‘Comfortable being a Pakistani lesbian’: Fawzia Mirza
Fawzia’s short films and a one-woman play entitled Me, My Mom & Sharmila — a homage to Sharmila Tagore have stirred debates and incited discussion among South Asians all over the world.
“I was told by everyone who mattered that it was dangerous for me to be an out-of-the-closet lesbian, who is a Pakistani in America. But I’ve never played by the rules,” says the Pakistani filmmaker.
“I wanted to be all the things that I saw myself being,” she adds. “If some of my roles made other people uncomfortable, so be it. As long as I am comfortable being a Pakistani lesbian, who is also an activist and an actress, I see no reason for anyone to be upset about it.”
Her Pakistani brethren were certainly upset and Fawzia discovered this when she went to her country of origin with her play Me, My Mom & Sharmila.
But the hate doesn’t stop there; social media is full of trolls, people policing others, and inciting hate.
“There is so much hatred on the social network. My initial instincts were to block the ugly attacks on my sexuality, my nationality, my work and my identity. But instead I chose to tackle the hatred, try to reason with it,” says the actor.
“I’ve grown up on tales of India and #Bollywood. I have never visited India but I plan to tour the country soon, especially now when I’ve worked with Shabanaji,” she says. “I find my bonding with India stronger than ever. I hope I get a visa to travel in India.”