As a mother of three kids, I spend more time than I want to admit thinking about TV shows and movies. At our house, we do not have cable TV and my kids aren’t allowed to watch much beyond PBS and the occasional rented movie. My husband and I want to instill good values of compassion and empathy, knowledge in science, and an appreciation for nature. So, we spend a lot of time reading and going outside.
I caught the following animated short called “In A Heartbeat” and it took my breath away. Not only is it a highly polished and well-told story – with no words – it teaches one more version of the truth that love is love is love. Watching two animated boys falling in love with each other is pretty darn amazing and says a lot about where we’ve come in the journey of tolerance, inclusion, and acceptance.
I’m pretty excited to show it to my kids. But don’t take my word for it, watch it for yourself right here:
This beautifully created short was produced by Beth David and Esteban Bravo at Ringling College of Art and Design in July 2017. The creators, David and Bravo, told NBC News that they hope this story will help to end the lack of representation of LGBTQ in the media. “There have been a few nods to the LGBTQ community in recent children’s programming,” Bravo told NBC News, “but it’s very rare that an LGBTQ character is given the spotlight, especially in a medium like animation that is predominantly geared towards children and family.”
Bravo and David said that they created this story after spending a great deal of time rehashing their own personal experiences as being closeted in their youth. “We embodied our characters, and they embodied us,” Bravo told NBC News, adding that “Our story in some way became theirs. After having made the film, it just felt like we had written a letter to our past selves.”
We need more stories like this one that can normalize the experiences of LGBTQ kids as they grow up. I love that we now have an opportunity to point to positive examples in the media – books, TV, movies, where LGBTQ kids and adults are portrayed being themselves and expressing their feelings without shame.
Because #loveisloveislove and #LoveWins.