Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When Same Sex Couples Kiss in Public

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky.

Kissing, kissing, kissing, such a simple thing right? I mean, most couples do it and quite a few are quite willing to do it in public as well. Of course, we may roll our eyes over people who are outright tongue wrestling in the public street – but precious few of us complain about the odd peck. It's a very standard part of our view.

Well... except in same-sex couples. Then that can get you thrown out of pubs. It can get you kicked off planes. It can certainly get your head kicked in. A television programme with a same-sex kiss? Oh you're bound to get a gazillion complaints. How daaaare you. Even now there's yet another study on shoving our affection after the watershed to protect the delicate gazes of straight people.

I don't kiss Beloved outside the house. I want to, but I don't. It has become something hidden, something concealed. Something I have to restrict to behind close doors. In some ways, I have to treat kissing him as a sex act.

And the excuses we hear from those determined not to allow us this simplest act of affection.

“People complained”  “People  were offended.” “There are Children watching”  “This is a family area”

Oh I love that protest. “We're not raging bigots – we just accede to their wishes!” Like that's even an excuse! Like that makes you one iota less of a homophobe!

Why does it offend people? Why must we protect  the gaze of straight people from our affection? We see kisses all the time – do these people walk through life being permanently offended? Kissing is on every channel! In so many books, in so much media, in adverts!

And family friendly? Do families not kiss? My parents kissed most certainly. Were they odd? I don't think so. I'm sure I've seen an awful lot of kissing on television, in books, at school, in the street.

And unfit for kids? Freaking fairy tales contain kissing. Books read aloud to children who are too young to even understand most of the words. In fact it's nearly an essential, so many conclude with a kiss as the big grand moment.

It's. A. Kiss. For crying out loud. A kiss. Kissing is everywhere. Kissing is on every page, every channel, absolutely freaking everywhere. Get over it already. It doesn't become toxic simply because the lips that are meeting are from the same gender.

No, seriously, get over it. I'm really tired of such a basic gesture of affection becoming something dark and hidden. I'm tired of having to hide my love behind closed doors and I'm tired of being considered grossly obscene. It vexes me incredibly that I could lay in the middle of the street performing every graphic sex act known to mankind and know that I could obtain the same damn reaction by kissing my husband.

I want to be able to kiss him without double checking, without being afraid, without what should be a simple, loving gesture becoming a political and courageous act. I don't want to be courageous every time I express my love – I want to just love.