Drawing ire from various LGBTQ groups in the country, south Indian actor Geetha was strongly condemned for insulting a queer couple on a TV show.
The actor who hosts the show Bathuku Jataka Bandi on Zee Telugu had criticised and threatened the couple, a 20-year-old woman and a 23-year-old trans-man, for their sexual preferences.
The TV programme claims to be a socially responsive show, where disturbed families are reunited through a course of dispute settlement and counselling. In the October 31 episode of the show, the actor called the couple and its families in an attempt to reunite them. “When she came to propose you, how could you have said anything, isn’t she a girl?” Geetha had started questioning the trans-man.
“Like a guy, you might have took her from her home. What if some goons attack you or do something to you two girls? I know girls and girls and boys and boys are marrying each other. But, do you think this is practically possible?” the actor went on emphasising that these kind of relationships are imports from a Western culture and should not be followed in India.
While the trans-man spoke about how his sexual orientation was different since his childhood, Geetha mocked him for changing his dress and hairstyle, repeatedly questioning why his parents had no say in this matter.
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Geetha also called the decision immature and said it will be taboo for them to go in public. “It will be disgusting for you folks to hang around in parks and cinemas like this. It is not just enough to dress up like a man,” she had said.
In fact, the actor lost her temper and threatened the girl for eloping with him. “Aren’t you ashamed for staying with another girl? I will thrash you and break your legs for doing this,” she added.
The actor had also invited the respective parents on to the show and asked them to settle the dispute and if necessary suggest them to get medical help. She had asked the parents of the woman to “get her married and send her somewhere… ” to “solve the problem”.
Media reports say that Hyderabad’s LGBTQ community demanded that Zee Telugu and the team responsible for the show to publicly apologise for their language and for spreading prejudice and ignorance about the queer community.
Some people even took to Twitter to express their ire.
@GaylaxyMagazine it’s not the women it’s the society which needs change so screw sec 377
— JRKM (@JRKMHYDERABAD) November 5, 2016
@GaylaxyMagazine What a horrible woman. I’d love to thrash her.
— Trish Kirby (@Calliedog7) November 5, 2016
Shame on u Geetha!
— Ananth Singeetham (@A_None_Th) November 5, 2016
“This show has disturbed many transgender people and lesbians who watched it. The makers of the show will be fully responsible if the couple goes into depression. Now that people in Telangana are accepting their trans children, such shows will only increase their problems,” Kaveri Karthik, an LGBT activist pointed out, as quoted by Thenewsminute.com.
A video of the full episode is available online for viewing.