That's Cutest Couple. Not "cutest gay couple" or "cutest same-sex couple."
Carmel High School student Chelsea Blaney posted a snapshot of the yearbook photo featuring her friends, Brad Taylor and Dylan Meehan, online late last week.
"Two of my best friends won Cutest Couple of our senior class," she wrote on Tumblr. "First time in my school history a same sex couple has even been able to run for this category, not to mention winning it. So proud of them, and my school."
More than 100,000 people shared the photo within a few hours, and news of the win quickly spread online, drawing both admiration and ire from around the world.
"Heartwarming! Having said that, I hope to see the day when something like this is no longer considered newsworthy," commented "flumdo" at the Daily Mail. "Meanwhile, congratulations to the lads, and their whole school, staff and students alike."
"It is amazing how the liberal media has such an agenda to help bring all of the freaks of nature out to embarrass themselves and their families," wrote "amh9912" at the Huffington Post.
"GROSS!" wrote "kay" at happyplace.com.
"They really are adorable," wrote "LSophia" at Daily Kos. "Best wishes to the Cutest Couple and their supportive friend!"
Recently, high school yearbooks have been used to shame and bully students, rather than simply to commemorate four years of friendship. In Texas, a high school cheerleader was mortified last week when she discovered that her name had been changed to "Ugly Hoe" in her high school yearbook. In Georgia, someone added "freak" to freshman Dylan Worthen's last name and, in Missouri, a student is under arrest for replacing a friends last name with the word "masturbate" in their yearbook.
On Monday, Carmel High School principal Kevin Carroll told The Journal News on Monday that it's the first time that the students there have voted to name a same-sex couple the “cutest couple.” The 2013 yearbook was released on May 29.
As for Taylor and Meehan, they were less surprised by their win than they were by how quickly news of it spread. "This whole thing has been a bit surreal for us because we have been raised to believe that love is love. We never realized that our happiness and openness would inspire so many individuals," they wrote in an email to the Huffington Post on Monday. "The support we have received from our family, friends, and even strangers has led us to believe that our affection for each other is normal."
"When we started dating, the thought of a photo of us traveling throughout the world would be a bit frightening," they added. "But now we are proud to be part of the LGBT community."
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