It’s a bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Harish Iyer.
A staunch Gaysi supporter, poster boy of Desi-Queers, full-time activist, self-confessed social media whore, hotty with naughty smile…my dear friends I present to you a man of many avatars.
1. Tell us a little about your background.
Naam : Harish Iyer
Kadh : 5 foot 11 inch.
Rang : gora
Umar : as young as you!
That besides, I am a creative professional in the events industry. I am an active voice for a number of social causes and queer-rights just happens to be one of them. I’m very vocal about the fact that I am a survivor of child sexual abuse.
I am not among the serious bra-burning chest beating activists. I’m more quirky in my approach. I use social media to stir movements and create awareness on varied issues. And what more… mmmm… From pados wali gupta aunty to pan tapiri wala Tukaram bhau , from party babe Anju to jhaadu-katka wali gangu bai… I am out to everyone. (Show me one person who doesn’t know my sexuality and I shall lose my virginity (again) to you)
2. You have been involved in Queer activism for a long time now. What significant positive changes have you noticed over the years?
Many positive developments! People speak about it and that’s the most significant positive change. What’s more, people are dissecting and gauging the queerness quotient of celebrities and their own kith and kin. It is cool I think, considering that in the binaca geet mala and super hit muqaabla days gays were practically non-existent. Acceptance and non-acceptance, love stories (and hate crimes) are all surfacing. We are suddenly a front page “story”.
Homosexuals have always accepted heterosexuals as a part of their society (how big our hearts are!), now the inverse is also true. And now, we are moving towards one society.
3. Last year you were one of the 10 individuals chosen for the IBN7 Zindagi LIVE awards. A clichéd question but nonetheless tell us what went through your mind when you heard the news.
Don’t expect a smart answer for a clichéd question. You will get a clichéd response only.Well, really, it took a while to register, though given that I love drama, I did not fall off or act like a zombie in shock. I crosschecked. The channel wallahs told me that I was one of the 10 chosen ones from India being awarded for being an inspiration for many. I might sound modest, but seriously, I wondered if I had really done something so remarkable that I would be among ten of the most inspirational people in a country of over a billion. There was a sense of pride, I cannot deny. But yeah, I had my feet firmly on the ground while I clasped a fistful of sky.
4. Some call you a media whore – What do you have to say about it?
Well, no denying that I am one. Not just media, but I’m also a social media whore.
Whoring for a cause is something that all of us should engage in, though the flip side is that people would brand you as using the cause for getting famous. But I don’t just stop after media-whoring, I ensure that my phone is free and my email has enough space for me to answer messages. I am a chalta-firta helpline. I tell people who call me a media whore… “honey, spreading the message is sexier than spreading your legs. Try this sometime. It’s orgasmic to bring a smile to someone’s face”.
- 5. You have been struggling with the CBFC for getting an “A” certification for the film “Amen” which is based on your struggle as a sexually abused child and an Indian gay man. What was their objection?
Silly the CBFC officials are. We were asking for an A certificate. While films like Agneepath with scenes of children as sex slaves being flung for a lusty auction and films with the C word gets a UA certificate. It is a clear case of prejudice and bias. They had an objection to a love making scene in the film. The report says “cut boy-boy love making” Why? How was dayavan with boy-girl love making allowed without any cuts?
Watch this video (Not Safe for Work-Graphic sexual imagery)
The scene is the crux of the story. It leaves me with no option but doubt the censor board’s credibility and question the future of independent cinema that are not backed by big banner names.
6. Current standing on the same.
We have resubmitted the film for a re-review. Let’s hope good sense prevails and the censor board is aptly sensitized and cured of QueerPhobia.
7. Recently at a conference Baba Ramdev objected against legalizing homosexuality and drinking of alcohol stating this will be result in India producing – Gay & Drunk Youths. What is your advice for Babaji?
I love babaji. I find him cute and handsome.
I am a lowly creature. He is a mahapurush.
A discussion can happen if he and I are in the same level.
I think I am too tall to stoop down to his level.
I think groups like gaysi should stop victimizing my cute babaji.
We instead need to strive to find some yoga aasan that will cure him of homophobia.
[* Co-written with The Cathartist]