Students of the Sophia Institute of Social Communications Media have come up with a bold campaign to target youth prejudiced against homosexuality as a part of their academic project. Titled ‘Breaking Closets’, this campaign attempts to correct preconceived stereotypes held by Indian youth against the LGBTI community by emphasizing tolerance and the rights of homosexuals to live their life with dignity.
The students have done a bold cover shoot for the project which shows a nude man trying desperately to break out of a tiny box in which he is trapped. They emphasize that this shows the vulnerability of a man who has been stripped off of his dignity and is unable to express himself freely, unable to break open the box in which he is trapped. It is the duty of individuals outside the box, regardless of their sexual orientation, to help in breaking such oppressive barriers, and not break the self esteem of closeted individuals, many of whom are unable to come out in the open for fear of social opprobrium.
Nakshatra Bagwe, the actor who posed nude for the cover shoot, believes that nudity is an art form and says that he is happy the results came out aesthetic and graceful. His friends and family have stood by him, with his mom even accompanying him to the shoot. Known for experimenting, Nakshatra adds, “I feel that nudity is a form of purity and that nobody ‘wears’ their sexuality, but are assigned to it naturally. The image depicts the suffering of a majority in the community, which is that of a naked truth trapped in a box. This is an apt representation of the state of most closeted gay men in the country.”
The Facebook page created by the students has gathered a lot of attention within the LGBT community and has been appreciated for trying to break new ground with its bold avatar. While the primary purpose of the campaign is academic, the students feel that their work would be rewarded if this can bring about even a small change in the way the youth think about homosexuality.
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