How many straight men in India today can rock a nose ring or own an anarkali silhouette with effortless elan? In a scenario where the colour pink still has negative queer connotation and sartorial androgyny is equated with inappropriate dressing, it’s heartwarming to come across role models like Ranveer Singh, who manage to ignite a style revolution among individuals itching to break the cocoon of cliched, so-called gender-appropriate dress codes.
In Diti’s words…
“When I woke up in the morning, I expected it to be like another regular work day. But fate had something else in store for that day. I got a call saying I had the opportunity to meet Ranveer Singh as part of a star-fan meet-and-greet that I had filled out online. At first, I thought it was a prank but when they informed me of the time and venue, I realised that probably it is going to be a dream come true after all.
Why I love Ranveer
People who know me believe that I am one of Ranveer Singh’s crazy fans. I would like to believe that I am not. I am a non-binary transgender person who finds inspiration in him. While I liked him for his quirky sense of style and his flamboyance, what sealed my love for him was when earlier this year he was seen on the cover of L’Officiel sporting a septum ring. As time went by, he broke more gender norms with regards to dressing, when he wore skirts with jackets or anarkali kurtas. In a society like ours, where we think of gender only in terms of its binaries, it is very rare to find a mainstream Bollywood actor push the boundaries.
With a little help…
It was a dream to be able to meet the star. When the day finally came, I rummaged through my clothes trying to freeze on the best look for the occasion. I could barely curtail my excitement. My friend Arayan, who identifies as a female-to-male transgender person and another crazy fan, helped me pick the perfect look after trying on some 100 different outfits.
Wanna be like him
Finally, I was face to face with Ranveer and shared my story briefly. I expressed my love for him and told him that someday I would like to look like him and be able to carry myself as comfortably as he does in his own skin.
While he may be privileged in a way where his dress or gender performance does not question his masculinity, many like me do not enjoy the same. We have to constantly fight to dress up and be the way we want to. Hence, it is important that we have more people who challenge these binaries of gender.
My love for Ranveer does not mean that I will not be upset when he does sexist ads or films. I wish he would learn and be more responsible in the future. But he still remains inspirational to me.”