeing gay characters in mainstream films. We tend to exaggerate their qualities."

Leaders in the nation's film industry say women are also marginalized in Bollywood films, often portrayed as dimwitted sexpots.

"It’s okay to laugh with someone but not at someone,” according to a director who's made films with gay characters. “I think with films the thought is 'what generates money.' We don’t think good, bad, or ugly. If we do this, then it will work better — that is the thought process."

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