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India talk show changes views on gays

India talk show changes views on gays

Indian actor Aamir Khan’s hit talk show Satyamev Jayate last night tackled the taboo subject of ‘alternative sexualities,’ with many viewers saying the program changed their perception of LGBTI people.

Guests included transgender woman Gazal Dhaliwal and her parents, popular psychologist Deepak Kashyap and LGBTI activists.

Khan listened sympathetically as his LGBTI guests told their coming out stories. Several stressed the importance of parental relationships in shaping their lives and fighting depression and suicidial thoughts.

Khan said LGBTI people should not feel fear or shame in accepting their sexual orientation, which they were born with.

Doctors explained that homosexuality was not a disease and could not be cured with yoga while lawyers explained the colonial origins of Section 377 of the penal code, which criminalizes gay sex.

The show has a reach of 129.6 million and had a massive impact on viewers.

The hashtag #FreedomForLGBT became the top trending topic globally on Twitter and 1.7 million missed calls were made to a hotline set up by the show to protest the anti-gay law.

Veena Chowdary wrote on the show’s website, ‘In a span of 1 hour you have changed the way I used to feel about LGBT. Hope your work towards "making the society better" continues.’

Divyaraj Gadhvi tweeted, ‘I pledge today I will never crack jokes on homosexuals or transgenders. Become sensitive on this issue.’

India recriminalized gay sex in December last year.

Watch the show with English subtitles below: