I know that this short animated film has been getting quite a bit of attention lately and doesn’t need my help to get the word out, but I’m going to talk about it anyway. In A Heartbeat is the story of two nameless boys, one of which has a love-struck heart that escapes and chases down the object of his affection. It’s adorable as hell. Here’s Beth David and Esteban Bravo’s short.
I have to say… how lucky are kids today? When I was a kid, I didn’t have something like this to tell me that it was okay to be attracted to someone of the same gender. I had to figure that out on my own, and I had to see hetero love stories all over the place. That made a kid like me feel like there was something wrong with me, and that a happy ending like that couldn’t happen with someone of the same sex. There was no role model, and I felt the gaping hole of that absence acutely. In A Heartbeat presents the experience of revealing a crush in a way most of us in the LGBTQ community have been saying for years: we fall in love the same way you do. There’s still the same fears of rejection and wanting to keep your feelings a secret. There’s the heartbreak and hope that the straight folks have too. We’re like you; it’s just that it looks a little different on the outside. Seeing something like this means that we get our stories told too. Some kid is going to watch this and feel better. One less kid is going to get pushed further into the closet because of this short film. Someone doesn’t have to imagine what a love story for them will look like, like I used to have to – they get to see one. Representation matters, and as we progress, it’ll expand. We’ll see trans stories and ace stories and to infinity and beyond. I, for one, love that someone else who is young gets to see this and will feel less alone, because growing up, I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone. It’s a bad spot, and I’m glad to see that more people don’t have to suffer as a rite of passage; they get to see it as normal and accepted, because goddamnit, it IS normal and deserves acceptance.