At the World Premiere Red Carpet for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in London, Sofia Hayat boldly spoke against homophobia and expressed her support for South Asian LGBTQ (Lesbian; Gay; Bisexual; Transgender; Queer) issues – a controversial topic for many.
The British actress, model and singer emphasised her opinion that “love is love”, something many fail to understand when it comes to same-sex human rights.
For instance, homosexuality is now a “criminal” offence in India with the 2013 re-introduction of Section 377, an archaic law from the days of the British Raj. Nonetheless, even if you are LGBTQ and not in India, the issue of family shaming and stigma haunts many.
Hayat also encouraged South Asians not to be afraid and come out, stating – “Come out and be brave. Because it just takes one and everyone else will follow. And you just explain to your parents- you know what God made me this way.”
BollySpice journalist Aashi Gahlot was encouraged to provoke the discussion following Hayat speaking on her desire to bring about female empowerment through her soon to be released single, “Main Ladki Hoon” (I am female).
Bravely, the celebrity also revealed that she herself has had sexual relations with women. For a celebrity to reveal personal same-sex relations is highly admirable and a step towards LGBTQ equality.
Referring to Sofia’s words, it just takes one and everyone else will follow. Read the full interview discussing being LGBTQ and South Asian below:
Aashi: I fight for same-sex rights. If you could give one message to LGBTQ South Asians out there who are struggling to be themselves, what would you say?
I was always told growing up that God makes everything happen. Everything. Therefore God made gays, lesbians, whatever. And for me, I can’t believe I’m going to admit this! I’ve slept with women before. It’s been great. Actually sometimes they’re better than men! (Laughs) But I just think – love is love right! Love is love. Sexuality is sexuality. If you feel good – I mean I don’t look at a cake and say actually I can’t eat that cake because it’s brown or it looks like this you know. Love is love. You know. No one should distinguish anyone. I think it’s very difficult especially in India. They banned –
Aashi: Section 377 is back!
You know it’s disgusting. I think it’s absolutely disgusting because we are human beings. God put us on this planet, made us they way we are. Deal with it!
Aashi: Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of coming out as LGBTQ?
I think come out and be brave! Come out and be brave. Because it just takes one and everyone else will follow. And you just explain to your parents- you know what God made me this way. I used to always say to my parents, when they used to stop me with my acting and singing, I would say God gave me these talents, God made everything happen right? Then God made me like this.