Five months ago, India made history when it elected its first transgender mayor. Now LGBT rights in the country are hitting headlines again, with this viral clothing advert featuring a lesbian couple. This is big news, because being homosexual was recently made illegal again, and positive perceptions of LGBT people are needed now more than ever.
Same-sex relationships are punishable by imprisonment in India, but Anouk Ethnic Wear’s online advert strives to depict LGBT people in a positive light, and appeals to public conscience.
The ad, called "The Visit", shows a lesbian couple getting ready ahead of a visit from a parent. They share make-up, banter and behave like a regular couple. So far, so normal – until you remember that this is enough to get the pair thrown in jail.
Avishek Ghosh, one of the ad's producers, told The Times of India: "We tried to avoid the stereotypes associated with gay people. There was no one woman looking more masculine or feminine in the film. We tried to give it a candid feel like it is any other couple being apprehensive about meeting the parents."
Anouk Ethnic Wear shared the video on their Facebook page with the statement: "Standing up for what you believe in is never easy. But the struggle is what makes the journey so beautiful."
They've also started a campaign called #AnoukBoldIsBeautiful, urging marginalised people to share their stories. Let’s hope this is the beginning of positive change for LGBT people and their freedom in India.