Charan Bangaram is a fitness model and coach and a male adult entertainer. He has worked with most of the leading male photographers in India and currently works as a freelance creator for his Onlyfans website.
When did you have that “a-ha” moment and realise you were different?
I was a village boy growing up in rural Andhra. Being from a very modest background we didn’t even know what LGBT meant, but fun between friends was very normal. It was only when I came to the big city that I realised I was different and that this could actually be an option for my sexuality.
How would you describe your experience of coming out?
I have never come out properly! For me sexual contacts always happen in a very natural way, and because of my muscular body I have always had plenty of attention and opportunities to engage in male to male sex, but I never had a coming out moment, or a big announcement or anything like that.
How did your childhood and family background impact both the timing and the way you came out?
It came out at a very late stage for me given my modest and rural family background. Even today they don’t really understand what it is, but they are happy because I take care of my family obligations and their financial needs. That’s all that matters to them.
What would your advice be to anyone trying to come out?
I would recommend that they don’t make it such a big deal. I know that’s easier said than done, but no matter how big you think it is for you, it is usually not as relevant for other people. Life just goes on and people just carry on, so don’t delay coming out because every moment you stay in the darkness is a moment of pain.
What was the most difficult experience you faced in your life because of your sexual orientation/gender identity? How did you handle it?
For me the most difficult moments are when someone rejects me or has reservations when working with me. In modelling for example, some models may be concerned about working with me because of my sexual orientation. The funny thing is that straight guys are less scared, it’s mostly the closeted gays who are more hostile, they are probably scared to expose themselves by associating with me, I don’t know.
Who is the most important role model in your life and why?
Rohan Pujario, Mr. Gay India 2017 is a very influential personality for me. He is a great champion of our LGBT rights, and at the same time very modest and humble, never bragging about being a celebrity. I like people who stay close to their roots no matter how high they reach. For me it’s very ridiculous to see people with big attitudes after reaching some levels, when we know that they used to shit in a bucket not many years ago.
Now when broadening your horizon, describe your experience being a member of the LGBTQ community at work? In your industry?
In my industry I am aware I am kind of a pioneer. Adult entertainment industry is still in a very primitive stage in our country, and when it comes to LGTBQ it was almost non-existent. Therefore being a male adult entertainer and for the LGTBQ community it’s almost like a double challenge. There are no visible role models, because we did not have porn stars in the past or they were anonymous so we were not able to know or learn much about their rights. From other countries I admire porn stars like Arad Winwin or Sharok, they also come from this part of the world and they have been able to make themselves a name working hard. That's all we aspire to.
What could make the biggest positive impact for the LGBTQ community?
For me it’s all about normalization. Legislation is important, but visibility is even more important. People need to be aware that we are everywhere, in our schools, in our offices, and why not also in our porn :) Because statistically we are a percentage of the population and we cannot just be invisible forever.
Finally, and on a less serious note, what stereotype do you love the most about the LGBTQ community?
I guess I love the bitchiness. It is true that we can be very acid, but in the end it’s just a facade to hide the real truth, that we have a special sensitivity and are very vulnerable, because in addition to all the challenges that Life throws at you, we have an extra one (and some of us like myself, more than one!)
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