Shankar Lal, 18, wanted to come out to his classmates at his high school graduation — and it didn't take him long to come up with the perfect way to do it.
"I decided that I wanted to come out at graduation a month before it actually happened," the recent grad 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 crossed the stage during the graduation ceremony. He posted the big moment to his Instagram with the caption, "We love a reveal!"
"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."
Lal came out to his family just a few months before his graduation. He says at first they were "concerned and taken aback" as they had not "been exposed to many LGBT people in their lives."
He hopes that if other people who have not come out see the video, they gain a sense of hope: "Being in the closet can be such a dark and lonely experience. I want people to see a positive coming out experience — I would hope that they feel more empowered and inspired to live in their truth."