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A collection of oral histories
of LGBT persons

15. Parmesh Shahani

Parmesh Shahani
Photo Courtesy - Light & Magic Photography

Parmesh Shahani wears his style and sexuality on his sleeve
- be it speaking at the high-powered TED conference, signing
away his book Gay Bombay, board meeting at his corporate
office or a gay party in town! However Parmesh admits to be
a late bloomer, becoming comfortable with his sexuality only
after meeting Riyad and Roy Wadia and going abroad to
study at MIT, Boston. But now back in India and heading a
thinktank called Culture Lab and instituting a diversity policy
at his corporate office, Parmesh is never afraid to speak his
mind. With a finger on the contemporary gay pulse and a
global vision, he is an inspiration for the youth.

Vivek Anand

Concept, Interviews & Direction:
Sridhar Rangayan

project BOLO - vol1

Watch BOLO Video of Parmesh Shahani


Excerpts from BOLO Interview

Parmesh: Actually most of all of my working life, (I have
made sure) that I won't be treated any differently than
anyone else… because of anything… certainly not
because of my sexuality. So, whether it was the Times,
whether it was at Mahindra , (wherever I have worked)…

So earlier, when I was at Mahindra, I was in a relationship…
So my desk had a photo of me and my spouse on it…
just like my boss' desk has a photo of him and his wife on
it. My photo wasn't kept face down, it was kept face up.
When people would ask me who is this? I wouldn't say,
'it's my friend'… I would say, 'this is my partner'… 'ummmm
what is that?'… I would say, 'Boyfriend, you know'… and
then it was like, 'Oh!'… And that was that. I have never
really been… I don't know, I am sure people talk about it,
maybe they talk about it behind my back… but they
certainly don't talk about it to my face.

I don't think one has to be out. I am far from it… I think
people should have the right to represent themselves in
exactly the way they want to… and nobody should pressurize
them in any way to be anything other than who they want
to be… whether it's with one's sexuality or anything else.
I mean one's own identity, in any sense, is a construct…
but one decides what one wants to, right?



India : Queer Ink
International : Amazon

Supported by
UNDP India
Produced by
The Humsafar Trust

Associate Producer
Solaris Pictures
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