A gay high school couple who were voted “cutest” in their yearbook, became an internet sensation, finding a huge wave of support, and saying they had received messages saying they had inspired people to come out.

Carmel High School students Bradley Taylor and Dylan Meehan, attended their senior prom on Monday, and said they were proud to show that they were accepted by classmates, and that their high school was inclusive.

“It’s been insane,” said Taylor, 17, Meehan agreeing. “We are very, very proud to show that Carmel High School is the way it is.”

They began to receive attention after their best friend Chelsea Blaney posted a photograph of the couple on her Tumblr, saying that they had won the cutest couple in the yearbook.

She said she went from 15 likes to 7,000 in just minutes, and since then, the picture, and her blog have been shared over 100,000 times.

“I got comments from ‘They’re cute’ to ‘This has inspired me to come out to my parents,’ “ said Blaney, 18. “It’s mind-blowing.”

She has since begun a campaign to have the couple, who have been together since last June, appear on the Ellen talk show

The couple said they had never had anything negative said to them about their relationship, despite there only being a handful of same-sex couples at the high school.

On Facebook, various Carmel High School alumni expressed surprise, and support for the couple, after it was announced that they had been chosen for the honour, many commenting to say that the school had come a long way.