When Kinsey Ratzman came out as a lesbian to her family in June, she knew the moment would change her life. Still, the 17-year-old admitted to being “completely shocked” by what happened next.
On July 2, Ratzman said she and a cousin returned to her home in Lawrence, New Jersey to find that her parents had planned a surprise coming out party to show their acceptance. The house was filled with guests, she said, and covered in rainbow decorations. The pride theme even extended to the menu, which included rainbow pasta, rainbow kebabs, a rainbow fruit salad and even a rainbow cake.
“I was very surprised, but very happy, when I first realized they had thrown me this party,” Ratzman, who will start her senior year of high school in the fall, told The Huffington Post. “Not every child is as lucky as I am in terms of family [acceptance]. I hope there is a day where this is not even a worry for LGBT kids.”
Her mom, Allison, told NBC 4 that she just wants her daughter “to be happy,” and planned the bash to show “how much we really support her and how much we’re behind her.”
“Lots of people were like, ‘Are you sure you want to do that, you sure she’s gonna enjoy that? You sure she’s not gonna be embarrassed, this is kind of a whole new thing for her,’” Allison said. “But I said, ‘No, I think she’ll really appreciate it.”
The teen’s bash also received an outpouring of support on social media. After Ratzman shared photos of the party on Twitter, her followers rocketed from 3,500 to almost 5,000, according to NJ.com. The original tweet itself has more than 31,000 likes and 12,000 retweets.
In the meantime, she said her inbox has been filled with messages from people “sharing their coming out stories and their future plans for coming out.”
Particularly in the wake of the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, Ratzman hopes her story will continue to inspire “a little joy and hope” for the LGBT community.
As for what she’d tell others who may be struggling with their sexuality, Ratzman told HuffPost, “Being positive and confident about yourself and your identity will help you stay strong even if there is criticism against you.”
Kudos to this family for showing what unconditional love can look like!