8 LGBTQ Role Models Under 30

India is a land to some of the best LGBTQ people and personalities. Most often the media doesn’t cover them regularly, but they are real role models of every LGBTQ youth in India. We can learn a lot from them to make our life more meaningful and beautiful.

To sum up the Bullying campaign on Gaysi, we are presenting a list of some of the best personalities under 30 who have outshone despite the differences, and challenges. The list includes people from diverse backgrounds to make this article informative and useful to all. So, let’s see Top X Role Models in India for Every LGBTQ Youth.


Elton Fernandez

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 4.49.48 pm
Picture Credit // YouTube

He is one of the most popular names in the Indian Fashion industry today. He started his journey with small make up jobs on the weekends and later on moved to Mumbai to purse a career in Makeup. Today his name is associated with every notable fashion magazine at home and outside. His makeup tutorial videos on YouTube have over thirty three thousand subscribers, and his Instagram account is nothing less than radical. He was also part of Onir’s national award winning film, “I Am”.

Needless to say if you need any beautifying tips, our man is THE man!


Shankar Madurai

Picture Credit // Gopi Shankar

When growing up Gopi Shankar faced a lot of harassment for being an intersex person. At one point ze even had to discontinue zis studies. But ze decided to fight back and in the year 2011 started Srishti Madurai, a welfare group that works with gender and sexual minorities. Since then ze has been leading several LGBTQ initiatives in Tamil Nadu and was given the Diversity Leadership Award earlier this year by the World HRD Congress. Zis book, titled “Maraikappata Pakkangal” (Hidden Pages) is the first book on gender variants in Tamil.

And last month Gopi Shankar filed zis nominations for Madurai North constituency making zim one of the youngest candidates in the upcoming Assembly election and also the first out intersex person to do so.

If elected, zis main focus will be the education sector.


Sonal Giani


She is 27 years old and one of the well-known LGBTQ rights activist in the country today. She has been featured in the much applauded documentary on Queer lives “Purple Skies” and was also part of the reality television series “Connected Hum Tum” where six ordinary women shared their personal lives on National Television. Sonal too was the recipient of the Diversity Leadership Award earlier this year by the World HRD Congress. She very recently left her advocacy officer job at The Humsafar Trust to pursue her passion for filmmaking.

They say when in trouble with Homophobes, dial S-O-N-A-L for permanent solution.


Riya Sarkar 

Picture Credit // NDTV

A history teacher by profession, Riya made the entire LGBTQ community proud by becoming the first transgender person to preside over a polling both. She was made incharge of the polling both in South Kolkata’s Rashbehari Constituency in the on-going West Bengal’s Assembly elections.

She hopes her achievement will encourage more members of the Transgender community to come forward and exercise their voting rights, change society’s mindset and thereby gain acceptance.

So listen up and learn people!


Sushant Divgikar

The poster boy of the desi-Gay community; Sushant is a model, actor, performer, singer and a video jockey by profession. Very few know that he holds a Masters Degree in Industrial psychology & is a certified Psychologist. In July 2014, he was crowned Mr. Gay India 2014 and went on to win several awards at the Mr. Gay World 2014 including the Mr. Congeniality Award. The very same year he became a household name after appearing on the reality show ka baap, Bigg Boss Season 8″. When not in front of the camera, you will find him leading and supporting various LGBTQ initiatives pan-India.

Bad fashion and bad attitude don’t stand a chance in front of this yummy lad.


Alisha Pais

Picture Credit // Verve Magazine

A singer and a composer – Alisha has been in the indie music scene for a while now. And over the years has performed for several music festivals across India and even Gaysi’s very own open mic night Dirty Talk. Her popularity went a notch higher last year with the hit singing reality show, The Stage. Though she did not make it to the very end of the show, she did mange to give some outstanding performances during her stint there. Currently she is working on releasing her very first solo music album.

With her kind of determination life will always be in tune!


Gautam Yadav


25 years old Gautam has been fighting stigma associated with HIV and Aids for the last seven years of his life. He has helped countless others find a voice in the process. Even in this day and age, young people living with HIV face a lot of trouble in getting treatment. It gets even worse if they happen to be queer. He feels even though support mechanisms are available today, accessibility is still a big issue. He also feels there needs to be a higher level of awareness among HIV negative people too so that they are sensitised to the issue.

He is an honorary member – Board of UNAIDS Youth Advisory Forum from Asia Pacific, core working committee member for Youth Voices Count, board member for Youth Lead Bangkok and key correspondent member for International HIV/AIDS Alliance.

Lads like him add the “P(roud)” in our A to Z!


Fida Khan

6 pack band (19)

She is the lead singer in ‘6 Pack Band’, India’s first all transgender musical band. Their very first song Hum Hain Happy got over a million views in a matter of days. The band is backed by Y-Films, Yash Raj Film’s youth films wing. When not singing, Fida works as a counselor at The Humsafar Trust.

Despite her troublesome childhood and teenage years, Fida has managed to beat all odds and is a beautiful inspiration for us all.



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Now 30, 100% shudh desi lesbian. Likes living large, and on the edge. Dislikes stagnation, fence sitting and hypocrites. Lives in a bubble of joy, with occasional lapses into drama queendom. Currently nursing a massive crush on actress Chitrangada Singh (kind of eerie, her resemblance to the late Smita Patil, don’t you think?). Aspires to build a fully functional support system for the Gaysi community in India. And most importantly, top the 'Hottest eligible desi-lezzie' list one bright sunny day.

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