Singer, model, actor, LGBTQ rights activist Sushant Divgikar is celebrating a new first in his life – his debut on an over the top (OTT) digital platform with the release of his 'Hello Boss'. The new short film, which follows a character's journey to his new workplace reporting to a non-binary boss, was released to coincide with Pride month in June.
"I am aware that many people have lost a lot of work because of the pandemic. But I'm thankful and delighted to announce that I have a lot of work coming up," shares Divgikar.
"I have three songs that I'm releasing. My Netflix original short film just released, so that's my debut on OTT as an actor. I also signed my first film, which is a mainstream feature film. I will be acting in it. Also, I signed my first Kannada ; I'm very excited about it!"
For Divgikar, finding a balance between several projects seems to come quickly. Crowned Mr Gay India in 2014, the has been playing an active role in providing a safe space for the community so that younger queer people don't feel alone during the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
A young Sushant found his biggest strength in his family. "I have blossomed into the best version of myself today because of my parents' unconditional love for me. There have been times when I had self-doubts and wanted to give up. But then I came back home, and unconditional love from my parents would make me forget all the negativities of the outside world, all those bullying and taunting because of my gender and orientation," he recounts.
MORE LIKE THIS:
Today, one can find the voice of a true torchbearer when he says, "There are so many people who have come before me. Imagine what they might have gone through in the '70s and the '80s!" He salutes journalist and LGBT rights activist Ashok Row Kavi, Bollywood actress and dancer Laxmi Narayan Tripathy, equal rights activist Harish Iyer, actress and LGBTQ+ rights activists Sonal Giani. He adds, "I always make it a point to them and thank them for sacrificing so much in their life, so we could openly live ours."
However, when asked about his reaction to media referring to him as today's 'Gay icon' in India, he said: "I'm just human. All these demarcations mean nothing. I don't take labels very seriously. But if people are empowered through my journey, through my life and story, then honestly, I don't mind people calling me 'queer'. I am quite an easy-going person. And that's what my parents have taught me to do. To be inclusive and diverse even in your thoughts."
MORE LIKE THIS:
Diversity and duality are indeed the very essences of Sushant Divgikar, also known as Rani Kohinoor now. It is fantastic to hear him sing in both male and female voices so perfectly, while doing equal justice to the looks with his drag persona and as a model.
Sushant Divgikar gives one up to the smaller towns and cities of India. "They have specifically asked me to come as Rani Kohinoor and not as Sushant so many times. You know, many times, we give smaller towns in India less credit than they deserve. We undermine their sensibilities. I feel they have done a great job of accepting and including people from various diverse communities."
But he also seemed to be aware of the and double jeopardy that a non-binary Indian can face in a foreign land outside India.
"I just want to tell my fellow LGBTQ friends, especially those who are in a foreign country. Yes, intersectionality is there; does exist. But always remember you are not alone. Your journey is beautiful because it is unique. Write your own story and always be proud of who you are," Divgikar signs off.