"Usually gay characters are made fun or shown in a caricaturist way.”
Actress and model Bani J believes that by showcasing more stories about the sexuality of people onscreen can normalise the discussion in society.
This comes after her latest role where she plays a bisexual gym trainer in Amazon Prime Video show Four More Shots Please!
She said the role was a refreshing change as it was written with sensitivity.
Bani explained: “Talking about sexuality, the more you see and talk about it, the more normalised it gets.
“In India till date being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender or other labels, people get scared and have nothing to say about it.
“When we hate something, it comes from lack of understanding, which comes from a lack of awareness.
“So more stories like these are told or discussed and that too by people who do not get mocked easily.”
The actress believes one of the reasons why Umang was widely accepted was that the character was portrayed in a way where no one wanted to mock her for trying to be herself.
Bani continued: “All this has to do with the way the character was written.
“Usually gay characters are made fun or shown in a caricaturist way.”
Bani J started her career by competing on the popular Indian reality show MTV Roadies season four and emerged a runner-up.
Four More Shots Please! was created by Rangita Pritish Nandy and produced by Pritish Nandy Communications.
The show explores the lives of four women in an unabashed and unapologetic way. It also stars Kirti Kulhari, Sayani Gupta and Maanvi Gagroo.
Four More Shots Please! was nominated at the 2020 International Emmy Awards for Best Comedy Series.
When Bani first heard about the web series receiving a nomination, she was “pleasantly surprised and shocked”.
She added: “It didn’t sink in for a while. We got nominated and that for me was the end of the story.
“I am going to feel more when the results are announced.
“I don’t know why everybody thinks that life is going to change after an Emmy nomination.
“Is it like suddenly people will take us more seriously or will we be offered more work?”
In the show, Gupta plays Damini, a journalist who is trying to deal with professional challenges and her tumultuous love life. Kulhari essays the role of a single mother, who is a successful lawyer. Whereas Gagroo is a single child from a wealthy family.
Bani said the aim of the show is to address and explore a lot of issues including sexuality through these four different women.
She elaborated: “In reality, we all are experiencing things that women go through in India.
“Our culture is trying to be forward yet it is so backward as we are traditional and want to be modern at the same time.”
“There is a lot of clash that happens and how society judges you when you try and do your own things.
“People appreciated these things and that is something that is the cornerstone of our show.”
She added that the third season was in the works.
“I am very excited about it. All I can say is, it will be the biggest and the best. We are starting to shoot soon.”