Facebook ‘Kiss-In’ Launched in Response to Negative Reactions to Michael Sam Kiss

Sam kiss

HuffPost editor Michelangelo Signorile has launched a Facebook "kiss-in" in response to negative reactions over the Michael Sam kiss.

KissinHe writes:

People just aren't used to seeing two men or two women kissing, even with all the news coverage of gay marriage. Judging by some of the reactions to the Sam/Cammisano kiss, I'm not sure what they think gay men in relationships do. Play checkers? (Well, maybe sometimes.) We see straight people kissing all the time, all over television, in magazines, in films, on the Internet. A lot of people who consider themselves pro-gay probably are uneasy about seeing gays kissing, just like a lot of people who in the past said they supported interracial marriage were probably uneasy when they saw two straight people of different races kissing (and some still are). And in this case, it's a gay black man and a gay white man kissing.

Signorile urges Facebook users to change their profile photos to two women or two men kissing.

He also references an article by Mark Joseph Stern at Slate which raises some of the same issues.

Stern makes a good case for why the negative reactions to the ESPN coverage of Michael Sam’s emotional kiss with his boyfriend prove gay people need to be more affectionate in public. 

Writes Stern:

Supporting gay rights means supporting gay people. And you can’t support gay people if you’re disgusted by their most basic and innocuous displays of affection.

Modern familyStill, on an emotional level, I can understand why an otherwise goodhearted straight person’s knee-jerk response to a gay kiss lands on the spectrum of discomfort. Gay PDA remains startlingly rare in 2014, thanks to an overwhelming history of anti-gay animus that makes every public kiss more than a little bit fraught. Even an ostensibly gay-friendly TV show like Modern Family gives mainstream America barely a glimpse at same-sex affection. And there’s an obvious feedback loop problem here: So long as gay people are uncomfortable kissing in public, straight people won’t be comfortable seeing it; so long as straight people are uncomfortable seeing it, gay people will hesitate to do it.

There’s really only one way to break this impasse: more gay kissing. Straight Americans needs to see more same-sex affection, and LGBTQ Americans are the only people who can provide it. Gay couples shouldn’t shrink from sharing a kiss in public, even if they risk drawing annoyed glances or angry tweets. Ten years ago, gay people were instructed to hide their sexuality lest they rub it in everyone’s faces. Today, we’re being told not to kiss in public—under the exact same rationale. There’s no reason to accept this pathetically irrational, plainly prejudiced party line. We should all be grateful to Michael Sam for sparking this conversation with his much-ballyhooed (and very innocent) kiss. But if we truly want to do justice to Sam’s already admirable legacy, we owe it to ourselves to follow his lead.


  1. Rick says

    “Supporting gay rights means supporting gay people. And you can’t support gay people if you are disgusted by their most basic and innocuous displays of affection.”

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. People can most definitely support the philosophical idea that all people should enjoy the basic rights of citizenship without necessarily liking all the groups of people that applies to.

    For example, the vast majority of people who believed in civil rights in the 60’s did not generally approve of interracial dating or marriage and most of them still don’t whether or not they will admit it.

    Gay activists are misinterpreting people’s support for gay rights and their greater tolerance of homosexuality as an embrace of that sexuality and the culture that often accompanies it. And if they push people too hard by “demanding” “endorsement” of their sexuality, they are rnning a real risk of alienating them completely.

    People do have limits; we would do well to realize that and realize that as a small minority of the population we have to respect those limits if we want to gain as much acceptance as we can.

    But I will tell you this. There will ALWAYS something a little weird about homosexuality for most people, simply because it is, on some level, “unnatural”. We are not mentally ill and there is nothing essentially “immoral” about us….and our sexuality IS natural in the sense that is is a consistent feature of human behavior……but it is unnatural to the extent that it does not comport with biological function and is, in some evolutionary way, an impediment to it, just as incest is.

    So we need to find how far we can go in terms of gaining acceptance, but realize that there is always going to be, for just about all people, a certain discomfort with us and with what we do.

    And that is just the way it is.

  2. Lee says

    Perfect response. A kiss is a kiss, it’s not sexual in nature. If you overthink a kiss and see it as some sex act, that’s you projecting your own issues and hang ups on a loving couples.

  3. Durante says

    Que the apologetic “but I don’t want to see gay or straight people kiss” concerned trolls. Oh really mary? well then where’s your protests toward the COUNTLESS images per second on every television network of heterosexuals kissing? It’s only when gays kiss that we hear the “but I don’t like seeing gays or straights kiss”….bull crap.

  4. Kevin L. says

    There was a similar kiss in campaign for heterosexual interracial couples after a protest of Ross dating Aisha Tyler (who is black) on the internet around 10 years ago. I thought the kiss in pictures of hetero interracial couples that came out of that was a beautiful response, and I find this gesture of loving gay couples kissing to be beautiful as well. And I’m a biracial gay man who realizes the importance of desensitizing people to what they view as abnormal.

  5. JoJo says

    If you’re offended by two people who love each other KISSING, in a world filled with daily shootings, and wars, and corruption….then your priorities are skewed, and you are frankly what is wrong with society.

    A kiss is the LEAST of my problems, and I applaud anyone who found enough love to kiss for.

  6. Benito says

    I love Michelangelo Signorli. I’m loving his activism. I’m loving his voice in the LGBT community. I’m loving his unwavering dedication to us and for us.

  7. Rick says

    @SIMON I read the linked article and while it is an interesting study, the title the HuffPost applied to it is misleading. And, of course, there is no “gay gene” to begin with, as far as we know, much less a “gay man gene.”

    Regardless, the aversion people have to homosexuality is, I think, visceral on some level….and because of that, will always be there. And we would be wise to realize that, lest we push even the most sympathetic people too far and end up with a backlash on our hands…..

    Homosexuality will never be seen as entirely “natural” as heterosexuality is….

  8. Hughes says

    My partner and I hold hands everywhere in public, and when it is necessary, kiss (like a peck in public too. It feels beautiful. It’s the most romantic thing we do. And it actually strengthens our relationship (believe it or not). There’s something so liberating and loving about declaring being in love and facing the world and saying “I’m proud of the person standing next to me, who completes me”

  9. simon says

    Wrong again. It has nothing to do with genes, whether the “gay genes” exist or not. When the evolution theory was proposed by Darwin et.al, Darwin knew nothing about genes.
    The study did not say it found the “gay genes”. It is just a phenomenal study.
    I don’t care something is natural or not. You can say using the internet is also not “natural”. Just some empty words. You can really help how other people look at you. Be it your skin color or sexual orientation. If you don’t like the skin color of Obama, just don’t give him your vote. I think he doesn’t need your vote.

  10. Rowan says

    Interesting argument Rick and Simon. But you both innately are wired different and based on how people are wired; they will agree with either of you because both your points cane seen as ‘right’. But Simon’s thinking is more evolved, less contorted with fear and driven by societal propaganda.

  11. says

    A gay kiss…and Being gay…IS ‘Natural!’ Natural means ‘of nature’…and WE are ‘of nature!’
    All living things are ‘Natural.’
    What is Unnatural is the Bigotry and Hatred and Stupidity of the masses.


  12. Patrick says

    I’m gonna kiss my husband in public a LOT more. And if people even say one negative thing. It’s on you mofo’s. Breeders need to get the frick over themselves: this IS the 21st century and the GLBTQQIA community is flexing it’s muscle and they need to deal with it and adjust. We’ve been subjected to heteros doing all sorts of PDA’s for centuries. And the world is NOT coming to an end.

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