Film

Gay man calls out bigoted moviegoers mocking film about same-sex marriage: ‘You got a problem?’

Josh Milton February 20, 2022
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Selfie of Priyanjul Johari and Agniva

Priyanjul Johari (R) and his boyfriend, Agniva. (Instagram/@141.269)

A gay man called out bigoted moviegoers watching Badhaai Do, a pathbreaking Indian film about a lavender marriage, in the best way.

At a movie theatre in Delhi, India, Priyanjul Johari and his boyfriend Agniva sat down to watch the film that explores a man and a woman who go into a marriage of convenience to hide the fact they’re both gay.

Sat one row ahead of them, a group of 10 people cackled and made cruel jabs at the LGBT+ characters whenever they were on screen, Johari wrote in an Instagram post uploaded Friday (16 February).

Johari knew he had to do something. The friends traded insults, he recalled, calling one another gay for enjoying the film or commenting “I think I ended up coming to the wrong film” because they found the scenes with same-sex couples “funny and embarrassing” to watch.

The final straw came during an emotional scene involving Rajkummar Rao, who plays police officer Shardul Thakur in the Harshavardhan Kulkarni film, coming out which left Johari in tears.

A tearful Johari stood up and applauded the scene. Yet one of the viewers in front of him ridiculed him. “He’s definitely gay,” the person barked.

Johari’s boyfriend urged him to stay silent, but he refused. “Yes, I’m gay!” Johari shouted back. “I’ve come with my partner, you got a problem with that?”

The cinema reportedly fell silent after Johari clapped back at the homophobic troll, only for the rest of the moviegoers to applaud and cheer Johari for showing the same bravery that the queer characters in Badhaai Do champion.

The friends didn’t say a single word again until after the movie finished and they quickly scurried out of the cinema.

Chum Darang, who plays the love interest of Bhumi Pednekar in Badhaai Do, praised Johari for standing up to the jeering homophobes. “This is how we know we did good,” she commented. “Thank you.”

Badhaai Do, which was released in theatres last week, has been praised by critics for helping to normalise on-screen same-sex relationships.

“The idea is to empower the community, not make fun of them or not use them as bait to entertain the audience,” Pednekar told India Today.

“It is a film that really makes you question. It is a film that leaves you heavy-hearted while it really entertains you. So, I feel it is going to be successful in fighting the cause further.”

 

More: India

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