A gay man’s TikTok tribute to his straight friend has gone viral for openly challenging the stigma that those who identify with the LGBTQIA+ community can’t be close friends with those who are cisgender and heterosexual.
Last Sunday, Adrian Alvarez, who is gay, took to Twitter to share a moving TikTok video that documented his friendship with Hector, whom he’s known since middle school.
“Straight boys take notes,” Alvarez tweeted.
The video, which is set to the theme song from Disney’s 2009 film “Up,” begins with a short clip of Hector resting his head on Alvarez’s shoulder. It then shows a montage of photos and other video footage interlaced with a heartwarming message.
“This is me and hector,” the message reads. “Alot of ppl including our closest friends thought we were dating. But he’s straight [and I’m] gay.”
Subsequent clips in the TikTok video show Hector getting Alvarez coffee and the two wearing makeup.
“He’s my best straight boy-friend,” the message continues. “I want to show how much I appreciate him for his fluid boldness to not giving a F*CK. He wasnt scared to show that [straight] guys can be as if not even more fem. than gays. He broke every straight stereotype.”
Alvarez then tells the audience that Hector has faced his own set of challenges as a result of the two’s friendship.
“His dating life was not the best cuz every girl thought he was gay or dating me,” the message reads. “He was harassed and questioned about his sexuality all the time. But he didnt care. [He was on] a quest to make sure that gays felt safe and [in comfort] with their own skin. Hector u mean so much to me. I love you bro.”
Alvarez’s video has since gone viral, receiving over 1.6 million views on Twitter and a flood of supportive comments.
“If straight girls can do stuff like this and not be considered dating, why can’t guys tbh,” one person quipped. “Love to see it.”
Another gay Twitter user similarly shared a clip of himself and his straight best friend.
“My best friend (he’s the light one) is 100% straight,” the user wrote. “It’s def possible.”
Amid persistent stigmas surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community, studies have shown that gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults who experience strong rejection from their families are six times more likely to report high levels of depression and eight times more likely to attempt suicide. However, research also shows that gay men who have strong support systems tend to have higher self-esteem and more positive mental health.