Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
Should LGBTQ+ artistes play queer characters on screen?
Acting is all about getting into another person’s shoes. If a straight actor is playing a gay character, then they bloody well do a good job!
teenager with cerebral palsy. “It is extremely important that queer stories are mainstreamed. That we have queer characters in cinema who aren’t there because they are queer; their sexuality is immaterial,” she asserts.
Gay rights crusader Harish Iyer feels to expect queer people to play queer roles might “go against the principles of acting as a field”. Iyer opines, “When we ask if queer actors should play such parts, we’re implying that they shouldn’t play straight roles… Having said that, I believe people with experience will be able to portray those roles better.”
It (casting queer actors for queer characters) gives voice to the ignored, unheard, abused and underrepresented.
Durga Gawde, India’s first performing drag king, echoes a similar sentiment: “For instance, look at Pose. When non-binary, trans-folks of colour are cast to portray roles about queer lives, magic happens. We need more magic in the world.”
Shree Ghatak, a trans-woman who was seen in Season’s Greetings, feels mainstream actors are crowd-pullers and hence, makers would rather cast them. But, she rues the lack of opportunities for actors like her. “Unless we are given a chance, how will we gain fame, become bankable and a choice for filmmakers to headline their projects?” she asks.