Asking someone to go to a school dance has become a big, elaborate affair. For friends Erick Pineda and Alexander Duarte, going to homecoming together started off as a joke. But Duarte thought it’d be a good idea, so the 17-year-old senior at Valley High School in Santa Ana, California, who is gay, put a plan in action to ask Pineda, who is straight and the school’s football captain, to the dance.
He planned for weeks and on October 11, aka National Coming Out Day, Duarte greeted Pineda outside of school with two banners. One read, “I know I’m gay, but can I take you straight to homecoming?” The other read, “Out of the closet.” Though we can’t hear what the two say to each other, we do see Pineda shaking his head yes.
Duarte, who has become close friends with Pineda over the last three years, said that he had never had a date to a dance and it just made sense that he should ask Erick. “For me it was also about setting an example for others on how to go all out on their proposals and, more importantly, that it is OK for a brown boy to ask another dude,” Alexander told Instinct.
For Erick, it was also an exciting moment. “It’s very important for me to be going to homecoming with Alexander because I’m setting an example for not only my school, but my community,” he said. “I was definitely excited to be asked to homecoming because I knew how important this was for my friend and seeing the support from the staff and students was amazing.”
Check out the sweet moment below.
And check out this cute video from the big day.