Meet Bollywood’s Famous Rumoured-To-Be LGBT Celebrities
Meet Bollywood’s Famous Rumoured-To-Be LGBT Celebrities View All Articles
Posted On: 03 May 2019 | Last Updated: 20 Aug 2021
Not long-ago gays or should we call them LGBTQ characters in Bollywood films were a laughing stock and every time a character of such kind would appear on the screen, the public would make fun. Fortunately, or unfortunately, homosexuality which includes gays and lesbians were and continue to be considered taboo in our society and films but the Supreme Court’s verdict on the repeal of the colonial-era section 377 in 2018 had come as big relief for the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) community. Though Bollywood has quite a few self-acclaimed or rumoured-to-be bisexuals, homosexuals, and lesbians of who have done incredible work and contributed a lot to our films in a big way. Let’s look at some of the famous rumoured-to-be gay or lesbian celebs below.
1. Karan Johar (Writer, Actor, Producer, Director)
Known for delivering hits like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, My Name is Khan, Student of the Year, and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, the ace filmmaker Karan Johar had been tight-lipped about his homosexuality for a long time but finally did claim that he was attracted to the same gender. Karan was more indulged in acting, writing, directing, and producing films and anchoring a few TV shows but was never linked with any of the Bollywood actors or actresses. His liking for Shah Rukh Khan has popped up many times over a couple of decades or so but has ended as speculations. Karan became a father to twins (a boy and a girl) in 2017 through surrogacy thus declaring himself as a single parent.
2. Rituparno Ghosh (Writer, Actor, Director)
Known for making films that glorified womanhood, their sensitive lives, feelings, and sufferings on-screen, Rituparno Ghosh was a homosexual in real life. The late filmmaker known for making films like Raincoat, The Last Lear and Chokherbali was a self-acclaimed gay who fearlessly always donned a semi-woman attire and had no qualms about it. Rituparno’s films which also addressed issues of homosexuality unfortunately wasn’t alive to see LGBT going legal in India but her work left behind will always be remembered for times to come.
3. Apurva Asrani (Writer, Director)
Apurva Asrani, the award-winning filmmaker, editor, and writer kept his sexuality under wraps until recently. Known for working on successful films like Satya (1998), Shahid (2013), and CityLights (2014), he is one of the few Bollywood celebs who openly confessed to being gay and how now his parents have started respecting him for what he is. Besides being an influential voice in the fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ in India, had sometime back revealed his gay partner Siddhant’s name with whom he pretended to be cousins for 13 years before they could rent a home together. Recently he announced his separation from Siddhant after a 14-year long relationship.
4. Sabyasachi Mukherjee (Costume Designer)
The ace fashion and costume designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee is popularly known for designing clothes for celebs like Vidya Balan, Rani Mukherjee, Sridevi, Tabu, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Shraddha Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan. Though he has been very private about his life as one of Bollywood’s gay costume designers has come in full support of the LGBT community. He started his Bollywood career by designing costumes for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Black and later went on to do the same for movies such as Baabul, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Raavan, Guzaarish, Paa, No One Killed Jessica and English Vinglish.
5. Onir (Writer, Director)
Writer, producer, and director, Onir is best known for mainstream Hindi films like I Am, My Brother…Nikhil, Shab, etc., has always made films dealing with AIDS and same-sex relationships. He too had claimed to be gay and often vented his anger for not being accepted for the way he is through his films and write-ups. Though he has been vocal about his sexuality and voiced his opinion through interviews and social media on LGBT rights and issues, Onir easily finds himself as one of Bollywood’s leading gay celebs if not one of the top 10 LGBT celebrities in Hindi movie industry.
6. Bobby Darling (Actor)
Pankaj Sharma changed his name to Bobby Darling as he felt that she was a woman trapped in a man’s body. Bobby Darling was known for being gay right from the beginning of her career, which was also the reason why she ranked among the top 10 LGBT actors in Bollywood as she was offered only gay roles in Bollywood movies. Though she underwent a sex transition operation but not before appearing in the Limca Book of Records for doing 18 roles as a gay on-screen. Some of her notable films have been Style, Chalte Chalte, Page 3, Kyaa Kool Hai Hum, Apna Sapna Money Money, and Hasee Toh Phasee.
7. VJ Andy (Actor, VJ)
VJ Andy may not figure in the list of the top 10 LGBT celebrities in Bollywood but surely is known for his anchoring and hosting skills on some popular TV shows. Having been a Bigg Boss participant and appearing in a few supporting roles in films like Bachna Ae Haseeno, Kya Kool Hain Hum 3, Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai and others, Anand Kumar rechristened himself into VJ Andy and proclaimed to be gay. Though linked to another Bigg Boss contestant Sangram Singh, VJ Andy seems to be quite popular among the audiences.
8. Rohit Bal (Costume Designer)
One of Bollywood’s top fashion and costume designers, Rohit Bal has at times confessed to belonging to the LGBT community and that his heart belonged to model Lalit Tehlan as they both were in a relationship for three long years. But, here's the interesting part, his ex-boyfriend is now rumoured to be in a relationship with a woman named Mandy. Rohit has designed costumes for men as well as women which includes the likes of Cindy Crawford, Pamela Anderson and Uma Thurman among various Indian celebrities. He has also designed dresses for Amitabh Bachchan in Kaun Banega Crorepati.
9. Shonali Bose (Writer, Director)
The award-winning film writer, producer and director, Shonali Bose was reported to have claimed to be bisexual. Known for directing films like Amu (2005), Margarita with a Straw (2015) and The Sky is Pink (2019), Shonali’s films have touched upon sensitive themes and issues that she believed in and which is also the reason why she has been open about her sexuality in real life. She was married to Indian scientist turned film director Bedabrata Pain who had directed the period drama Chittagong (2012) but separated after their only son named Ishan Bose-Pain died on 13 September 2010 at age 16.
10. Manish Malhotra (Costume Designer)
Manish Malhotra is one of the top 10 LGBT celebs in Bollywood who needs no introduction to Bollywood fashionistas; the top-notch fashion and costume designer has been a hot favourite with many of the top Bollywood heroines like Juhi Chawla, Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Priyanka Chopra, Preity Zinta, etc. by making them look ravishing and beautiful on screen. Manish had confirmed that he is homosexual many years back and seems to have no qualms about it. He has never been linked to anyone and continues to be more famous for his work than his sexuality. Some of his notable works have been in films like Rangeela, DDLJ, Raja Hindustani, Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai, K3G, etc.
11. Gazal Dhaliwal (Writer, Actor)
The latest to come to light as a transgender woman in Bollywood is Gazal Dhaliwal who had declared on Aamir Khan’s talk show program on Star Plus ‘Satyamev Jayate’ some time back that she was a woman from within who was trapped in a man’s body. Gazal is an upcoming writer and actor who started her Bollywood career by writing the dialogues of Wazir (2016), which she followed up by writing the script for Irrfan Khan starrer Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017) and Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Sonam Kapoor starrer Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019).
12. Wendell Rodricks (Fashion & Costume Designer)
Wendell Rodricks, the famous fashion designer was a homosexual who married his long-time partner Jerome Marrel in a civil ceremony in Paris in 2002. Also known as an activist for social causes, the environment, and gay rights, Wendell made cameo appearances in films like Boom (2003), Fashion (2008), and in the television play True West in 2002. A recipient of the Padma Shri Award in 2014, he went on to design for actresses like Lisa Ray, Deepika Padukone, Malaika Arora, and Anushka Sharma. Wendell died on 12 February 2020 at his home in Colvale, Goa, at the age of 59.