On the eve of the holiday, we come to same-sex kissing in public (in the flesh or in photos distributed publicly), which I maintain is, these days, still almost always a political act (and to my mind an admirable one) — protesting homophobia, the denial of lgbt rights, and homo-hostility of all sorts. (The exception is in kissing in the few safe spaces allowed to us, and even then photos might become truly public.) These protests can be carried out by warm and gentle strategies, like Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka performing their genuine pleasure in each other as a persistent campaign of adorable public affection, a campaign carried out on behalf of lgbt people everywhere. Or the protests can be more pointed and defiant (examples to follow), but again the protestors are acting on behalf of the community, not just themselves. Some of us in fact feel that we have a moral responsibility to act in this way, especially if we can do so without much loss to ourselves and have social capital (reputation, celebrity, authority, whatever) we can draw on: if not us, then who?
A serious lead-in to something I take great pleasure in seeing: men kissing men, women kissing women. And since tomorrow is Kissing Day…
The Valentine’s Kiss Photo Challenge. An event carried out on the GayCities site for several years. Guys (mostly young) submit photos of themselves, which the site then promotes. Three diverse examples here. First, a couple in a shot the site labeled “Beef Tongue”:
The t-shirt is a tribute to a different holiday: “I’m Not Santa But You Can Sit on My Lap”.
Originally shot in a protest context, on Christopher St. in NYC.
Black angel and white angel. My sources give no reading for flagging rainbow on the right, as here. Receptive partner for anything?
International. Now a diverse assortment of protests from around the world, not all specifically for VDay.
Female couples in Kosovo, where this display apparently elicited significant hostility.
Record long VDay kiss by a Thai couple (50 hours, 25 minutes)
Kiss-in in Cartagena, Colombia, demonstrating after the massacre at the Pulse club in Orlando FL
And a mass VDay kiss-in in Picadilly Circus, London. Note three-way on the upper right.