The baking star has been inundated with messages of support online (Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage/Getty)
Former Great British Bake Off contestant Rav Bansal has been flooded with “love and positivity” after sharing a vile homophobic letter he received from a stranger.
Bansal appeared on the hit show in 2016, and came out publicly as gay last month. He is a proud Sikh and the anonymous letter writer claimed that Bansal’s “perverse lifestyle” causes “offence” to Sikhs.
“I feel as though you are promoting a false image of being a person who can follow the religion, yet you promote a perverse lifestyle as if it is something you should be proud of,” they wrote.
“This is something that you should have kept to yourself. Sikhism explicitly says that lustful behaviour is prohibited and the fact that you went public with this concerns me, immensely.”
When I decided to come out publicly I expected to be faced with some negativity. For the most part I have been able to ignore it, but this letter cut me a bit deeper. Annoyingly, it upset me more than I should have allowed it to. Religion should never be used to justify hate 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/oWnRCWG8TS
— Rav Bansal (@RavSBansal) September 26, 2019
Sikhism has no specific teachings on homosexuality, and the Sikh holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, does not explicitly mention heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.
Bansal shared the lettter on Twitter and admitted that it had upset him more than he wanted it to. “When I decided to come out publicly I expected to be faced with some negativity,” he said.
“For the most part I have been able to ignore it, but this letter cut me a bit deeper. Annoyingly, it upset me more than I should have allowed it to. Religion should never be used to justify hate.”
But the amount of support that the Bake Off star received in response far outweighed the letter writer’s hatred. Nearly 500 people sent Bansal messages of support on Twitter alone, proving who the real winner is here.
Anyone who hates others based on whom they love are tormented by their own unresolved sexuality. You’re a light to so many who are discovering themselves.
— PJQuint (@PJames62411469) September 28, 2019
Oh no no no. You are a kind intelligent funny talented guy. Who is admired and loved. That’s it, let the hater hate. They don’t know at all xx
— Amanda Powell (@AmandaPowell69) September 26, 2019
You’re such an inspiration. I’m happy your happy. Never let the haters or religion win. You’re not alone in this, trust me. It’s always better to live a life when you have happiness and you think of you.
— Nick (@NiickBoii) September 27, 2019
Fuck that person. Live your best life, Rav. Loved you on GBBO.
— nobody (@less_scrutable) September 26, 2019
Hey Rav. Screw the author of this letter, their bigoted views count for nothing. You get to be welcomed and loved by the good people in the Sikh community and us in the LGBTQ community – you’re blessed. x
— matt_goodall (@matt_goodall) September 27, 2019
Rav, this is so upsetting to read but I hope you know how brave and powerful it is that you represent your true self regardless of misguided opinions and judgments. You’re a fantastic and modern role model and letters like this just prove how necessary you are as a public figure
— Kyle Galvin (@kylegalvin_) September 26, 2019
As a Sikh, I find this letter offensive. Sikhism should not be used as a shield for bigotry. It is shameful this person calls themself a Sikh.
— Jessica (@JessicaInTheBay) September 26, 2019
Please ignore this ignorant person. The representation you give is an amazing gift to the world 🏳️🌈
— #LoveYourz (@ThatGirl_Priya) September 26, 2019
Be who you are. You cake making hero.
— Paul O (@Whats_UpWithU) September 26, 2019
A day after sharing the homophobic abuse, Bansal wrote this happy message to his followers:
Hey beautiful people. Just to let you know, I am absolutely fine. All of the love and positivity that has come my way over the last day has been immense. Thank you all so much. Hate will never win! ❤️❤️
— Rav Bansal (@RavSBansal) September 27, 2019
You do you, Rav! Your fans have clearly got your back.