Most people now accept the fact that LGBTQ+ people are very much a part of society and a lot of the stigma that was once associated with them, while still there in part, is slowly fading away from the mainstream.
In truth, LGBTQ+ people have always been there but cultural and religious strictures often forced them to keep their orientations to themselves rather than risk being ostracized by society.
And while people have taken it for granted that “gay pride” is actually a thing now, many people still haven’t mentally processed the fact that LGBTQ+ people exist in every culture in every country in the world.
Which is why when Jiwandeep Kohli tweeted a picture of him wearing a rainbow turban for Pride Month, it took the Internet by storm and sent a powerful message that being LGBTQ+ is a human thing and not just confined to a specific culture.
Kohli is a clinical psychology student and is an amateur baker but he is also bisexual and proud of it.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Kohli said, “A few years ago I saw a photo of another Sikh man at a pride parade who had a few colors in his turban.
“I was looking at that, and I realized the way I tie mine it had the exact right number of layers to make a rainbow.”
So he got his 19-foot-long turban and added some fabric and safety pins and created his fabulous and now-famous pride turban.
He actually wore the turban for San Diego Pride the previous year but had uploaded it again to Twitter in honor of Pride Month. The re-shared photo quickly gained thousands of likes and shares in short order.
“I’ve been really enamored with the reaction I’ve gotten from people,” said Kohli.
Part of the interest generated was due to the fact that people were not used to seeing turbans, even more so, pride ones, so Kohli got a lot of questions and requests for more photos.
He’s no stranger to social media attention as he once joined The Great American Baking Show as a contestant but the way his tweet went viral still surprised him.
“I’ve been really, really happy to see so much positivity and welcome from so many people,” he said.
It even got to the point that some people wanted a rainbow turban of their own so Kohli had to clarify that among Sikhs, wearing a turban is a serious responsibility. It’s on a totally different league from wearing a rainbow hat.
“I wouldn’t want people to have the impression that I’m just wearing it as an accessory,” he said. “A turban is a sign to the world that you’re a person the world can turn to for help.”