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A Hesitant Hug: video against homophobia and transphobia from Mumbai

May 17, 2015: TechFest, organised by IIT Bombay, is Asia’s Largest Science and Technology festival, with a footfall of more than 1,45,000 and a reach of over 2,500 colleges across India and over 500 overseas in its most recent edition. Now in its 18th year, Techfest chooses to highlight, every year, issues prevalent in the society, works on them and tries to come up with life changing solutions. This is evident from our recent social initiatives like ISMOKE (Anti-Smoking Campaign), ROAR (Women Empowerment Campaign), ASK (RTI Awareness Campaign) and many others.

This year Techfest has taken up the issue of Homophobia and Transphobia, and come up with an idea of spreading awareness on this on the occasion of International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia through an interactive video as we believe that this topic has been untouched in the last few years. People in the LGBTQ community are still facing the problems in their real life which are unknown to the Indian society.

International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia is celebrated on the 17th of May every year. Homo/transphobia refers to hateful treatment and social injustice towards the homosexual and transsexual members who are very much a member of our community as any of us of our community.

This video, created by Saathi, IIT Bombay’s LGBTQ resource group, in association with Techfest, challenges homophobia to build safe spaces for queer people – with just a hug!

The video is a unique social experiment, where strangers of different sexual orientations talk to each other, and hug each other. With a seemingly simple concept, the video captures a spectrum of moments: awkwardness to warmth. A beautiful peculiarity being the instance when a homosexual person comes out his friend on camera – and he still gets a hug.

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