Prom nights for a gay male high school couple are changing
The Jersey shore was abuzz this past week. A gay male high school couple was seen kissing on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights and they were in their Prom attire. Theodore Vidal and his boyfriend Colin Beyers attended the Junior Prom for Lacey Township High School — where Vidal attends.
The two teenagers heard a group yelling at them along the Seaside Heights boardwalk and they were preparing for a possible altercation. But to the surprise of Theodore Vidal, 17, and Colin Beyers, 18, they were welcomed by the crowd. And now their story has gone viral.
Michael Del Moro, and ABC Segment Producer for ABC’s Good Morning America was there to witness the exchange. He noticed a loud group gathered at a rooftop bar and the two male teenagers were walking past. Del Moro, also gay, was walking the boardwalk with his boyfriend and his family that evening. He noticed the group of “rowdy bros” yelling “Kiss her!” at every prom couple who walked past. So when he saw Vidal and Beyers he was a bit surprised what happened next.
Too often gay male high school couples would hear homophobic slurs hurled at him while walking down the same boardwalk. But that did not happen this time.
From his twitter account of the event Michael Del Moro said @MikeDelMoro
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.
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.
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!”
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.
This is not a “look everything’s fine now, thread,” and yes… it’s New Jersey, but I just thought it was worth sharing and an encouraging moment for young LGBTQ folks out there.
The story is going viral on Instagram and Twitter
Del Moro messaged Vidal and Beyers on Instagram the following day to let them know about his Twitter thread.
Beyers, a senior at Hillsborough High School in Somerset County, said, that it was shocking to hear the people cheering them on, chalking up the interaction as a small victory. “It was so surprising that these guys were supporting us,” Vidal told BuzzFeed. “Especially after what I’ve gone through.”
Vidal said it was a “whole, big to-do. Then they started saying ‘Kiss him! Kiss him!’ So we did and they went wild,” Vidal said. “Everyone went crazy.” Vidal is a junior at Lacey High School. He said to BuzzFeed, “Guys pick on both of them for being gay.”
Del Moro, the segment Producer for ABC’s GMA said he knew one of the guys in the rooftop bar. That same group had ‘cheered on’ the young couple he said and te guy was in Seaside Heights for a bachelor party. And they were all very happy for Vidal and Beyers.
The bachelor, that the bar party was for, wishes to remain anonymous. But he knows what it feels like to enter a situation where one might be harassed or made fun of. So he was “thrilled” that Vidal and Beyers found joy in the moment. “I wish them all the best in the future and encourage them to never stop being themselves and to ignore those that seek to not allow that,” he told BuzzFeed.
About the young couple
The young couple are music enthusiasts who met at the Eastern Wind Symphony Youth Band. Vidal, 17, plays the saxophone and clarinet; Beyers, 18, plays the French horn.
Beyers connected with Vidal on Instagram. They began dating shortly thereafter. Vidal was adopted from Bulgaria. He told reporters he faced a lot of negativity about being gay, especially in middle school and was very depressed. Then his friends and family helped him embrace who he was. Vidal says after meeting Beyers, he no longer has those feelings of depression.
As prom season grew closer Vidal knew who he was going with. But he still had to ask the question. “I asked him with a color guard show,” Vidal said. “I made my own music. The show was about flying to Greece, planes in the sky, because we’re going to Greece in the summer.”
He held a flag that read, ‘Will you fly to junior prom with me just like you flew into my heart?’
At the prom, they were dressed in tuxedos. One of the teachers said to them that their matching shoes made her day.
“A lot of people have been DMing me and Colin,” Vidal said to ABC TV. “This morning, I woke up to 200 DM requests on my Instagram. Some reporters, others are just people in general, [are] saying how it impacted them and inspired them to be themselves more, not to be scared. And my story has their changed their lives.”
“The comments have been overwhelmingly positive, very different from the “downright rudeness” of others from his middle school years,” said Vidal. He beleives this moment is resonating with so many people because it sends an important message.
“It is OK to be yourself and not be afraid,” he said in an ABC TV interview. “It should be accepted. I know Colin and I have been impacting a lot of people. We are promoting gay rights and acceptance. Everyone should be accepted for who they are, how they dress, what they look like, no matter the circumstances, whether they are short, tall, skinny, fat, whatever you are. Everyone should be loved equally.”
Beyers hopes the story reaches everyone who needs to hear it
“My hope for this story is that it reaches other LGBTQ members who aren’t out or are out and not supported,” Beyers said. “I hope that this story gives them hope and inspires them to fearlessly be themselves.”
One of the members of the bachelor party contacted ABC TV producer Del Moro. He said the “bros” are loving everything that’s come from their interaction with the teen couple.
“We are all happy for those guys,” the bachelor partygoer told Del Moro.
Vidal is preparing for his senior year at Lacey. Beyers is headed for The College of New Jersey as a freshman. And the trip to Greece is on! But the couple says there will be a few more followers on Instagram.