Now, LGBTI outlet Into has published a video featuring older gay men reacting to the animated short.
Their reactions to the film
Four men (Bill, Jessay, Robert, and Mick) watched the film as Into filmed their reactions.
The part where one boy is watching the other from behind a tree and gives him his heart made Jessay burst out laughing. ‘That was me at seven,’ he says.
‘You all right?’ Robert asks Jessay, who seems to be really enjoying himself.
‘It’s a friggin’ hoot!’ Jessay says.
The person behind the camera asks the men what they think of the young boy in a tree.
‘Oh, he’s wonderful,’ Mick answers. ‘He’s a redhead.’
The men go on to discuss if they think the boy is closeted. Some said yes, others were unsure.
‘Well, he’s in a tree,’ Mick says. ‘But his heart isn’t, so I think you would say he’s conflicted.’
In terms of the other boy, Robert says ‘he looks kinda asexual.’
Then, the men were asked what they think of the heart.
‘It’s an emola, isn’t it?’ Mick says. ‘Emoji, is that it? It’s a symbol.’
‘It’s saying a lot of things without any words,’ Bill says.
The group then get to the scene in the school hallway, where the heart gets ripped in two in front of the two boys’ classmates.
‘Why do you think they cut away to the bystanders and their reactions?’ asks the person behind the camera.
‘Because we are outsiders,’ says Mick. ‘We’re not in the mainstream. They think that they have a right to judge us. But in fact, they do not. This is the world they have created, not us.’
‘I love happy endings,’ says Bill after the short is over.
‘It’s touching,’ Robert adds.
‘Child, you love to love love, child,’ Jessays responds.
Three of the four men related to the film’s situation when they had crushes as young kids.
None of the four men had ever seen a film like this before.
‘Using the animation technique makes it less threatening,’ Robert says, to the agreement of the other men.
They go on to discuss the differences between growing up gay today and in their generation. They talk about how kids today have more LGBTI role models than they did.
‘It’s very, very positive to see this kind of display for gay people coming out with a happy ending,’ says Bill.
The message of the film
Finally, the men were asked what they think the message of this short film is.
‘Follow your heart,’ Robert says.
‘Do not pass judgement on other people,’ Mick adds.
‘Love is for everyone,’ Bill says. ‘Yes!’ Jessay agrees.
Watch the full video below: