Pride Month may be over, but that doesn’t mean all LGBT+ folks automatically go back into the closet. In A Heartbeat comes as a timely reminder that the fight for LGBT+ equality worldwide, whether here (in our relatively poor-performing country) or in the United States (where transgendered people are currently facing huge legal tribulations), is still ongoing. This animated short film is actually the final-year thesis project of two Computer Animation students at Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida – the initial premise of the film managed to raise $14,000 on Kickstarter about a year and a half ago, and the actual film itself (which was uploaded to YouTube three days ago) managed to garner 2.4 million views in a day, going viral hours after its release.
“There have been a few nods to the LGBTQ community in recent children’s programming … but it’s very rare that an LGBTQ character is given the spotlight,” said Esteban Bravo, co-creator of the film. “Especially in a medium like animation that is predominantly geared towards children and family.” This is especially relevant here in Malaysia, where the live-action version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was censored for scenes that depicted a character as a gay man. Well, thankfully, there aren’t any country-wide censors on YouTube yet, which means that you’re free to enjoy this extremely heartwarming tale of a gay schoolboy whose heart (literally!) pops out of his chest and takes on a life of its own, outing him to his entire school as it chases after the boy of his dreams. This film is a much-needed slice of representation in a form of media that’s oversaturated with heteronormativity, and it’s so darn cute too. Here’s to hoping that its creators end up calling the shots at Pixar or Dreamworks one day.
Watch the four-minute animated short below:
In other news, check out why we think Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is saving virtual dating games from redundancy with its LGBT+ representation, here.
Alternatively, read our profile on alextbh, an openly gay Malaysian artiste, here.