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In a Heartbeat, an Animated Short About a Gay Boy’s Crush, Will Warm Your Heart

In a Heartbeat, a thesis project by Beth David and Esteban Bravo at Ringling College of Art and Design, gained a massive following prior to its completion for its wholesome and adorable characters. Today, the full animated short was made available for viewing and has received an outpour of positive reactions.

The synopsis reads, “A closeted boy runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams.” The protagonist, Sherwin, admires his classmate Jonathan from afar. Like many of our early crushes, Sherwin’s is uncontainable as he can’t suppress his feeling for Jonathan as much as he tries. How the story plays out with warm your heart, break it, and then put it back together again.

We’re starting to see a shift in mainstream animation in terms of LGBTQIA representation, but there’s still definitely a lot more to be done. In a Heartbeat gained a lot of attention on Kickstarter, with an original goal of $3,000 that ended up reaching $14,000. That alone shows how much people want to see LGBTQIA stories in animation and how much the industry is missing in not recognizing that demographic.

As we also saw with queer-friendly animated shorts like The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived or Rosaline, these stories are even more essential for younger viewers who don’t often see queer characters in their media. Gay children and teens deserve love stories that give them happy endings, and In a Heartbeat demonstrates that these are neither too niche or too mature. What is more pure than a young crush that comes to fruition?

(via Buzzfeed, image: screencap)

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