By Lipi Mehta:
What does the life of an 18-year-old boy, who happens to be gay, and is diagnosed with HIV look like in a country like India? As Gautam’s father succinctly puts it, “Such children face complete darkness.” But in Gautam’s case, he made it the turning point of his life. “You won’t get help until you help yourself,” says the now 25-year-old activist. Born to a family where the father is an autorickshaw driver and mother a housewife, he battled the odds to not just embrace his identity but help adolescents and others to be better educated about HIV and LGBT+ issues in India.
Very clear that he didn’t want to lead a “dual life”, he came out to his father at the age of 17 and decided to fight the stigma by openly talking about his HIV status. A regular face at LGBT+ events and rallies, this is the story of how Gautam’s positive attitude and fighting spirit has led him to a life of happiness and self-acceptance. It’s also moving how his parents gave him complete support and ensured that he gets quality education.
In this video, Gautam shares his coming out story and experiences of being gay with an honesty that is inspiring. Watch it, and you’ll be prompted to share this with your friends and family, as this story deserves to reach hundreds.