Onir: Getting hate comments for who we are is exhausting sometimes
Filmmaker Onir opens up about queer child Pranshu Yadav's suicide, and how he deals with the hate that comes his way on social media
Filmmaker Onir is overwhelmed with a sense of sadness and disappointment after reading the news of 16-year-old queer child Pranshu Yadav, revealing name calling and hateful comments are part of their daily life.
Priyanshu Yadav, also known as Pranshu, allegedly died by suicide earlier this month after facing a slew of hate comments on an Instagram Reel that they posted on Diwali.
“The incident is really sad, especially the apathy and the amount of hate comments that follows the death is more appalling. A little empathy would have been better. There is so much hate just because he identifies a part of the queer community. Sometime back, we had a similar case with a student named Arvey Mahotra taking his own life following alleged homophobia and sexual assault inside a school,” Onir tells us.
He adds, “When it comes to awareness about sexuality and gender, we are now empowered thanks to the Supreme Court. But I don’t see the recognition of the third gender, and inclusive society. We all play an important role in creating that. As a filmmaker, I have been trying to make a film about this, trying to find interest with the actors, but all I get to hear is that we have done these things”.
Here, he asserts, “It’s about a human life being lost because of bullying and social networks. We see it happen constantly these days in various spaces… Reading such hateful comments is exhausting sometimes. Because you are bombarded with hate on social media, and nobody really takes strong measures against such abusive people. I get terrible comments on my social media, and I do report them, but nothing happens. None of these platforms have done anything to block them”.
Opening up about how he deals with it, he says, “It is exhausting. When I look at all these really horrible things, I think that I’m a better human being. But it does hurt and it is more to do with mental health as you are being abused for your identity. Sometimes it’s not easy to be strong all the time”.
“There was a time when I could not sleep at night because of the comments which I got. They started abusing my family, my father, and horrific abuses, and gave rape threats to my mother. I couldn’t shake off the negativity. In the morning, I realised that women get this more than us, and they deal with it. That gave me courage to deal with it,” he says.