HT City

‘I didn’t want contribute to the culture of silence'

- Juhi Chakrabort­y juhi.chakrabort­

emale, coloured and bisexual — that’s how YouTuber Lilly Singh announced to the world about her sexual orientatio­n. While it may have seemed like just a tweet, Lilly admits that mustering up the courage to come out was indeed “nerve wracking”, especially because she grew up in a family deeply rooted in Indian culture. “I thought it was important to speak about it. Growing up in Indian culture, there are a lot of things we don’t talk about like sexuality, mental health and harassment. I don’t want to contribute to the culture of silence because these things affect so many of us. I love myself and I’m proud of who I am, and that’s why I did it,” Lilly says.

The digital star was born in Scarboroug­h, Canada, to parents who hailed from Hoshiarpur, Punjab. And she is very close to her parents, who have also appeared in some of

Fher videos. So, did she discuss with her parents before making the announceme­nt?

“It wasn’t anyone else’s decision but mine. They have been very supportive of what I have done. They have always been used to a daughter who is very strong-minded. Ultimately, they respect my decision,” asserts Lilly.

The 31-year-old’s decision was met with a lot of love and approval. And why not, after all, Lilly is a role-model to so many women. She hopes that she can inspire more and more women to embrace themselves completely, especially in India, where sexual expression is still taboo.

“It ultimately comes down to conversati­ons, and of course, a lot of support from parents. My generation has a little more courage about starting that conversati­on,” she says.

On the talks about inclusivit­y in Hollywood, she says, “Hollywood is improving. They understand that representa­tion matters, but there’s still work to be done. I have my own production company and sometimes, when I am pitching stories, I am told that a story about an immigrant woman from India is not relatable,” Lilly shares.

Other than being a YouTube star, Lilly has also been a part of Hollywood projects, including Bad Moms (2016) and Fahrenheit 451 (2018) . Now she’s also the host of show — A Little Late with Lilly Singh, which airs on Star World. This makes her the first female South Asian late night host.

My generation has a little more courage about starting that conversati­on on sexual expression.



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