One of the wealthiest actors in the world had no idea what ‘lesbian’ meant as he grew up

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Indian Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan (C) poses during the Muhurat for upcoming Marathi film 'Hrudayantar' in Mumbai on December 10, 2016. / AFP / - (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, who added another $33 million to his estimated $600 million fortune last year, was speaking in a TED Talk in Vancouver. He said that the word ‘lesbian’ was heard by him but he thought that it was the wrongly-said variation of Lisbon (the capital of Portugal) and the word ‘gay’ was only a synonym to ‘happy’. But the 51-year-old actor, known in India as the King of Bollywood or King Khan, told the crowd he had changed his outlook in the intervening years. After moving to Mumbai and becoming the country’s biggest film star, he learned more about the world. And he had a message for all minorities, including LGBT people. Khan said that if he could succeed, anyone could, pointing out that “India decided somehow that I, the Muslim son of a broke freedom fighter who accidentally ventured into the business of selling dreams, should become its king of romance … the greatest lover the country has ever seen – with this face.” Then he ensured the audience: “The present you is brave. The present you is hopeful. The present you is innovative and resourceful, and of course, the present you is annoyingly indefinable.”

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