17 April, 2021

The Closet Is Ajar

Homosexuality has been largely absent from popular cinema, but the idea is catching steam

The Closet Is Ajar
At the turn of the 21st century, the rapid spread of satellite TV and new media technologies continue to transform the cultural practices of the urban middle class. There was excitement and apprehension in the early '90s as an endless diversity of images flowed into private and public spaces. The anxieties emerged directly from the increasing popularity of TV and the expanding space being devoted to the expression of sex and sexuality. Throughout the '90s, the Hindu Right and other organisations attacked the more transgressive representations of women's bodies and demanded stringent legislation and greater censorship.

Sexual speech came under special attention as newscasts, talk shows, sitcoms and a variety of TV shows challenged conventional family values and sexual normativity including monogamy, marriage and heterosexuality. In the mid-'90s, sitcoms (like Hum Paanch, Shriman Shrimati) featured characters who were unmistakably queer while mainstream films like Daayra, Darmiyaan and Tamanna challenged heteronormativity by presenting queer protagonists....

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