Forbes 30 under 30 -Asia class of 2020, Singer, Model, Actor, Psychologist, and more. The accomplishments and titles of this person are so many, that it would take us more than an article to appreciate it all. Mr. Gay 2014 and India’s mainstream drag queen Sushant Divgikr is someone who has become an international celebrity after starting their journey from performing at school. She inspires people to embrace their individuality, use makeup as a tool to express themselves uninhibitedly, and take very good care of themselves.
As June is the Pride month, Sushant has decided to give a part of their earnings this month to the education of trans students who deserve all the opportunities. They’ve also asked people to come forward and be a part of this movement.
Today is World Pride Day and we had a conversation with Sushant where they told us about their journey, aspirations, achievements, and difficulties. Here’s some of it-
How was the support in life throughout school, college, and home? How did your parents react when they saw you perform as Rani KoHeNur first?
The support for my performances throughout my life has been wonderful- from my family, friends, and teachers. I am still in touch with my school teachers, principal, and friends. My teachers have always played the role of mother and I am so grateful to them all. I was a lucky person as I found friends who were standing there with me when no one else was. I was in an all-boys school and when I won my first pageant in school, I remember people calling me names. At that point, I had a friend, who stood by me and told all the boys, “You don’t have the guts to go and be on the stage. At least he has, so do what you can- Applause from the audience.” That’s the kind of support I have got from people around me.
What is something that has not changed over the years about Sushant?
There are many things that didn’t change about me- my hard work, honest behavior, and humility. There is no day when I get up and don’t want to work. Every day is a working day in my life and I love it! My admirers are my support and keep me going.
What do you think is something that remains unsaid about the queer community?
The queer community is a close-knit community. We do not want your sympathy, just support us with work. The queer community supports each other in a way that keeps me really stunned as they are
What do you believe has been your biggest achievement?
My parents were always there for me. They attended my show when I performed first time as Rani KoHeNur and have been my biggest supporters throughout and I think that is my biggest achievement. My team is also a reason why I keep going forward as without their efforts and support it would be a difficult day.
Out of all the work that you do- sing, perform, model, and more, what is it that you enjoy doing most?
As an artist, I love what I do but the work that brings me the most happiness is- social work. I have been working with various social organizations like Garima Greh and government organizations as well. The community support brings me the most happiness. I support them in all the ways I can and I believe that they all deserve an education.
Earlier this month, Sushant made it to the third biggest billboard in the world- New York’s Times Square billboard!
What was it like to see yourself on the Billboard in New York? can you explain that feeling?
Oh. That. It was a out of body experience kind of feeling. I went there with my friends and saw myself on the world’s third-biggest billboard. I was so so happy and am looking forward to making it to more billboards in future.
How do you think people can support the Trans community?
We are a community that is not ‘Bechari’. I do not like how people think we only go out to beg and earn. The people from the queer community are talented and want to work. We are able and willing to work. This community wants to study, and move ahead in their own particular fields. So please, come forward and support the kids who want to study. Help them get the jobs and earn the life they deserve.
You have talked about how Bollywood is not inclusive of transgenders and how they are not giving screen space to the transgender community to act and be a part of. Why do you think it is like that? What has your experience been like?
Bollywood has not been inclusive to people from the queer communities and it is really sad. The community artists are not seen as artists and that’s really sad. I have been told that I am not the right face for the big screen and then I made it myself to the international platforms and have represented our country there!
I believe if they are not allowing the audience to be the judge and are judging themselves that we wouldn’t be the right fit for the screen which is a completely negative way to look at it. We will change mindsets and we will do it in the right ways, not the wrong.
What is your upcoming project and what else is in the pipeline?
There is a lot going on, and I can’t reveal it all as of now. However, my latest Hollywood debut TV show is out. Paramount Pictures has made it- Queen of the Universe– it is a singing competition for Drag Queens from around the world.
What’s your message to the audience reading this interview?
My message to the people reading is that “Live and let live and love and Let love. Jo bhi karo izzat se karo aur sabki izzat karo.” Maybe you won’t understand some things about people, try to understand or respect them from a distance. But please be respectful of every person around you.
Rani KoHeNur told us about her experiences and said, “There have always been people who have supported me and who have wished me bad, but I believe the world is not a bad place, there will be all kinds of people, please be nice to everyone.”
Her humble behavior and respect for people no matter how they behave is something which makes her a Rani literally! Do check out the Drag Queen’s content online and show support to the community in the ways that you can.
Happy Pride Day!