It wasn’t long ago that the very idea of “coming out” to one’s parents was seen as terrifying. Would they accept the news? How would they react? What would it do to the family?
Nowadays, those same issues sometimes linger — which is why it’s so refreshing to see the stories of people like “Gina,” a 16-year-old from California who not only decided recently that it was time to tell her family she was gay, but to confidently do it in pretty much the most fun way we’ve ever seen.
“I am not the type of person to have a deep, sit-down conversation,” she tells Buzzfeed of her idea to hold up a sign on Disney’s Splash Mountain, letting her family discover it afterwards on the gift shop’s TV screen. “I wanted to tell them in a lighthearted and fun way.”
The hilarious result is a picture of five clueless people in a canoe, riding down a waterfall as the sixth one holds up a sign in rainbow-colored letters reading “I’m gay!”
The best part of this story, however, may be how Gina’s family reacted to the pic.
“[It was] so positive,” she says of her mom’s reaction, as well as those of her other family members when it was sent to them. “My dad and brother said they were already 70 percent sure I was gay, but my mom had no idea. I knew they would be super accepting.”
Now, in addition to having a huge weight off her shoulders, Gina also has an unexpected benefit: Thousands of online supporters helping to guide her into her new life.
“I never expected it to blow up like this,” she explains of the photo, which snagged 13,000 likes in its first five hours. “People have responded saying I’ve inspired them to do the same thing, which I think is the coolest part of it all.”