Motivated by KJo, TV actor Saattvic says he is gay in a powerful blog
For the past some days, Karan Johar’s recently launched memoir ‘An Unsuitable Boy’ had been grabbing headlines. The tell-all biography among other things, also reveals the filmmaker’s much scrutinised sexual orientation in a veiled tone. The book mentions Karan saying that he will not “spell it out” as he could be “jailed for saying this.”
While the ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ director was slammed by the LGBT community for playing it safe without explicitly saying it, Karan’s words has motivated television and theatre actor Saattvic to write powerful blog to all his colleagues and every gay man in the world, while revealing his sexuality, all over again.
Saattvic, who played the negative role of Kabir in Ashutosh Gowarikarer’s teleseries ‘Everest’, writes about KJo’s “coming-out-without-saying-it.” Saattvic says that it depends on the readers’ perception whether what Karan said in the book was a statement of cowardice or a comment on the sorry state of human rights in this country. “Karan’s post, however, has motivated me to say unequivocally “I AM GAY”,” he writes.
Saatvic explains that he had always been open about his sexuality when he was in London, and how he was forced to hide in the closet after moving to Mumbai.
He writes, “Five years ago, in early 2012, following a postgraduate degree in Economics from the University of Oxford, I had a well paying job as an economist in London. While I loved being an economist, I had also always wanted to act, and I felt that the time was right for me to give it a shot. So, I resigned and moved to Mumbai, to chase my dreams.
“In London, I was an out and proud gay man. In fact, I was an out and proud gay man when I was 20 – my first public coming out was during my third year at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi. My parents have always known, and they’ve always accepted it. At home, it was always a non-issue. I’ve been lucky throughout my life to find acceptance more often than not, and as a result being gay has never really been a big part of my life. It occupied as much headspace as me being Punjabi, vegetarian, a musician, an actor, etc. – it was just another part of me.
“Naïve little me was quite gung-ho about moving to Mumbai… However, almost from the moment I landed, I was told by insiders to hide my sexual orientation from the industry. I realised that society had not moved on as quickly as the law had. I was told that the audience will not accept an openly gay actor, so nothing of this should ever get to the media. Casting directors would not cast you in a lead role because how can a gay man romance a woman? This meant that any overtly gay Facebook posts had to come down. It also meant that you hid it from everyone in the industry, because you never know who might say what to the media or casting directors. Whether or not any of these concerns are real is not the point – for a young aspirant who is made to believe something like this can make or break a career, they were real enough.
“And so, I took one step back into the closet. My family and my close friends always knew, but I hid it from those I worked with. I justified it to myself by saying “why must I stand on tables and shout out my sexual orientation? Straight people don’t do it!”
“The crux of my argument is this. Your coming out will help sensitize the people around you and add to grassroots support for gay rights. If enough people are sensitized, the laws will change, and society will change. You don’t need to be an activist and your life does not need to be defined by being gay. You just need to do your little bit by coming out, and sensitizing the people around you,” the actor, who also did a brief role in Bollywood film ‘Badmashiyaan’, writes.
Saatvic’s full post can be read on blogging site Born to Web.