Gay Indian comic busts biases without judgment

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06/19/2020

Indian stand-up comic Vasu Primlani does not shy away from her sexuality in her gigs – even though until very recently, being gay put her at odds with the law. One popular joke starts with the question she says many LGBT+ Indians are routinely asked – “how did you turn gay?”. The answer – “when I was 10, my mother told me to stay away from boys” – gets a laugh every time. Primlani, 47, believes she is India’s first openly gay comedian. She uses humor to address the twin challenges of being gay and a woman in India, where gay sex was only decriminalized in 2018 and awareness of both women’s and LGBT+ rights is patchy. But her style is not to judge. Instead, she seeks to promote understanding among audiences with little past exposure to the debate over LGBT+ issues in particular.

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