Aditya Shankar’s story is that of many young gay men, and that’s what makes it so special. The IITian’s charming Youtube video tells the tale of him coming to terms with his sexuality and learning to accept himself as he is. He talks about early crushes and first love, and also invokes sensitivity among our attitudes towards homosexuality, often intending to mock. Aditya urges people to understand and accept the fact that their closest friends and family members might belong to the LGBT community. The way we fling the term ‘gay’ might be doing more harm than we can imagine to the ones close to us.
Aditya, who is now at the University of Toronto, fondly reminisces about Saathi, IIT Bombay’s group for a more inclusive campus that started the year he joined as a freshman in 2011. Aditya was one of the many minds to be influenced by activist Harrish Iyer’s inspiring words. Aditya introduces some members of Saathi that includes students, alumni and staff who work to make the campus more open towards sexual minorities. During its first year, many freshmen were skeptical about the organisation. But now, Saathi has several members who are only too eager to talk about their feelings, queries and anxieties. He took the great initiative of making a well-filmed, well-edited video where he talks about finding himself and coming out in front of people to tell them that being gay is OK.