THE United Nations has produced the first-ever Bollywood music video that directly deals with themes of gay rights, same-sex relationships and homophobia.
It is the latest campaign by UN Free and Equal to fight negative stereotypes of LGBTI people around the world, and portrays a story of a young man who brings his boyfriend home to meet his family for the first time.
The clip also features Bollywood star and Miss India winner Celina Jaitly, and choreography was done by Longinus Fernandes — who is famous for his work on Academy Award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
The campaign comes on the back of India’s Supreme Court recently handing down a landmark ruling in favour of its trans* citizens that legally recognised a third gender, and that gender identity discrimination breached anti-discrimination clauses in the Indian Constitution.
However, in December the same court — but with different judges — sparked global controversy and protests when they upheld a 150-year-old penal code from the British colony days that criminalised same-sex relationships. That ruling is currently being challenged and the case will return to court in the coming days for an appeal.
Indian films that deal with LGBTI themes and characters are still rare, and according to Jaitly, when they are portrayed it is often done so in stereotypes.
“Either it is making fun of gay people or it is extremely serious, related only to HIV,” she told Huffington Post.
“We have to move away from stereotypes and present a more accurate image of the LGBT community.
“We need to show that it is an inherent trait in everyone to love someone of their choice, and that we must all accept and welcome that without prejudice.”
Watch the video clip here: