As prom season kicks off you can usually expect an influx of adorable stories. But this one has got to be our favourite so far.
Theodore Vidal and his boyfriend, Colin Beyers, where walking home after prom in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Dressed in matching suits and holding hands, the couple came across a rowdy group of 'bros' shouting at passing couples from a window.
The group were shouting 'Kiss her' at passing couples. In an area known for homophobia, the approaching couple expected the worst.
"It's South Jersey. Guys pick on us for being gay a lot," explained 17-year-old Vidal explained to Buzzfeed. "It's an area where you normally would get picked on and discriminated against."
Across the street, Michael Del Moro was sitting with his boyfriend and family. A television producer, discrimination in Jersey is something that he himself is familiar with.
A short thread from here in Seaside Heights, NJ, where—not so long ago—young men would shout the word “f****t” out their car window as we’d stroll along the boardwalk.— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) 12 May 2018
After spotting Vidal and Beyers walking up the boardwalk, Del Moro immediately braced himself for the worst.
It’s prom season here, so at that time of night you’ll see high schoolers in their formal attire. As we walked by the rooftop bros, an adorable teenage gay couple passed us in perfectly fitting midnight bue tuxes, matching pink ties, holding hands.— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) 12 May 2018
I looked at Alec (my boyfriend), my mom, my sister, and stopped to make sure the couple was okay as they walked by... worried that something might happen. The rooftop crew quickly switched from “KISS HER!” To “KISS HIM!”— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) 12 May 2018
But much to their collective relief, the group of "Jersey shore bros" changed their yelling from "Kiss her!" to "KISS HIM!"
After some hesitation, the young men kissed... and let me tell you: both the rooftop crew and everyone else on the boardwalk just went absolutely wild for them and we all breathed a sigh of relief.— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) 12 May 2018
And they did. "Both the rooftop crew and everyone else on the boardwalk just went absolutely wild for them," Del Moro said.
The surprisingly lovely moment was "victorious", the couple said.
"Machoism is such a thing here, so the fact that those guys cheered us on was shocking," Beyers recalled. "It's one of those small victories that makes the hard times worth it."
"It was so surprising that these guys were supporting us," his boyfriend agreed. "Especially after what I've gone through."
After going viral, the thread caught the attention of Vidal's classmate, who then identified the triumphant duo.
Both young men have struggled since coming out. Vidal told Buzzfeed that he Vidal said he was bullied after coming out.
"It was worse than I thought it would be. No one would talk to me. I was by myself for that whole freshman year," he recalled. "My mum was there for me but most people would avoid me. I was cordoned off. People followed me home and told me I shouldn't be like this. I was so depressed."
Vidal and Beyers, who live a few hours apart, found each other through a mutual love of music, both performing for the Eastern Wind Symphony. After "making eyes" at each other for six months, they finally added each other on Instagram.
"I finally worked up the courage to DM him and we started talking from there. And I thought it wouldn't work out because of the distance and we were so busy but here we are," Beyers laughed.
"My life has changed because of him," Vidal said. "He pushes my depressed thoughts away. He's always there and he makes everything better. He helps me live life to my fullest and that's what I am doing right now."
Thanks to his new relationship, Vidal has been working on repairing hius fraught relationship with his fathers. Both of them are now hopeful for the future.
"It always gets better; that's what I tell myself when it's hard," Beyers says. "For those that are getting bulled or in a dark place and feel like it won't stop or end, it does. Those people go away and you meet better people who love you for who you are. When I feel like I'm discriminated against I tell myself that it will get better and it does.
"You get one chance here and you need to stand out for who you are and believe in that even when people are picking on you.
"Find people who love you for you and don't try to be anyone else. You are an amazing person. Look in the mirror every day and tell yourself you look good even when you feel you don't."
They saw the boardwalk incident as a positive step forward in the fight for understanding and equality.
"We were celebrated for who we were and those times make you feel less alone," Vidal concluded.
To make the whole thing even better, it turned out that Del Moro actually knows one of the rowdy boys- it was a stag party.
"We are all very happy for those guys," the groom-to-be said.
Our little hearts can't handle it!