After having a whirlwind prom night at Lacey High School in New Jersey, high school junior Theodore Vidal and his date Colin Beyers hit the Seaside Heights boardwalk for a little fun. As the pair approached a rooftop bar, they heard some of the customers yelling, "Kiss her!" to other couples. Although the pair felt nervous as they got closer, they noticed that the crowd simply changed its chant to "Kiss him!" and they decided to go for it.
Michael Del Moro, a producer at ABC, was there to witness the whole thing, and he decided to live-tweet the sweet moment:
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.— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) May 12, 2018
It was quintessential “Jersey Shore” and, unfortunately, several couples obliged the request to raucous cheers thereby further encouraging the rowdiness. We rolled our eyes.— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) May 12, 2018
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) May 12, 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) May 12, 2018
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) May 12, 2018
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.— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) May 12, 2018
Theodore explained that even though it was hard to ignore his nerves at first, he's so happy they went in for the smooch.
"When [Colin and I] walked by, they chanted 'kiss him' over and over again. We were a little hesitant about it because we were nervous, obviously, to see if something bad would be said to us," Theodore told NJ Advance Media. "Then we kissed and they all went crazy, everyone was wild and cheering, happy, so proud of us. They kept being like 'do it again!' and it felt so good. I don't even know how it felt, I've never felt like that."
"I want it to be able to help people who aren't out yet or those who are out and not supported."
Since their kiss went viral, Theodore says he's felt uplifted.
"I have not stopped smiling since prom. I'm usually sad and depressed at school, people make fun of me and stuff. This has really changed. Everyone is giving me positive reinforcement, reassuring me that I am OK and it's going to get better because it does get better. This is proof obviously that it does. I feel like it's going to help a lot of people that are scared either to come out or to be themselves in public," said Theodore. "When they do, it will get better. It will be hard at first but they will fight through it and they will not be alone for it."
Colin says that he hopes the story reaches other LGBTQ+ people his age so they can feel more comfortable in their own skin.
"I want [this story] to be able to help people who aren't out yet or those who are out and not supported," Colin explained. "I want it to give them hope and show them that it does get better and that you shouldn't be afraid to be who you are."