|Locking lips at a recent Kiss-In protest in San Diego. Photo by Rex Wockner.
Same-sex marriage has been getting a whole lot of media coverage these days. It has put queers in the forefront of attention. This has brought some good results for visibility; but on the other hand, it has stirred up homophobia across the planet. For instance, two gay men in Utah were handcuffed and harassed for kissing. In Fort Worth, Texas, customers in a gay bar were beaten relentlessly by police - placing one man in a coma. Stories are hitting blogs, print media, and TV news of gay and lesbian couples being attacked and harassed by ordinary citizens - and law enforcement as well - in states across the country - just for showing affection to a person of the same gender. Meanwhile, happy heteros all over the world can kiss it up as often and as publicly as they want, without fear of resulting hate speech or hate crimes.
This is NOT just in places other than the supposed haven of San Francisco. Miss Trannyshack Anna Conda of the famed Cinchâ€™s Charlie Horse events had an incident when she and her partner were forcibly removed from a bar on Geary and Hyde just for the crime of kissing. She said they were also ejected from the Fillmore during a Faint and Ladytron concert for being gay and just holding hands. I know of a supposedly gay piano bar in SF that customarily eight-sixes any same-sex couples who do no more than kiss, while straights are left alone to smooch to their privileged little heartsâ€™ content.
So groups have formed in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and many many other cities around the country, coming up with the brilliant idea of a national kiss-in. Yes, queers kissing each other, holding each other, and sharing the joy of being gay right out in public. Shocking, isnâ€™t it? I mean, â€śItâ€™s okay to be gay, but please donâ€™t be gay in public!â€ť Isnâ€™t that the message AmeriKKKa is not so subtly sending to us queers? â€śThis shows no matter what they take from us, or beat us, or discourage us - that GAY and LESBIAN and TRANNY love is here, and you canâ€™t wish it away!â€ť exhorts Anna Conda.
Here in SF the plan is to also have a drag contingent singing songs with the word â€śkissâ€ť in them, or numbers by the band KISS, or anything to do with kissing. There is supposed to be a Portable Birthday Boy Kissing Booth. People are also encouraged to bring clever homemade signs (because as everyone knows, we queers are clever). Over 300 confirmed participants (and counting) have signed on. Leatherfolk should come out and smooch in their leathers. Business people in their financial drag can seal the deal with a kiss in their three-piece suits, erotically locking briefcases. Muni riders can buss and avoid unnecessary traffic. Brainiacs can osculate sans trepidation.
This kiss-a-thon will take place in Union Square on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 11 a.m. This is the same time that all the other 50-plus cities will be kissing as well. UNIVERSAL LIP LOCKING! The loving protest continues until 1 in the afternoon, when everyone has to leave so a religious group can use the square. Yeah, I know. The irony.
It is imperative to keep up visibility at this time and to be part of something on a national level. â€śI have always stated that until we have NATIONAL recognition we are second class citizens who can help pay for unjust wars but canâ€™t be safe legally in that same country we help support and nourish,â€ť says Anna Conda. â€śOur voice and our love cannot be stopped by laws, hate, injustice, or killing us as a people, because we are magic and will be around as long as there are people on this planet.â€ť
So spread the word! Part your lips. Slip the tongue! Be there or be square in Union Square! Join in for a national day of GAY and LESBIAN and TRANS love across the USA! All together now: Ssssmmmmooooch!!!