Top 5 Bollywood Lesbian Icons

What is a lesbian or gay icon?

A gay icon or LGBT icon is a historical figure, celebrity or public figure who is embraced by many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities; the term Dykon, a portmanteau of the words “dyke” and “icon,” has recently entered the lexicon as a word to describe lesbian icons.[1]

These could be referred to as dykons and mind you, that does not mean they are gay or that I am insinuating their sexuality–they are simply Bollywood stars who make excellent lesbian icons due to their strength, personality and various character portrayals.

Lisa Ray

The obvious choice. Lisa Ray has played gay not once, but twice (When Kiran Met Karen, The World Unseen) in her short career that also spans incredibly movies like Bollywood Hollywood and Water. These are all must-watch movies mostly in English, with underlying cultural, racial and feminist themes. She is certainly not Bollywood A-List, but I commend Lisa Ray for taking on these roles without hesitancy and serving the Indian LGBT community in doing so.

Bipasha Basu

Oomph, attitude, looks and brains. Enough said.

And before you ask, here is a larger size of the above mag cover.

Neil Nitin Mukesh recently said that Bipasha Basu was intimidating to men. After all, she is not only beautiful, tall and strong, she has an incredible personality that can even give her cool boyfriend, John Abraham (definitely a gay icon), a complex. Her performance in Dhoom 2 as a talented and beautiful cop pretty much cements her as an icon for lesbian women. Anyone who has seen her introduction scene in Dhoom 2 where tough-cop (Lara Croft rip-off) Basu hits the bulls eye with her gun and then struts down the corridor in those tight jeans and tank top would know what I mean. Her role in Corporate as a strong business executive also places her high on this list.

Isha Koppikar

One word: Girlfriend.

Isha Koppikar and Amrita Arora acknowledge that this movie was an awful mistake. I agree. Far from being a social and political statement about Indian lesbianism, the movie stereotypically reduced female homosexuality to traumatic childhood incidents, topped with a lesbian psycho-killer storyline that did grave injustice to queers in India. Yet, Isha Koppikar delivered a performance of a lifetime, especially in the second half as a dykish kick-boxer who beats up on men at night to earn the rent. Ekdum Khallas!

Priyanka Chopra

After winning the Miss World title, a slew of damsel-in-distress, the girl-next-door and adulterous mistress roles, Priyanka finally broke through the ceiling last year with the gay-themed Dostana and Fashion, which won her a Best Actor in a Female Role Filmfare Award. But she makes this list due to her action-hero role in Drona, where she side-lined the male lead of the movie, Abhishek Bachchan (yet another gay icon), to win critical acclaim.

Nandita Das

And finally, last but not least, who can forget Fire?

And Page 3.

Banned in India and Pakistan, Fire attracted controversy and violence, which worked in favor of the slow-paced mediocre script. Controversy makes a movie, but it also makes an actress. The most appealing thing about Nandita Das is that she is not your conventionally-hot and beautiful bimbo, so-called size zero Bollywood heroine. Her appeal lies in her talent and her ability to do her sensitive roles full justice.

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you feel like someone deserves to be on this list or have your own Top 5, comment away.

And this is also not meant to offend anyone–It’s actually a huge compliment coming from this blog.
Crossposted at Desicritics

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