How about I say a gay couple is currently being featured on an “Indian” reality TV show — sounds unusual right! But that’s how it has been for the last few months now.
MTV’s Love School – an Indian youth-based reality TV show – has set new grounds in the industry by featuring same-sex couples as contestants. The show began in February this year and with each passing week; the show gets even more interesting.
In the not-too-distant past, Indian reality TV shows, such as Big Boss and KBC featured and are still inviting LGBTQ+ contestants to participate. However, watching “same-sex” couples as participants and openly canoodling in Indian reality TV shows is something unheard of.
“Since the scrapping of Section 377 last year, MTV feels it should include diverse participants in its reality shows. Love is not limited to the male and female — it is gender blind,” said an inside source to Gaylaxy.
“Through this reality show, we are trying to change the mindset of Indian youth and perhaps the entire Indian society and prove that love transcends age, sex, colour and status,” they added.
Here is what the gay couple contestants have to say!
It has been almost a month since the gay couple — Dev and Poojan – has been a part of this show. They feel much welcomed and comfortable living among other participants.
“I went on MTV Love School Season 4 to further my understanding of love, relationship and find solutions to problems generally faced by all couples,” says Poojan.
Even though in the first few episodes, Poojan and Dev, had a small tiff, they still maintained a positive outlook about themselves.
“It has been a great experience on MTV Love School, with many crucial revelations of love and self-discovery. It has been an honourable journey to be on the show learning and developing a healthy relationship with my loved one and my real self,” he adds.
Has the Indian society welcomed such a change?
Irrespective of the bold steps taken by Indian television channels, nothing much has changed in the way Indian society perceives the LGBTQ+ community.
After spending a few weeks on the show, Poojan says that it takes time for people to accept such changes instantly. He said, “to be able to stand up for this belief officially on the Indian television has got a great sense of liberation and hope to me personally.”
“We know the past of our country and the battle we have fought to prove our love. After the decriminalization of section 377, we can openly love who we want and be accepted for all that we are,” he noted.
“It is such an incredible experience that Dev and I received so much love, acceptance and are being treated similar to every other couple on the show,” Poojan said adding, “the Love Professors, Karan and Anusha understood the struggle it has been to get to this point, where we can truly express our love so openly and proudly.”
Adam Pasha, Bengaluru based LGBTQIA community member and a stage dancer, who was recently a part of the Big Boss Kannada Season 6, says that people do have problems associating with the LGBTQ+ community albeit it’s not evident.
He says most reality TV shows leverage their brand value under the pretext of promoting social causes such as the scrapping of Section 377. Unlike Poojan, Adam has a completely different reality TV experience to narrate.
“At the Big Boss house, few people were pretentious in their approach towards me. It was the ‘educated’ people (in particular two participants) in the house who had a rigid mindset in accepting me the way I am,” Adam told Gaylaxy over the phone.
“Likewise, there is scope for change. For instance, Naveen Sajju, who hails from a village, wanted to know more about the community. Given the time, India will gradually accommodate the LGBTQIA community,” Adam added.