A Typology of Gay and Lesbian in Bollywood

Bollywood hasn’t heard of bisexuality. And between gay men and lesbians, the former is given far more attention within cinema. Lesbians tend to fall into two main categories according to Hindi cinema. The last one is sort of hinted at.

Lesbian Type 1: AMHHB – a.k.a Angry Male Hating Hot Babe
This one comes from the depths of Freudian explanations. The woman hates the fact that a man has a different plumbing system. Blames him for global warming, bad traffic and the general lack of law and order. But secretly she’s jealous of him. She tries to be a man by being more aggressive. She hates men. She drinks their blood.

Lesbian Type 2: HHII – a.k.a Her Husband Is Impotent
Given to us in varying combinations, this woman turns to sexual pleasure from women because her husband isn’t capable of having sex with her. Why she should turn to another woman, instead of the nearest available man is never quite explained. Mostly attracted to other women who also have similar issues with men.

Lesbian Type 3: SDICMFLASH – She Does It Cause Men Find Lesbian Action So Hot
Self-explanatory. While everything is from the male gaze, this one takes it to a whole new level.

Now for the men. It never fails to amuse me that somehow, in Bollywood, eunuchs and gay men are frequently mistaken for each other. Or for that matter, crossdressers are mistaken for gay men. I feel like drawing a giant venn diagram sometimes. Or maybe write it in that “logic” style. All gay men are not crossdressers. All crossdressers are not gay men. Some cross dressers are gay men. Yeah? So for the types.

Gay Type 1: PSASTWO – Personal Shopping Assistant and Shoulder to Weep On
Well this guy’s sole purpose in life is to be everyone’s personal shopping assistant. You see, because he is gay, he knows exactly what kind of clothes fit, what colours look good, and where you can get the best bargains. He’s also there to give you emotional support, and asks very little of you. Just that you remember his name, and that you tell him all the sordid details of your life. He lives, vicariously, through you. Also known as GBF – Gay Best Friend.

Gay Type 2: AOTL – Always On The Lookout
They took this kind straight from some animal stereotype. This man has no self-respect and will shamelessly pander to anything that looks male. He doesn’t distinguish between gay men and straight men. He will hit on anything. He will lech and leer enough to put Pran to shame. Or even Shakti Kapoor.

Gay Type 3: HNASWFW – Has No Arms So Will Flap Wings
You know the type. He’s always hanging around near the stylish takes of the film. He keeps flapping his hands about because you know, gay people have no hands. They just flap their hands wildly about.

Gay Type 4: WTBAWSB – Wants To Be A Woman So Bad
Self explanatory. Guy has no life. No career. No friends. He just wants to be a woman. So hangs out with women all the time. Hoping all that estrogen will rub off on him. He wears make up, shiny clothes. And heels. And is afraid of cockroaches – JUST like all women!!!

Gay Type 5: JG – Just Gay
He’s just gay. Like, all the time. He does nothing. But just be gay. His entire concentration is focused on communicating to all the other characters in the film that he’s gay. Just that.

Gay Type 6: GWC – Gay With Conscience
He starts off as the comic relief type. However, as the film progresses, you are supposed to aww at his conscience. You know, because being gay means you are a good human being. So you always know what the heroine should do. He’s not sunshiney like the Personal Shopping Assistant. He may even have a job in some fashion type thing. Like putting make up, or editing photos. But he’s usually perceptive and sarcastic.

Gay Type 7: GWBMBNVC – Gay With Big Muscles But No Vocal Chords
This kind starts out by being very macho. But has a weak voice. And it turns out, has a soft corner for all good looking men. Don’t let his big muscles scare you. They’re just for hugging you even tighter.

Gay Type 8: PGGCYCTHIG – Perfect Gay Guy Cause You Can’t Tell He Is Gay
Again, self-explanatory. He’s gay. But he’s good gay. Because he looks and behaves straight. He’s the only gay guy worth dressing up in pastels.

Gay Type 9: HIDOS – He Is Dying Of Something
Well. Mostly dying of something. Or dying of AIDS. We don’t know. Cut to song.

Of course the typology isn’t watertight. I am so sure I am missing out on a few. They often are a combination. On an average Gay men in Bollywood come with no families or friends. Often, jobs that just enable them to talk to others about other men.

I shouldn’t have watched Dostana. At all.
Sometimes I look at all these types, and wonder if I am actually a Gay Man. I like clothes, have friends, am scared of cockroaches. But am just not good enough to be the heroine. Yeah, that does it.

[Guest Author : Neha Viswanathan]

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