Joty (pronounced Joe-tea) Kay always felt out of place growing up. She was born into an Indian family in America and never felt like she quite fit in with them. “We moved around a lot and I always felt like an outcast in school,” Joty said. “I would do anything to fit in and have friends.” Not fitting in at school can be tough enough, but it was coupled with living in a toxic home environment, as well. “My parents had their own issues and I just felt like they didn’t really know how to manage a daughter,” Joty explained.
Her family and homelife situation worsened when they moved to a heavily Indian-influenced town. Joty Kay says she’s never felt so alone and different. She turned to vines and social media as an outlet. “Vine helped me escape my reality and generate followers who liked me for my comedy. People thought I was funny!” Making other people laugh felt like an escape to me and it helped me gain confidence in myself that I never found at home.
When things finally began looking up, Joty’s father began struggling with addiction. “I thought it was the end,” she confides. “It was uncommon for that to happen with our people, or at least it wasn’t talked about. My dad and I had a close relationship and it really affected me.” Not only was Joty finding it difficult to fit in amongst her peers and community, but now her family was also the talk of the town due to her father’s addiction. This traumatic change in her life even caused Joty to experience depression and contemplate suicide.
“The environment became so toxic that I knew I had to leave, so I packed up and moved to Los Angeles.” In the beginning, Joty was couch surfing, working multiple jobs, and eventually found roommates. “I learned about podcasting and realized that my opinion and experience meant something and genuinely interested others. Telling my stories and insight took me from being broke to having an income,” Joty said.
She is known for her fearless and bold personality, which is what led her to name her talk show, “Joty Kay: Uncut”. “I named my show Joty Kay: Uncut because I want people to know that’s the only thing you will get from me – the raw, uncut and unfiltered version,” Joty explains. “I want young girls to look up to me and see that its okay if you aren’t perfect, as long as you own that shit! Own who you are and you’ll never have to worry about what anyone says to you or about you ever again. Once I stopped seeking validation from others, there was no turning back.”
Joty’s vines have more than 100 million views and she now has a growing fan base of more than 60,000 supporters. Her fame has skyrocketed and even landed her an acting gig as a co-star in a popular web-series called “Anarkali” where she plays the character Navi.
Joty desires to break every Indian norm and barrier in the Indian community. “I made it through the dark times and those times helped me find my identity. I want to encourage young, Indian girls to follow their dreams. In the beginning, I felt like an embarrassment because I was so different and I don’t want them to feel that way. I want to show the girls to be comfortable with who they are and own it.” Kay confidently describes. “I also want to break the stereotype of our people in Hollywood. We don’t all have an accent and have arranged marriages. I am going to conquer it all.”
Learning to embrace her flaws and accept who she is led Joty to become Miss India America in 2015. She also has gained a mass following on her Instagram account for her personal lifestyle and modeling photography. Her show can be found at Rukus Avenue Radio.