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Lavanya Bahuguna


Runner-Up Mr Gay World India’18, Ashish Chopra, Introduces Us To His Drag Avatar ‘Cumsin Haseena’

  • IWB Post
  •  July 9, 2018

In a candid interview with IWB, the first runner-up of Mr Gay World India 2018, Ashish Chopra, opened up about his memorable coming out moments and how he ended up naming his startling avatar of a Drag Queen Cumsin Haseena.

Read excerpts below:

Do you have an interesting coming out story?

I very much have one. I was a teenager when I opened up to my brother about my sexuality. We lived in different cities back then when I decided to message him my real story. His is still the yummiest, most supportive reply I’ve ever got from anyone. He said, “I know it. Enjoy the ice-cream.”

He already knew it?

Yes, apparently he knew about my first boyfriend in school and even accepted going through my internet’s browsing history. Ha-ha.

We wonder what was your parents’ reaction?

For some time, my mother thought I will ‘change’ my mind. But now she tells me how relieved she feels on my part as she doesn’t have to look for a bahu anymore.

We’ve heard many stories of how the LGBTQ+ people face discrimination at work. Is that a case with you, too?

Thankfully, no. I work at Wipro that gives me enough space to be myself. My team is extremely warm, doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable because of my sexual choices. Many of them follow me on social media and probably, that’s how they got to know about me. However, there is this one guy who regularly asks questions like – ‘When did you realize you’re a Transgender?’ Somehow, he doesn’t happen to understand that first, I’m gay and not a trans person, and second, I never had a particular moment of realization. I was always aware of my sexuality but didn’t have the courage to talk about it. I think his is a case of lack of sex-education in our country.

Now that you’ve taken part in a celebrated gay beauty pageant and are famous, how are you utilizing your fame for the betterment of the community?

At work, I get to create and lead events that normalize homosexuality. I organize small events like talk-shows or movie-screenings that helps eliminate homophobia in some way. Apart from this, I collaborate with artists to create art projects that celebrate pride.

Your lips, my lips Apocalypse Picture by- @vebooo @fotophactory11 #hgqueerintimacy #queer #lgbt #gayindian #gaycouple #instagay #pride #gaypride #gaybeard #instaboy #homo #gayindia #grindr #gayotter #gaytwink #beardporn #gaygram #gaykiss #couplekissing #kiss

591 Likes, 28 Comments – Ashish Chopra (@thechopranextdoor) on Instagram: “Your lips, my lips Apocalypse Picture by- @vebooo @fotophactory11 #hgqueerintimacy #queer #lgbt…”

Talking about your Drag Queen avatar, who inspired you to be one?

It has to be my friend Sushant, also known as Rani Ko-He-Noor. Apart from him, I think it’s the confidence I get being a Drag that counts the most.

We’re intrigued, why the name Cumsin Haseena?

I know, right? Well, it was during a party with my friends when I expressed my desire to be a Drag Queen. I requested name-suggestion and everyone agreed on the word Haseena. I liked it but thought it lacked a cheeky adjective. So we zeroed in on the famous Hindi phrase that goes like ‘Kamsin Haseena’ (which I guess translates to sultry beauty). Of course, I added a pun to it.

Are you trying to shatter any stereotype with Cumsin Haseena?

I am trying to make people comfortable around a bearded Drag Queen. People like Drags who’re fully loaded with makeup and sexy femme clothes. But I think a Drag Queen can be whosoever she wants to be. If she likes beard, deal with it.

You tell me what men can’t do, and I will do it. Thanks for the picture @joseph_monis #queerandalliesartfestival #querr #gay #instagay #gayindian

428 Likes, 17 Comments – Ashish Chopra (@thechopranextdoor) on Instagram: “You tell me what men can’t do, and I will do it. Thanks for the picture @joseph_monis…”

Do you receive hate messages?

I do and sadly, they are mostly from the people within the community. But I ignore the hatred and concentrate on the love I get from family, friends, and colleagues.

Lastly, what have you discovered about yourself in this journey?

That I can walk in heels for good 3 kilometers at a Pride Walk (laughs). On a serious note, it feels beautiful inside to be finally able to breathe in my truest form.

(image source)

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