Two school students sparked an LGBT solidarity campaign when they won the yearbook photo competition for ‘Cutest Couple.’
Lance and Jair, who attend McKinleyville Middle School in California, US, posed for the photo for their yearbook and were voted by their fellow students as the cutest couple in the school.
Although the photo looks romantic, they aren’t gay. They’re actually both straight and cousins.
The two cousins wanted to show everyone relationship is valid: gay or straight.
However, students at the school soon began to worry there may be repercussions for the photo. Once the image had been shared on social media, it attracted the attention of at least one angry parent who complained to the school, reports the Local Coast Outpost.
Principal Julie Giannini Previde told the news source yearbook photos are vetted by a committee before the final yearbook is presented to her for final proofing, which hasn’t happened yet.
Apprehending the photo may be excluded from the yearbook, the students decided to start a social media campaign to show their solidarity for same-sex relationships.
Students posted photos where they are recreating the pose with the hashtag #ThisIsOk.
Lance’s mom Lally was initially worried the boys might get punished, but it wound up to be a very positive experience.
‘Personally, I think it’s an amazing photo,’ she said. ‘I’m a little jealous that my husband and I don’t have the same type of photograph.
‘I think he’s just really happy that it turned positive and that the school’s supporting him.’
The student who took the original photo, Lianne, said the original concept behind the photo was a very simple one.
‘I guess I was just trying to spread the word and say it’s OK to be like that, to love anyone,’ she said.
‘Everybody thought the photo was cute. You can turn a lot of bad things into a really good thing.’
Any homophobia on behalf of the school has been dismissed, as parents of the school say the issue was more about the fact that the students did not have permission to post the photo to social media.
Take a look at some of the #ThisIsOk photos which have been posted to social media to see the inspiring way a small group of students are showing their solidarity to the greater LGBT community.