An animated short film about a closeted gay boy who anxiously comes to terms with his crush on a fellow schoolmate has gone viral.
In A Heartbeat, created by US animation students Esteban Bravo and Beth David, has clocked up some eight million views since it has uploaded to YouTube earlier this week.
As the plot description explains, the four-minute video focuses on shy redhead Sherwin who “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”.
Sherwin struggles to hide his true emotions as his runaway heart makes a dash to alert his crush of his true feelings.
“The original pitch was a story between a boy and a girl, but it wasn’t until we made it about a same-gender crush that the idea really started to take form and resonate with Esteban and I,” David told NBC News.
“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,” Bravo added.
“We tried to tell this story from a genuine place and be as emotionally honest as we could about how especially layered this experience is for LGBTQ kids.”
The film’s two characters have already earned countless tributes online with viewers praising the the heartfelt film for its honesty in depicting the inner turmoil that young gay people face as they begin to embrace their sexuality in the face of societal discrimination.