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Bollywood actors are calling for a more ‘dignified’ portrayal of gay characters

Meka Beresford January 8, 2017

Actor and singer Meiyang Chang has called for a more dignified approach in portraying LGBT characters in Bollywood.

Chang, who is set to play a gay character in an upcoming series, feels that a new lease of sensitivity needs to be taken on board by producers in the industry.

Chang is set to play the role of Nischay Barbara in the series “Untag”, but taking on the character has made him acutely aware of not falling into stereotypes.

“My primary concern was not to be the stereotypical, caricaturish character that our Bollywood films of the 90s have done to death… it has created a very incorrect perception of the gay community,”

“In the real world, gay men come in all sizes, shapes and types, just like anybody else,” he said.

Chang is hoping to follow Hollywood, who he feels has handled gay characters with grace and “utmost dignity”.

“The West has handled gay and lesbian characters with sensitivity and grace. One recent example of a good attempt by Bollywood was Fawad Khan’s character in ‘Kapoor & Sons’.

“I knew that I could be myself and still essay a gay role convincingly, unless the script required me to have specific traits which could then have been incorporated.”

“The multi talented-ness of my character Nischay is not really explored in the series much. However, one major similarity between this character and my own life is that we both quit our primary jobs as banker and dentist respectively to delve into copyrighting and the field of entertainment.

“It really is amazing how many of us in India tend to go for traditional jobs for survival, steady jobs under peer pressure or fear of trying something different before realising our true calling,” he added.

More: acting, Bollywood, Gay, LGBT, representation, singing

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