In high school, the captain of the varsity football team usually has an alpha-male status at the school. In teen romance movies, he dates the head cheerleader and they’ve both voted homecoming king and queen.

But at Valley High School in Santa Ana, California, the varsity captain made an important point about male friendship by agreeing to be his gay friend’s date to homecoming.

During lunch hour on National Coming Out Day, Alexander Duarte, a gay student, staged an elaborate proposal.


With hundreds of friends looking on, Duarte stepped out of a door that read “Out of the Closet” and in front of a sigh that read: “I know I’m GAY, but can I take you STRAIGHT 2 HOMECOMING?” and asked his straight friend, quarterback Erick Pineda, to go to the Homecoming dance with him.

Pineda said, “Yes.”

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“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 also my community,” Pineda 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.”

“I’m very grateful to be the captain of the football team. The team is very supportive and multiple teammates have approached me to congratulate me and have given me ‘RESPECT’ for my actions,” he added.

During freshman year, Pineda treated Duarte in a way he later apologized for, by going as Duarte’s date, he’s showing him the true meaning of friendship. “He [Pineda] also said that he loved me and that he will always be there for me if needed,” Duarte said.

Duarte asked Pineda to the prom to show people that it’s ok to “be themselves,” he told Yahoo. “Because one of the main things that hold people back aren’t others but ourselves.”

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