The Internet can be great for so many things, but it can also be toxic. When people put themselves on social media, specifically if they don’t make their page private, they’re basically giving all people — friends, family, strangers and bullies the platform to type whatever the want, whenever they want — all from the comfort of their own anonymity. And the words aren’t always nice. But sometimes, people are put on social media without their knowledge or consent, leaving the entire situation out of their control.
That’s exactly what happened to Naparuj Mond Kaendi and Thorsten Mid, an interracial gay couple who were mocked and bullied online after someone took a photo of them holding hands on a train, and then posted the photo on Facebook.
The photo is actually beautiful. It simply portrays two young men loving and supporting each other amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. But not everyone agrees. Many of the comments are alarmingly homophobic and racist.
When the photo went viral earlier this year, it was reminder of how much ignorance still pervades our culture, especially online, and how much change needs to happen in order for equality and acceptance to take hold.
And one step toward change is perseverance, something Kaendi and Mid proved to be true just by being themselves.
The couple, who work in fashion and have been together for two years, didn’t allow the virtual negativity to affect their relationship.
Instead, they spoke out after their photo went viral and faced their bullies, head on.
“I’m not a famous actor nor a public person who knows how to handle criticism… I’m just ME,” Kaendi said at the time, according to PinkNews. “We’re just another average couple working hard to get to be together.”
And that hard work paid off. This past weekend, they celebrated their wedding day in Germany. The grooms posted photos from their happy event on Instagram using the hashtag #MONDESTEN, and the photos are as beautiful as they are touching—especially given all the online support they’ve received.
Instead of hate-fueled rants, commenters called their photos “beautiful” and praised their love. We’d like to join in the chorus and wish them a huge congratulations.
We love their love. And in this case, love definitely wins!
Featured image via Instagram