In this era of shelter-at-home orders, we’re all watching more television than ever before. Fortunately, Bravo premiered its latest hit reality series, “Family Karma,” just as viewers were seeking a refreshing escape from depressing daily newscasts.
One of the stars of this show about a group of young Indian-American professionals living in Miami is Amrit Kapai, a 32-year-old openly gay attorney who recently returned home from Chicago to grow his law firm’s South Florida office.
After months of filming last fall, he’s finally seeing the finished episodes. Kapai and his longtime friends admittedly had some trepidations about putting their lives on national television.
“It sort of goes hand in hand … how you’re going to portray your life. The main hesitation is we all have things about our lives that are private. It was something I knew, but it was [also] a good fit because we were a group of friends who knew each other very well,” he said.
It didn’t hurt that Kapai was already a fan of the network’s programs, noting “Summer House,” “Vanderpump Rules” and “Below Deck” were among his favorites.
Having cameras following him everywhere was awkward at first.
“How do I be myself and not act uncomfortable … there are cameras everywhere?” Kapai asked himself. “A few weeks in, it become more natural. The experience was fantastic and it got easier.”
When asked what it was like seeing himself on television, he coolly responded, “I definitely have butterflies each time the show is about to air, but it’s fun to relive the experiences … it’s also to see what the other cast members were up to, as well. We all watched the premiere together and it was a ton of fun, but with the coronavirus, we’ve been responsible about social distancing.”
On last week’s episode, viewers were finally introduced to Kapai’s boyfriend, Nicholas.
“He’s such a huge part of my life,” Kapai said. “He was supportive from day one. He knew Bravo was giving me the opportunity to tell my story to tons of people.”
Coming out in a traditional Indian community was daunting seven years ago, but Kapai credits his parents for accepting his sexual orientation.
“For me, I reached a point where I needed to come out to my parents and siblings — that was the most important part for me. For the extended family and the Indian community, I didn’t care, but I knew my parents were way more nervous about them. My parents and brother weren’t ready to tell the larger community and I wasn’t going to be selfish about that. It’s like their coming out process, as well,” he recalled.
He noted that growing up in Miami has not only helped him, but also his other castmates, navigate the cultural divides that still exist.
“We were raised in Miami and it’s such a cosmopolitan city, but we were really lucky that our parents were kinda liberal and more accepting, not as traditional. [Many of us] are Sindis and Sindis tend to more forward thinking,” he added.
Since returning to South Florida, Kapai has had the opportunity to explore the region’s LGBT scene.
“I didn’t really have many gay friends when I moved down, so I had to put myself out there. I was invited to a ‘RuPaul’ watch party just a couple of weeks after I got there,” he said. “I put myself out there and it was fun … even though I had grown up in Miami, I wasn’t out.”
So what’s next? For the next several weeks, Kapai will be glued to his television as the remaining episodes of “Family Karma” debut. He’s also going to continue focusing on his career and making some all-too-important decisions about his relationship with Nicholas.
“I just need to move forward one day at a time,” he concluded.
New episodes of “Family Karma” air on Bravo, Sundays at 9 p.m. EDT. Check local listings for channels and show times.