When Shankar Lal decided to come out, he wanted to do it in a big way. But he didn’t know his small act of personal courage would bring an auditorium to their feet.
“I decided that I wanted to come out at graduation a month before it actually happened,” Lal told BuzzFeed News. “I remember shopping at Target and seeing all the pride gear. I thought to myself, Wouldn’t it be crazy if I just whipped out a pride flag at graduation?”
And that’s exactly what he did.
As he walked on stage and accepted his diploma from Hillcrest High School in New York, Lal whipped out a rainbow flag, draped it across his shoulders, and came out for everyone to see.
The. Crowd. Went. Wild.
“The response was insane,” Lal said. “I walked across the stage with my pride flag over my shoulders and suddenly everyone started cheering for me. I remember hearing my principal and teachers tell me they were proud of me.”
“There was so much love in that room. It was amazing. Even on social media, I had so much love and support. Coming out on graduation was definitely one of the proudest moments in my life.”