LGBTQ representation in animation films has been on the agenda for a little while now, with production houses like Disney and Pixar beginning to do their bit.
Following a Finding Dory trailer last year which suggested there was a lesbian couple in the film, 2012's ParaNorman featured the first openly gay character in a mainstream animation. With social media campaigns such as the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend asking for Frozen's Elsa to be Disney's first lesbian princess, there is a demand for helping the LGBTQ youth see their identities celebrated on-screen.
And that's exactly what students Beth David and Esteban Bravo, from the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, have just successfully achieved following the launch of their animated short film, titled In a Heartbeat, which follows a young homosexual boy's 'coming out'.
Let's just say, it's sure to melt even the most ice-cold of hearts today.
The project – started with Kickstarter campaign aiming to raise £2,230 ($3,000) which actially raised over £10,000 ($14,000) – first caught traction in April when a short tweet about the clip went viral with over 100,000 'likes'.
Last night, the creators released the long version of the film, which is described on the pair's Kickstarter page as following a closeted boy 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'.
In the clip, the young boy can be seen climbing trees, hiding behind bushes, and jumping into bins to avoid being spotted by his crush, meanwhile his heart chases after his love in a bid to finally unite the two.
With discouraging looks from their classmates, the young homosexual boy's heart gets ripped in two, forcing him to run away from his love. He is later joined outside school by his crush where the two's hearts finally join together.
In the hours following its release, the clip has since gone viral, with LGBTQ supporters praising its heartfelt and positive depiction of non-heterosexual relationships.
Grab the tissues and watch the short film below:
We're not crying, you're crying.