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Meet Cory Walia – Proud Rainbow Warrior 2022

by Priyanka Parshurami

Celebrity Make-up Artist Cory Walia was honoured with the ‘Rainbow Warrior Award 2022’ at Kaashish International Film Festival, Mumbai.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Firstly, hearty congratulations on winning the prestigious ‘The KAASHISH Rainbow Warrior Award 2022’. So, how does it feel when your struggle and efforts of all these years for empowering and uplifting towards LGTBQ community is recognized?
I feel overwhelmed on receiving this award as it was a completely unexpected one as consciously I have never gone all out to fight a battle for this community at any venue or forum. But yes, in my own little way I have contributed to this community. For example, back in the 1970s I had opened the door of my house as a meeting point of LGTBQ community. I was also the first one along with Ashok Rao Kavi to start the movements for the betterment of the community and last but not the least opened the door of beauty and wellness industry for empowering the transgender and LGBTQ community, so that they can earn their livelihood. So, yes, I indeed take pride in receiving the ‘Rainbow Warrior Award 2022’ from Kaashish Foundation.

How did your family react to your opening up about this whole thing? Were they supportive towards you? How bad was the initial struggle?
My mother was an extremely broad-minded, educated and modern thinking lady. Even my two elder sisters and aunty were also the ones who supported and stood by me during the early phase of my life. I am really lucky to have them as part of my life. And the one thing that my mother told me as soon as I came out with my orientation was that never do things, which will shame you or your family and harm your self-esteem. And trust me that is like a guru mantra, which I have had very clear in my mind since ages. And today whatever little I am able to contribute towards this community is because of the strong family support.

Now that you have been bestowed with the Rainbow Warrior Award, what are your future plans for supporting and empowering this community? Where do you see the community after 10 years in India?
Well, the fact that Kaashish is in its 12th year itself says leaps and bounds about the community. And also this event happening at Liberty Cinema also says volume about this movement and changes. And as part of empowering this community I would love to see reforms like finding ways to put into place the ability to catch, deal with and eliminate the predators. I would also like to employ the small talents of people like teaching, make-up, singing so that I can empower the people who come from a place of fear and prejudice.

And in the next 10 years, I would see a lot of alphabets added subtracted from the word LGTBQ, which would not matter anymore. But instead make everyone feel unique under an umbrella of growing huge under a big rainbow growing brighter with its light.

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