When Shazad Syed Hai saw a photo of him and his friend kissing at a gay rights rally on Facebook, he never thought it could be construed as offensive.

Syed Hai and Kanwar Saini (or Sikh Knowledge, as he's also known) were photographed locking lips during the Global Day of Rage-Toronto: Against the Re-criminalization of Homosexuality in India rally on December 15. Both men were there to raise awareness following India's Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down a 2009 decision to decriminalize homosexual conduct in the country.

But even thousands of kilometres away in a country that promotes and celebrates LGBT rights, 30 year old Syed Hai isn't surprised at the explicit and negative comments that surrounded a single picture.

"Gay South Asians don't exist in mainstream media, so when people do see it, it can be uncomfortable," he tells The Huffington Post Canada.

The picture, which was posted on December 15 by Sikh Knowledge, was a response to India's law change. The next day, someone reported the photo and Sikh Knowledge's account was blocked for 12 hours, preventing the artist from posting status updates.

Syed Hai says the picture was flagged as violating Facebook's terms of use. It may have been an error on Facebook's part, and the photo was re-posted on Tuesday — now with over 1,000 likes.

Part of the gay community himself, Syed Hai says although he never hears homophobic comments directly, his uncle who lives in the United States recently passed on the message that his grandmother wanted him to drop his last name because he was gay.

And while gay South Asians still appear to have shock value to some straight South Asians in Canada, Syed Hai says he hopes for acceptance both abroad and in his own community.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Gay rights activists display a rainbow-colored flag as they march in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. The demonstrators urged an end to all forms of discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgenders in India, four years after a colonial-era law that criminalized gay sex was overturned.(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

  • Gay rights activists dance as they march in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. The demonstrators urged an end to all forms of discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgenders in India, four years after a colonial-era law that criminalized gay sex was overturned.(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

  • Gay rights activists dance as they march in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. The demonstrators urged an end to all forms of discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgenders in India, four years after a colonial-era law that criminalized gay sex was overturned. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

  • Gay rights activists display rainbow-colored banner and shout slogans as they march in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. The demonstrators urged an end to all forms of discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgenders in India, four years after a colonial-era law that criminalized gay sex was overturned.(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

  • Gay rights activists display a rainbow-colored banner as they march in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. The demonstrators urged an end to all forms of discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgenders in India, four years after a colonial-era law that criminalized gay sex was overturned.(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

  • An Indian volunteer holds a placard during a march by the lesbians, gay, bisexuals and transponders (LGBT) community in Chennai, India, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Members of LGBT participated in the march to demand for their recoginition and rights and to uphold the Naz Foundation 2009 verdict that read down the IPC Section 377 to exclude consensual relationships among adults of the same sex. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.)

  • An Indian supporter of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) community wears a mask during a march in Chennai, India, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Members of LGBT participated in the march to demand for their recoginition and rights and to uphold the Naz Foundation 2009 verdict that read down the IPC Section 377 to exclude consensual relationships among adults of the same sex. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.)

  • Members and supporters of the transgender community participate in a candlelight vigil on the first day of Bengaluru Pride and the Karnataka Queer Habba (festival) in remembrance of those from their community who died the past year, in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2012. The vigil was also held to protest daily harassment, violence and discrimination faced by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, inter-sex and transgender community. Placards shows portrait of a member from their community who died a few days ago. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

  • Members and supporters of the transgender community participate in a candlelight vigil on the first day of Bengaluru Pride and Karnataka Queer Habba (festival) in remembrance of those from their community who died the past year, in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2012. The vigil was also held to protest daily harassment, violence and discrimination faced by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, inter-sex and transgender community. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

  • Members of the transgender community listen to a speaker as they participate in a candlelight vigil on the first day of Bengaluru Pride and Karnataka Queer Habba (festival) 2012 in remembrance of those from their community who died the past year, in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2012. The vigil was also held to protest daily harassment, violence and discrimination faced by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, inter-sex and transgender community. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

  • Members of the transgender community participate in a candlelight vigil on the first day of Bengaluru Pride and Karnataka Queer Habba (festival) 2012 in remembrance of those from their community who died the past year, in Bangalore, India, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. The vigil was also held to protest daily harassment, violence and discrimination faced by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, inter-sex and transgender community. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

  • FILE- In this Jan. 28, 2012 file photo, participants carry a rainbow flag during a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parade in Mumbai, India. A lawyer for India's Home Ministry told the country's top court Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, that gay sex was "immoral" and urged the court to keep it illegal, even as the government denied it opposed decriminalizing homosexuality. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade, File)

  • FILE- In this July 2, 2010 file photograph, gay rights activists participate in a celebration marking the first anniversary of an Indian court's ruling decriminalizing homosexuality in India, in New Delhi, India. A lawyer for India's Home Ministry told the country's top court Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, that gay sex was "immoral" and urged the court to keep it illegal, even as the government denied it opposed decriminalizing homosexuality. (AP Photo/ Manish Swarup, File)

  • Gays, lesbians and transgenders dance into the night as they participate in the 4th Delhi Queer Pride in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011. The parade was to protest daily harassment, violence and discrimination faced by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, inter-sex and transgender community despite a Delhi High Court ruling in 2009, decriminalizing same-sex behavior among consenting adults. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

  • Police personnel watch the parade as a costumed man rests while participating in the 4th Delhi Queer Pride in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011. The parade was to protest daily harassment, violence and discrimination faced by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, inter-sex and transgender community despite a Delhi High Court ruling in 2009, decriminalizing same-sex behavior among consenting adults. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)