A gay man walking down the boardwalk on the Jersey Shore this weekend thought he smelled trouble when he saw a pair of gay teenagers approaching a group of rowdy young men — but was pleasantly surprised by what ended up happening.
GMA segment producer Michael Del Moro tweeted about his unexpectedly uplifting encounter on Friday, in which he saw a group of loud, raucous men shouting ‘Kiss her!’ at every couple that passed.
Soon, though, he noticed a pair of gay teens strolling home after their prom and fears for the worst, fully expected the older men to star slinging slurs. Happily, that’s not what happened.
Good story: High school senior Colin Beyers and junior Theodore Vidal were walking after prom this weekend when a situation that might have ended badly had a sweet twist
Viral: Michael Del Moro watched the scene unfold and tweeted about it later
Kiss, kiss, kiss! He was on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey and spotted some ‘rowdy’ men on a roof shouting ‘kiss her’ at couples that passed
‘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,’ Del Moro tweeted.
‘Last night, while out for Mother’s Day with our families (read: getting some late-night ice cream because treat yourself!) we noticed a group of rowdy bros gathered on a rooftop bar obnoxiously yelling “KISS HER!” in unison at every apparent couple that passed by.
‘It was quintessential “Jersey Shore” and, unfortunately, several couples obliged the request to raucous cheers thereby further encouraging the rowdiness. We rolled our eyes.
‘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 blue tuxes, matching pink ties, holding hands.
Times change: When he saw the teens walking together, he worried that the men would do or say something homophobic, which was almost guaranteed a couple of decades ago
No need to worry! His doubt was unfounded, as the men started saying ‘kiss him!’ instead
Happy ending: The teens obliged, and both the rowdy men and other people on the boardwalk cheered
Nice! Del Moro was happy that the story had a more heartwarming ending than expected
‘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,’ he went on.
But whereas he was expecting jeers or slurs, the ‘bros’ were just as happy to cheer on the gay teens in their night of romance.
‘The rooftop crew quickly switched from “KISS HER!” To “KISS HIM!”’ he recalled.
‘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 heartwarming story has quickly gone viral, earning thousands of likes and retweets — as well as a little outside detective work.
Lookin’ up! Theodore, one of the teens, said he was bullied in school when he came out, so being supported was great
Warm fuzzies: Del Moro found out he knew one of the ‘bros,’ too, who also had nice things to say
‘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,’ the man said
Soon, it was discovered that the teens in question were senior Colin Beyers and junior Theodore Vidal, who did in fact look quite polished in their matching tuxedos.
‘Machoism is such a thing here, so the fact that those guys cheered us on was shocking,’ Colin told BuzzFeed. ‘It’s one of those small victories that makes the hard times worth it.’
‘It was so surprising that these guys were supporting us,’ Theodore added. ‘Especially after what I’ve gone through.’
Theodore found the moments especially gratifying because, he said, his bullied and attacked him in school, telling him to ‘end [his] life’ and that ‘he didn’t belong here.’
Now, he and Colin are about to celebrate their six month anniversary, and he said their relationship has changed his life for the better.
Yas! Thousands of people have liked and retweeted the thread
Adorable: Many have left happy comments calling the story ‘heartwarming’
Feels good: Many seemed all too aware that things could have ended differently
It’s true! The Twitter account for the It Gets Better campaign also celebrated
To the future! Several said the story gave them hope
‘My life has changed because of him. 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,’ he said.
Meanwhile one of the ‘bros’ shouting from the roof also reached out to Del Moro, telling him that the group on the roof was celebrating a bachelor party and they ‘love this whole thing’.
‘We are all very happy for those guys,’ he said.
Speaking to BuzzFeed, he added that it ‘was awesome to see a moment that was experienced by so many people.’
‘I have entered situations before where I know I might get harassed or made fun of and it is a very uncomfortable feeling, so I am thrilled that they found happiness in this moment,’ he said. ‘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.’