Take Pride in Pride & Don’t Just Advertise

Graphic by Bibi Hajira

What is one of the biggest reasons for a quote, meme, movie, or music to go viral or gain a million likes and shares? – Relativity!

We like and feel relatable to the movies we watch, the songs we listen to, and the piece of literature we read, isn’t that why we all have a favorite song paragraph or a favorite quote saved somewhere in our galleries we keep going back to? We love watching, learning, and knowing more from people we can relate to.

Queerbaiting is one such crime that attracts you by depicting content you might feel like watching however, never delivers one! We all are aware of the term queer used for the LGBTQ and queer-baiting means “implying” a relationship, emotional or sexual tension, and chemistry between same-sex characters but, only to attract you and make you want to watch it and never actually portraying a relationship – yes! you got it right, it’s a marketing technique to increase its viewership which many people do but, is called out IT IS NO JOKE to prank about a topic that needs support and not fake hopes.

Queer baiting is a deliberate action teasing the group by showcasing the slight possibility of similar characters, stories around it, or concerning them to merely gain the attention of the LGBTQ community and to appeal to the audience to increase the views, shares, and conversion. Often content makers tease a topic and a talking point that is currently been largely spoken about and a hot topic for the media or people in general when the eradication of section 377 was in talks, it is since then that people have gained awareness and have started talking about this topic. Movies have been made, posts and articles have been shared to support and encourage a better understanding and acceptance to build social inclusiveness so many people want to see, explore and learn about queer as it is new and unheard and unseen to many and content creators often take advantage of this opportunity to stimulate the eagerness in people who want to know more, show and convince them of that they will see a relationship as such but, audiences do not find any actual portrayal!

There have been many people accused of queerbaiting like Billie Eilish for her “sexually suggestive” post with the caption “I love girls”. Another example that strikes my mind is a recent Netflix original that I watched – The Selection Day starring a few of the most renowned actors In Bollywood wherein 2 young boys are initially shown to have chemistry, affection, and physical and emotional tension between them on the cricket ground of the Weinberg Academy but, never clearly depicting any relationship between the two and later portraying the reason of their similarity as similar past experiences.

This is not how we embrace minorities; this is not how we support communities who have already been hiding, facing, and tolerating social unjust especially on national television because it influences people in our country in so many ways. While some platforms and movies try to encourage and educate people on socially concerned topics, some creators look at them as a way of attracting and enticing their audience as well as gain new viewers. Maybe if queer were a religious group, they wouldn’t have had to struggle so much to feel socially inclusive, be considered, receive political support, and be treated normally by every other person on the street! Isn’t that true? In India we preach that there exists god within each one of us but, refuse to worship the ones who reside in the poor, the untouchables, blacks, specially challenged, the queers!

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