Now Reading
How this Indian drag queen felt marching at Mumbai Pride with his father

How this Indian drag queen felt marching at Mumbai Pride with his father

Rani Ko-HE-Nur and her father (Photo: Provided)

Gay heartthrob and LGBTI flag-bearer, Sushant Divgikar, walked hand-in-hand with his father as his drag alter ego, Rani Ko-HE-Nur, at Mumbai pride this weekend.

‘My father held my hand and matched his clothes with mine’ said Divgikar. ‘When I walk with my dad I know that his hand is the only one that matters, and I’m holding it’.

Divgikar was crowned Mr Gay India in 2014. He was placed in the top ten and won a number of awards at Mr Gay World that year.

Now 28, Divgikar has spent the last few years modeling, singing, acting, and campaigning for LGBTI rights.

A strong ally of India’s LGBTI community, Divgikar’s father has attended five Mumbai pride parades. But, this was the first time he walked with Rani.

Rani Ko-HE-Nur at Mumbai Pride (Photo: Provided)
Rani Ko-HE-Nur at Mumbai Pride (Photo: Provided)

Record-breaking

A record-breaking 15,000 people attended this year’s Queer Azaadi Mumbai Pride.

The annual celebration was the first parade ever since the subcontinent decriminalized gay sex in September 2018.

‘This year was absolutely amazing’ said Divgikar. ‘It was so vibrant and so well-attended’.

‘We also celebrated the end of an archaic law, Section 377 of the Penal Code, which was imposed on us by the British during the colonial era,’ he explained.

Rani Ko-HE-Nur and her father attend Mumbai pride (Photo: Provided)
Rani Ko-HE-Nur and her father attend Mumbai pride (Photo: Provided)

‘Our biggest ally’

Divgikar said his dad become of the community’s biggest allies. ‘He was very emotional to see so many people his year’ Divgikar told Gay Star News.

‘He is not only my dad but a dad to the entire community in my city and the country’ Divgikar said. His dad ‘has guided not only children but also their parents to make coming out an easier process’.

In fact, when Divgikar was 18, it was father who prompted him to come out. ‘He told me there’s no problem in being who you are and going forward, I will protect you and care for you more than ever before’.

The first time his father in drag he said: ‘Wow, if we had had a daughter, this is what she would look like’.

‘He even suggested I should wear Gajra [traditional flowers] in my hair as it would add the Indian flavour to my look’.

‘I had tears in my eyes,’ Divgikar said.

Indian drag queen Rani Ko-HE-Nur and her father at Mumbai Pride (Photo: Provided)
Indian drag queen Rani Ko-HE-Nur and her father at Mumbai Pride (Photo: Provided)

See also:

‘No one was wearing masks this time,’ why this Mumbai Pride was important

PHOTOS: Mumbai’s first Pride parade since India decriminalized homosexuality

Free queer hugs kick off Mumbai pride month