Karan Johar Rings in His First Birthday as a Parent

The filmmaker is an activist in his own right. 

Post the release of his autobiography An Unsuitable Boy, the world has been waiting with bated breath to hear those three words that Mr Johar said that will be left unsaid. Little did people know that he is not going to say those three words that they wish to hear anytime in near future, but instead upgraded them with three more powerful words “I’M A PARENT”.

Karan Johar has become a parent to Roohi and Yash through surrogacy. Facebook and Twitter was really happy and congratulated Karan, who became a father at 44 just like his dad Yash. And as he turns 45 today, he is celebrating his first birthday as a parent.

It takes a lot of courage to be yourself in a world that wants you to be a carbon copy. I am just glad that Karan didn’t choose to get married to a woman to go the family way. Instead, in every film, in every Koffee With Karan show, he came out of the closet. He just didn’t say “I Am Gay” because he didn’t have to say that after all the innuendos and inferred discussions.

Karan is thus, an activist in his own right. Yes, he has misconceptions that he could be jailed for being gay. You cannot be. I am gay, and not in jail. It is only illegal to have non peno-vaginal sex. His not coming out with those three words created quite a stir in LGBTIQ circles. While I applauded Karan, there were many in my community who disliked his silence.

I don’t think Karan bears the cross for the entire community. There is no one person, or one representation of the LGBTIQ community. We all are diverse like chalk and cheese. I can understand Karan’s fears. I can decipher that he was just feeling responsible that he is bringing two lives into this world and that fear manifested in ways that he feared spelling it out to the world that he is gay.

I know gay men who have opted for surrogacy. But there is a difference when someone like Karan does it. He has taken a giant leap, as a single father, as a gay father, as a single gay father and as someone who has taken surrogacy after Sushma Swaraj made that infamous comment banning homosexuals from surrogacy. Fortunately, the woman carrying Karan’s child would have already been deep in her pregnancy when Sushma’s comments came in. It is all good timing that worked in Karan’s favour.

It is not easy being on top and making a statement like this. This kind of courage is rare. I personally know of many actors and stars and directors who have gay affairs but would act straight to the world.

Also, have you heard of the term “marriage of convenience”? It is basically when a man and a woman marry just to show the world. It’s a pact and sometimes there are money exchanges for the same along with agreements. Karan didn’t go that path. He chose to live with his truth. He chose to pursue his truth.

We should not assume that it is easy up there in the top creamy layer. In fact, as shared above, it is the opposite. I know of businessmen, politicians and other bigwigs who think more about their market share and shareholders than when they make such really personal decisions to come out. Also, not everyone braves homophobic jibes like Karan does.

Here’s a little snippet:

Here’s someone teasing Karan as someone wanting to be a mother someday. As if parenting has any gender?

Karan inspires genetic biology.

Of course, Shahrukh would have a mighty laughter when he watches this.

This guy fails to see that Karan is blessed. He is not restricted by gender roles, he is beyond it. He is a parent. Just a parent.

And finally here. Her profile says that she is a PhD in Human Rights and Social Work and is followed by the Prime Minister on twitter.

Hence it is proved - education doesn’t teach us values of respect and equality.

(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)

(This article is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on 6 March 2017. It is now being republished to mark Karan Johar’s birthday.)