Sexuality is a basic part of most people’s lives, but much of the science on it remains unclear. Sometimes the gender assigned at birth doesn’t match the sexual preferences and that is why we use terms as queer or transgender. And one of the most prevalent problem faced by transgender in India is that they are still not accepted. It’s not like criticizing them in particular but people still finds it difficult to accept such differences. Be it the fault of our upbringing or a sense of superiority- discrimination is the least we do to such people. And among all such chaos a group much likely from their own has taken an initiative to break down the stigma with nothing but just confidence. Ladies and gentlemen, witness India’s first transgender band- the six pack band!
All you need to know about the Six pack band
From being abandoned to being appreciated globally and recognized by winning the prestigious Cannes Grand Prix Glass Lion award, the Six Pack Band is India’s first transgender band! The band includes six members, Fida Khan, Ravina Jagtap, Asha Jagtap, Chandni Suvarnakar, Komal Jagtap and Bhavika Patil, together they had released a total of five songs so far. All these members were selected from a group of around 200 transgender who auditioned to be a part of this band. Many celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Arjun Kapoor and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan have featured on the videos and had more than 30 million views, and the band is on a roll ever since! Anushka Sharma did a wonderful voice-over in one of their recent released song ‘Hum Hain Happy’.
“When we started this project, our objective was to change the attitude of the people towards this community, which is misunderstood, ignored and neglected. We wanted to achieve that through entertainment. Today, after releasing five videos, we have reached over 25 million views on YouTube, and still counting. Our band members have become celebrities,” said Shameer Tandon, curator of the band.
It all happened for the group when Ashish Patil, the head of Yash Raj films decided to launch them as India’s first transgender band. With his help they hired a choreographer, stylist and Bollywood singing sensation Sonu Nigam, they morphed into pop stars and was widely celebrated by the people! However their journey hadn’t been that great as most of the band members were abandoned by their families since childhood. Bhavika Patil, a member among them says that she was not accepted by her family and was left to fend for her own. She worked as a nurse in a clinic where she faced a lot of discrimination which eventually forced her to quit the job. “But when I came to know that something like this (Six Pack Band) was coming up, I did not want to miss out on being part of it,” says Bhavika. Asha Jagtap on her part says that her life had never been pleasant and adds “The problems we face in our day-to-day life is different from the everyday issues that other people face. For us, acceptance is an issue.” Whereas story had been different for Fida Khan, whose parents were fully supportive of her sexuality. Just like them, every member of this band had a story to share and we guess it is these stories which made them who they are today. Their only wish is to make a mark in the musical world, and earn respect for the transgender community. The Six pack band aspires to become one of the leading bands in the world and we couldn’t agree anymore!
The Six Pack Band performs at numerous corporates, universities and forums to break stigma for a progressed world as a symbol of inspiration and change. For centuries LGBTQ people are treated as aliens and unfamiliar. They are discarded by their families and mostly even killed, 44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35% of heterosexual women. They are 9 times more likely to commit suicide than the normal population. They are regarded legally and indisputably a second-class citizen. This is where we really need the improvement and awareness on. The team of The Indianness salutes their courage and hopes that the band achieves much more success in the future!