Gay Teen Asks Straight Football Captain To Homecoming, And It Finally Feels Like It's 2018

"He also said that he loved me and that he will always be there for me if needed."

When the straight captain of the football team from Valley High School in Santa Ana, Calif. was asked to go to the homecoming dance by his gay friend, he knew he had to say yes. 

In a video shared online, Erick Pineda, the captain, walks up to meet his friend, Alexander Duarte, to the tune of Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years." As he approaches, the camera shows Duarte waiting with a banner that reads: "I know I am gay, but can I take you straight to homecoming?" This all went down during their lunch hour on October 11, National Coming Out Day. As Pineda agrees to Duarte's proposal, the two hug it out. 

"There are various students who are part of the LGBT community at my school and the students and staff are very supportive," Duarte told Yahoo Lifestyle. "However, I really wanted to show other students that it's OK to be themselves because one of the main things that hold people back aren't others, but ourselves."

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"It's very important for me to be going to Homecoming with Alexander because I'm setting an example for not only my school, but also my community," Pineda told Instinct magazine. "I was definitely excited to be asked to homecoming because I knew how important this was for my friend and seeing the support from the staff and students was amazing."

"I'm very grateful to be the captain of the football team. The team is very supportive and multiple teammates have approached me to congratulate me and have given me 'RESPECT' for my actions," he added. 

Instinct also points out that in the video, Pineda and Duarte have a little discussion. When asked what this is about, Duarte said: "Well, the thing is, we weren't always the best of friends my freshmen year. He apologized for his actions his freshman year. It was kind of emotional for me because we have grown so much closer and as people in general. He grew to be more accepting of the LGBT community and has been there for me during the highs and lows. He also said that he loved me and that he will always be there for me if needed."

"I am really grateful and appreciative over the positive support my proposal has gathered — especially from older folks who have cried over this proposal and said it brought hope for themselves and their children," Duarte told Yahoo Lifestyle. "I have become more appreciative of the road others paved before me."

The proposal, and the immediate 'Yes,' makes us feel like we are finally in 2018 as so much progress has been made in terms of mainstream acceptance of the LGBTQ community. Though this isn't the first time we've seen a proposal like this: in 2015 Jacob Lescenski asked his gay best friend, Anthony Martinez, to their prom. While we can celebrate finally feeling like we are heading in the right direction, there is, of course, still lots of work to be done before people everywhere can feel comfortable enough to be themselves and know they will be accepted. 

We hope Duarte and Pineda have the best time at homecoming! 

(H/T: Upworthy)

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