The matric dance is a rite of passage for many young South Africans, including this same-sex couple from Pretoria Boys High.
Listeners of Jacarana FM’s Scenic Drive show recently shared photos of their children’s matric dance with host Rian van Heerden.
A picture of Joshua Harper and Ryan Nortje attending their special night was sent in by one of the boys’ moms and was one of two chosen as “special moments that stood out for the team today” on Tuesday.
The image of the handsome couple was also posted on the station’s Facebook page.
“These two attended the matric dance at Pretoria High School for Boys as a same-sex couple,” wrote the station. “According to one of the boys’ moms, this was the first time this was allowed in the history of the school.”
Speaking to Mambaonline, Joshua clarified that although he and Ryan were the first same-sex couple to attend the school’s matric dance, “the principal never had an issue with same-sex couples and permission has never been needed”.
He added: “The reason why we did this was because we were breaking the stigma that Boys High is a homophobic school.”
The photo of the couple in their blue suits generated a slew of comments on Facebook, with the vast majority applauding the boys for their courage.
Antoinette Nicolaou wrote: “This is how we change the world…one act of bravery and acceptance at a time. Well done boys!”
Maynette Heyns said: “Well done boys for taking a stand. Well done Boys High for setting an example….and then, not forgetting…well done the 300 other boys who embraced their classmates without a side wards glance.”
Charity Outlwile Nkadimang-Maine added: “The pride…..beautiful! Well done boys you have carved a path for others to come. I am so proud of you! May your lives be prosperous! Go on to tertiary and become productive members of society and wave the rainbow flag high!”
Joshua thanked the commentators for their positive remarks, while his mom, Sara Elizabeth Harper, gushed: “I am his mom and you cannot believe how proud I am. He is an incredible person inside and out”.
When she was praised for being an amazing mother, she replied: “I am not the amazing person Joshua Harper and Ryan Nortje are the amazing people. Life is hard already they didn’t choose this path to make it even harder. I don’t believe God would punish beautiful people being born gay.”
Congratulations to Joshua and Ryan from the Mambaonline team!