India’s Gay American Activist Who Sought To Create the Country’s Own ‘Will & Grace’ Is Dead of Covid-19 at 35

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James Williams, the  prominent American born Gay Activist of India who sought to create an Indian version of the show, is dead at 35 years-old from the Covid-19 virus.

According to the New York Times: James Williams was a gay man who grew up in a conservative and religious milieu in Alabama, where homophobia was rampant. But over time, he saw the United States move toward greater tolerance, which he attributed partly to nonthreatening television shows like “Will & Grace,” the long-running sitcom with an openly gay lead character. While on vacation in India in 2017, he met Ayush Thakur and moved to India to live with him. Gay sex had been decriminalized there only in 2018, and Mr. Williams saw that persecution persisted. He thought that if Indian television shows were modeled on “Will & Grace,” they could bring gay people into Indian living rooms and help change hearts and minds.

He spent his days meeting with producers and others trying to get such shows off the ground. Then, last year, the coronavirus pandemic hit and halted his efforts. In recent weeks an explosion of cases has put India under siege, sapping medical systems, overwhelming crematories and leaving some people to die in lines outside hospitals.

He died on April 28 in a hospital in the Delhi region. He was 35.

Read the full New York Times obituary here.