Dear Karan Johar, living your life unabashedly is the truest form of activism
Congratulations and best wishes for the two lives you have brought in this world. I am certain that you will bring up your children Yash and Roohi well. They say child is the father of man. Or to be appropriate, let’s say “parent” of man.
You have stood true to this dictum in your thoughtful ways, by naming your children after your father and an anagram of your mother’s name. I don’t have a human child, but let me tell you as a parent, albeit of three non-human children, the struggles of parenthood are all the same.
The fear of whether they are being treated well in your absence, whether they have eaten food, whether they have enough play, whether they have the right values to live in the society without being a threat but an asset — you know the works.
Your father was 44 when you were born. You are 44 now as a father. Life takes a whole circle.
History has a strange habit of repeating itself. I do know that it is a medical miracle, but it took a great deal of courage and conviction for you to take this step. You have the money, I know. But you also have immense amount of fame which can actually be an impediment. I can only imagine that it would be very difficult to live a life that you desire in a world that always wants to make an example out of you.
There have been cases of children born of surrogacy to gay fathers in this country, but none of them made it to the headlines, but that will not be the case with you. So, I understand your silence about those 3 words which you choose not to say. You are safeguarding your life from becoming an example. You probably want your children to not walk with the tag of being children of a gay person, but just children.
It is natural to be mommy hen when it comes to protecting your children from the media glare.
The world will take time to understand that you're not 'a gay parent' or 'straight parent, or 'single parent' to your children. You simply parent children.
One fear to have clouded your mind, would be “how would the world treat my children, will they be bullied if the world deciphers that their father’s sexuality is different from the majority”? Maybe that’s what also stopped you from spelling out the three words.
But here's the thing; children don’t judge. Children speak their minds. Discrimination is learned and is transmitted through bigots. It is not innate. As someone who is gay, if I was in your place, I would have told my children and the world that I am gay. There is homophobia in the world, but there is more love.
I say this often, and I say this again, living your life truly and unabashedly is the truest form of activism. You, in living your life like everyone else, are being an activist. I consider you a part of my LGBTIQ community. I know you are famous. Your stakes are always high. However, I am certain that you will find a way to mitigate the distance between truth and love through the metaphorical umbilical cord that connects your life truths with your son and daughter.
Karan, your whole life from now on, is going to be about activism.
Every time you do something for your kids, or say something about your kids, the world would want to make an example out of you. You have in a way kindled a ray of hope in many single gay men for whom ‘getting settled’ would mean having a child.
You may also see a lot of jealousy. As you are aware, you are lucky that the kind lady who decided to carry your child was already pregnant when the surrogacy bill was proposed in November last year.
It is certain though that even a lot of people from our own LGBTIQ community will be a little unkind with you and label you elite, lucky, coward etc. That’s how their jealousy would find an outlet. But not all are like that. Some love you, some admire you for not just the films you make, (you have made some atrocious films too) but for the person that you are.
I am certain, Karan, that for your children, you will be the best parent they can dote on, the best friend they can discuss anything and everything.
Your children will have all the riches in the world, but most importantly, they would have inherited the value of courage – to dream a little dream, a different yet the same dream, in a world that wants you to subscribe to the majoritarian view.
You could have lied, you could have tied the knot with a woman. You chose the path of truth instead. Sometimes truth is not said in words but is displayed in deeds. To live your truth in a world filled with lies, is revolutionary.
Thank you for this. You inspire me.