Sushant Divgikar is an Indian transgender model, actor, singer, industrial psychologist, and beauty pageant director. He/She also works as a drag queen with the name ‘Rani KoHEnur’ or ‘Rani Ko-He-Nur.’
Sushant Divgikar was born on Tuesday, 3 July 1990 (age 32 years; as of 2022) in Bandra West, Mumbai. His/Her zodiac sign is Cancer.
He/She did his/her schooling at Arya Vidya Mandir, Mumbai. He/She then studied advertising/PR at Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mumbai. Sushant did a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Mithibai College of Arts, Chauhan Institute of Science & Amruthben Jivanlal College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai. Later, he/she did a course in advertising at Harkisan Mehta Institute, Mumbai.
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Brown
Gender & Sexual Orientation
In his/her teens, he identified himself as gay, but later, he/she realised that he/she is a gender-fluid (whose gender identity is not fixed). His/Her preferred pronouns are he, she, and they. In an interview, while talking about his/her gender identity, he/she said,
I had to come out to all of you about my gender identity because it was giving me a lot of anxiety and, a lot of times, I just couldn’t cope with it. I realised it’s best I put it out there. Just to clarify, I have realised that I cannot be bound to only one gender. I am the synergy of both! I love my male as much as I love my female. I am Shiv as well as Shakti and the synergy of both energies. This is different from my orientation. I will always be attracted to men. It’s just that my gender identity is not just male! I am a non-binary person! I feel majorly relieved.”
Sushant Divgikar was born to a Goan Konkani family.
Parents & Siblings
His/Her father, Pradeep Krishnarao Divgikar, is a retired Assistant Commissioner, Indian Customs and Central Excise and former President of the Greater Mumbai Amateur Aquatics Association (GMAAA). His/Her mother, Bharati Rao Divgikar, is a retired manager of a Japanese bank and runs an NGO. His/Her elder brother, Karan Divgikar, works at Qatar Airways.
In an interview, Sushant shared that he/she had three boyfriends. One of his boyfriends was a businessman from South Africa. They met for the first time in a gay beauty pageant. Reportedly, they were offered to participate in the TV celebrity dance show ‘Nach Baliye.’ As of 2021, he is single.
As a teenager, Sushant started his/her career as a model in various print advertisements and photoshoots. He/She has walked the ramp for ace Indian fashion designers.
In 2014, he/she participated in Mr Gay India competition and won the title.
He/She then represented India at Mr Gay World competition and was among the top 10 finalists. In the contest, he/she won three sub-awards, Mr Gay World Congeniality, Mr People’s Choice, and Mr Gay World Art.
Sushant has featured in various TV commercials like Maruti Suzuki and Idea Mobiles.
In 2012, he/she hosted a TV show ‘Atyachaar Ka Punchnama’ aired on UTV Bindass. He/She has hosted a few other TV shows such as Style Police and Bindaas Video Wars. He/She appeared as a guest in the 2013 TV show ‘Big Switch 3.’
He/She then participated as a contestant in various TV shows such as ‘Welcome– Baazi Mehmaan Nawazi Ki’ (2013), ‘Bigg Boss 8’ (2014), and ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ (2018).
Sushant did not have any formal training in singing. In his/her teens, he/she used to practice Asha Bhosle’s song ‘Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja’ from the Hindi film ‘Caravan’ (1971). In 2020, he/she released his/her independent single ‘Diamond.’
In 2021, he/she released his/her single “Damn That Man.” He/She lent his/her voice for the title track of the Kannada film ‘3 Devi’ (2021). Sushant has also uploaded a few Hindi cover songs on his self-titled YouTube channel.
In 2015, he/she performed as a drag artist for the first time in the theatre play ‘Merchant of Venice’ directed by Vikram Kapadia. He/She then hosted a few drag shows and events in national and international film festivals. In one of his/her drag events, he/she was spotted by the Indian entrepreneur Ishaan Sethi who talked about Sushant with the executive director of Lalit Hospitality Group Keshav Suri. In 2017, Suri invited Sushant to perform at his nightclub KittySu in New Delhi along with the drag queen Violet Chachki. Sushant’s performance was loved by the audience, and after that Sushant decided to adopt the drag queen avatar Rani Ko-HE-Nur.
