I Kissed a Girl star on ‘taboo’ of being a South Asian queer woman

I Kissed a Girl cast member Priya Sohanpal

One of the contestants on BBC lesbian series I Kissed a Girl has spoken about the taboo of being a South Asian queer woman.

In an interview with the BBC, Priya Sohanpal explained that “it’s kind of taboo to talk about being in a relationship, let alone being gay” within the South Asian community, adding that the experience of being on the show has been really important.

“I’m so lucky to have such a supportive family, because I know not every South Asian queer woman has that experience,” she said.

I Kissed a Girl, hosted by Dannii Minogue, follows 11 women who are matched together and must share a kiss before even saying hello, then staying with one another in an Italian masseria. So far, there has seen partner swapping and romance, with Sohanpal telling viewers they can “expect a little bit of drama… I mean, it’s lesbians.”

I Kissed A Girl host Dannii Minogue standing with the cast of I Kissed A Girl.
Dannii Minogue and the cast of I Kissed A Girl. (Getty)

Sohanpal revealed that since the first two episodes aired she’s received “messages from South Asian queer women saying: ‘Thank you so much for representing South Asians’.”

She added: “I think it’s so important.”

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I Kissed a Girl has already been praised for an enlightening cast discussion about the word “lesbian”. 

In episode two, the women discussed the term by the poolside, with some saying they didn’t like using it. Professional footballer Georgia then said the reason the letter “L” comes first in “LGBTQ+” is down to the vital role lesbians played during the Aids crisis, nursing gay men who had the disease when others were afraid to touch them.

“Being a lesbian is something to be so proud of, but a lot of the time I don’t really know how to,” she said. “I didn’t realise how deep, and how many emotions I had attached to the fact that I struggle to actually say ‘lesbian’.

“I need to just say to my younger self: ‘You are a lesbian, why would you not want to be a lesbian?”’

I Kissed a Girl episode three airs on BBC Three at 9pm, and on BBC iPlayer, on Sunday (12 May).