Imagine you’re a young South Asian international student from Punjab, India studying Computer Science in Vancouver.
Everything is going well and you’re enjoying life in this beautiful west coast Canadian city. You feel blessed.
Then suddenly, overnight, your life comes crashing apart. The relatives you’re living in a largely South Asian suburb find out you’re gay and kick you out of their house. Your cousin physically assaults you. Then you find out your mother and father in Punjab and your entire family has disowned you and wants nothing to do with you.
You’re trapped in a foreign country with no money for food or shelter or to pay your international student fees. Your immigration status is in limbo. What would you do? How would you survive? 
This is the opening premise of the feature documentary film, Emergence: Out of the Shadows. 
Emergence moves beyond being a true story of survival, resourcefulness, and resilience. It illuminates the trauma of family rejection and its impact on emotional and psychological health, especially for this young man, Kayden.
The film also introduces two other South Asians who have emerged from similar experiences in Vancouver– a gay woman, Jag, and a gay man, Amar who is actually played by myself using my Indian birth name. Sharing our stories of coming out experiences within a traditional South Asian community gives an incredibly rare and unique glimpse into the challenges faced by conservative South Asian families and parents.
Parents are caught in an internal dilemma and conflict as they try to make sense of traditional beliefs, values, and morals while holding on to the love, acceptance, and concern they have for their children.
Amar and his mother share a powerful story of their rejection by family and society and their steadfast support of each other, and Jag shares a heart wrenching and emotionally gripping story when she found out her brother is also gay and how are they both going to come out to their traditional parents. 
How is Kayden, Jag, and Amar going to find their place in society?  How are their parents going to cope with their children’s sexuality in a conservative society?
The stories of Kayden, Jag, and Amar begin from a place of darkness and emerge out of the shadows to a place of courage, hope, and love. 
All three storylines eventually come together and Kayden, Jag, and Amar build a community through a South Asian LGBTQ non-profit in Metro Vancouver.   
The power of the film is that it empowers people who are different and reinforces the message that “you are ok just the way you are.” 
The universal and human story of Emergence: Out of the Shadows is that we all need belonging, safety, and acceptance and that, YES, we can all love one another!