In an interview, when he/she was asked how he/she develop an interest in becoming a drag queen, he/she said that since childhood, he/she was interested in dressing up as a female. He/She said,
As a child, I always loved to dress up. I’ve always been fascinated with make-up, accessories and fabulous costumes. I would participate in fancy dress competitions and always dress like a mermaid or Madhuri Dixit; once I even dressed up as Tina Turner. I always enjoyed playing female characters because they had so much depth and character. But back then, I never knew what drag was. As I grew older, I started reading about it and observed other drag artists from around the world and knew this is what I wanted to do!”
He/She further said,
I created this avatar because I wanted people to understand that drag is performance art, and it is not just cross dressing. I’m gender fluid, hence the name, because Rani is a queen but Ko-He-nur has a he in it. In drag, a man — gay, straight, transgender or bisexual — can perform as a woman which includes wearing predominantly hyper-effeminate clothes, exaggerated make-up and wigs. Drag can also be performed by women — lesbian, straight, trans or bisexual — who dress up and perform as male characters. Gender fluid people also do drag — our first solo performing drag king is Durga Gawde, who goes by the stage name Shakti.”
Sushant is the first Indian drag queen who performed with the global media company Condé Nast. He/She has also performed as ‘Rani KoHEnur’ or ‘Rani Ko-He-Nur’ at various Indian TV shows, stage shows, and live events. In 2021, he/she participated in the drag queen singing television series ‘Queen of the Universe.’ In the show, he/she sang the songs like “Piya Tu Ab To Aja”, “Laila Main Laila,” and “My Heart Will Go On.”
Sushant has been working as an LGBTQ activist for a very long time. He/She has actively participated in various LGBTQ parades and seminars.
In his/her various interview, he/she has talked about providing rights to the LGBTQ community. In one of his/her interviews, Sushant said,
I consider Hijra icons Gauri Sawant, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and many others, to be their spiritual gurus. I don’t have to be from their community to feel a familial bond with them. That’s the beauty of it all, of being part of this community. When I talk about minorities, I have to talk about Hijras, Dalits, as well as sexual, gender, and even religious ones, because our struggles intersect. Why are we even having to ask for equal rights in a democracy?”
In 2017, he/she appeared in the Hindi web series ‘101 India.’ In 2022, he/she started a YouTube series ‘Main Bhi Rani with Sushant Divgikar’ in which he/she talks to various transgender people.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- 2018: GQ’s 50 Most Influential Young Indians
- 2019: Community Leadership Award by India HIV/AIDS Alliance for groundbreaking excellence and being a voice nationally and internationally for the LGBTQIA+
- 2019: Real Hero Award by Rotaract 3141 for breaking barriers and challenging gender norms
- 2020: Change Maker Award by Mac India
- 2020: Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List
- 2021: Top 25 Creators on Instagram in India by Instagram for Business
- 2022: Blogger Award for LGBTQIA+Voice of The Year- Popular Choice by Cosmo India
- Drag Queen: Trixie Mattel
- Song: Lag Jaa Gale from Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)
- Beverage: Coffee
- His/Her family and friends call her Sushi.
- While he/she was in school, he/she used to participate in swimming competitions, and he/she was a sports captain. He/She participated in various state-level and national-level swimming competitions.
- He/She has got a tattoo inked on his/her left chest.
- He/She is an avid dog lover and has a pet dog.
- Sushant is a spiritual person and has a deep faith in Lord Ganesha.
- He/She has been featured on the cover page of various magazines like Cosmopolitan and Rolling Stone.
- He/She is often spotted drinking alcohol at parties and events.
- He/She received felicitations at various events. He/She once was honoured by the Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
- Sushant is active on various social media platforms. He/She has a self-titled YouTube channel.
- He/She was once in depression for getting bullied and harassed because of his sexual orientation. In an interview, he/she talked about it. He/She said,
My family is my biggest strength and they have been very supportive of whatever I do. I am privileged to come from a broad-minded and progressive family. They don’t discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, caste or creed. There are a lot of people who say one thing and do the exact opposite. My parents have taught us to treat everyone with love and respect regardless of who they are and where they come from. I think every family should be like mine. They supported me during my tough times. Also, the Indian model Diandra was a great support.”