Karan Johar, who has often spoken about his sexuality, talked about his childhood where he faced a lot of embarrassment for walking and dancing "like a girl", and for having a "squeaky" voice.
Karan, who is now one of the most successful film-makers in the country, revealed how he was tormented during his school days for being "different" than others. He said that he was made fun of his voice during his childhood, for which at one point of time he considered changing his voice.
"Masculinity or feminity is being comfortable in your skin. You would not put things in boxes. Like I would not tell my child to not cry like a girl. That's ridiculous. If he wants to cry, he should cry. I wouldn't tell him, 'Don't walk or dance like a girl.' "I was told these things in my school, by my teachers. They are all stuck in boxes. You are meant to be in a certain way. I have been tormented to a point where I went to a speech therapist to change my voice, to bring a baritone," Karan said during an event recently.
"Everybody would say, 'You sound like a girl.' I heard that like a million times and I told the therapist, 'Can you make me sound like a boy?' It was not fun. I did it for three years. This gentleman gave me voice exercises. It was embarrassing and torturous.
"I used to tell my father that I was going to a tuition class because I did not want to say I was going to 'become a man.' I should not have been put through that. If I was sounding a certain way, it should have been okay," KJo added.
Karan further said that although his parents never tried to change anything in him or found anything strange in his actions, his peers would make fun of his dance movements.
"I went and saw 'Sargam' as an 8-year-old and became obsessed with the song 'Dafli Waale'. I would play the song at home and do Jaya Pradha's steps and not Rishi Kapoor's. My father used to ask me to perform and I used to dance like Jaya Pradha and he somehow never found it strange.
"No one said I was doing something wrong. But when I went down to the compound of my building or met seniors at school, all the kids who were not from your domain would make fun of you. That's when I started developing an aversion to the word pansy... It scarred me," he said.
Talking more about the trauma he had faced, Karan said that he had stopped taking part in sports or other events at school because of the mockery that was followed by people around him.
"My hand and feet would move very differently from other boys. I would run funny and I stopped taking part in any sport as a result of it. Because every time I ran, everybody would laugh. Every time I spoke, people laughed as I had a squeaky voice.
"I thought my parents were absolutely cool. My father was as Punjabi as it can get. But he never thought I was doing something unusual or different but it did make a deep impact on me as I thought I was different and I was told I was different," he added.