A touching video of an old man tearfully waving a Pride flag has gone viral. Here’s why.

A touching video of an old man tearfully waving a Pride flag has gone viral. Here’s why.
Photo: Screenshot X

In Portugal last Saturday, hearts were melting.

It was Pride in Porto, and as the city’s second annual march was winding through the ancient town’s cobblestoned streets, a parade-goer named Lily was singled out by an old gentleman in the doorway of his house.

Lily explained in a TikTok backstory that she’s Portuguese and living in London. She had been in Porto for a few days with her girlfriend and her family. She said the couple decided to go to the march “because we’re gay and we can.”

“There was a gentleman holding this [Portuguese] flag,” Lily recalled.

“He kept pointing at me and calling me,” she said. So she approached him.

Lily said she felt unsure about the old man’s intentions. Holding up your national standard flag can mean a lot of things, and she wasn’t sure which one he intended in this case. 

The crowd stopped behind her, Lily said, though she didn’t know it at the time, “because everyone’s really worried about what could happen next.”

What did happen next broke the internet, with more than 10 million views on X and counting.

As Lily walked up to the old man, he extended his arms and draped his flag over her shoulders.

Tears came to Lily’s eyes, and the old man’s.

“A lot of people are asking me what I said to him in that moment,” Lily says, “but I don’t even know what I said to him.”

“I remember him saying ‘Thank you,’ but it was very loud and everyone was screaming. We’re all going crazy,” she says. “I don’t know what came over me, to be very honest.”

“It was a beautiful moment” she recalled — but that wasn’t the half of it.

Lily had been carrying her own banner in the march, the Progress Pride flag. So she met the old man’s supportive gesture with one of her own, draping her flag over the old man’s shoulders and hugging him tightly as she did. The two embraced for a long time, cheered on by the marchers.

As they parted, Lily stroked the old man’s tear-streaked cheek. He gave her a sturdy thumbs up.

And when Lily stepped back into the crowd, the old man unfurled the Pride flag and proudly waved it. The marchers went wild, wiping away tears.

“It was super overwhelming. Everyone’s giving me hugs, everyone’s giving the gentlemen hugs. It was a really incredible moment and the entirety of the rest of the march, I just kept — everyone was like, what just happened to us,” Lily says.

Reaction online was predictably tear-soaked.

“Crying all the way in south america bless you both!!” one commenter wrote.

“The way he’s clutching that flag with so much emotion,” another noted.

“It was the most beautiful moment i ever seen,” yet another wrote. “Love always wins and that video proves it.”

Lily says she’s heard newspapers are trying to contact the old man, but she recommends, “Don’t.”

“He doesn’t need a lot of unwanted attention,” she says.

She did leave open the possibility of returning to his home to “get to know him and say thank you for that beautiful moment.”

“There is hope out there,” Lily says. “That’s just the spirit of Pride.”

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