Q: Why is the kiss-in happening?
A: In recent months, there have been several incidents involving the demonization of public affection between same-gender couples. In December of 2008, two women in San Antonio were arrested for “making out” in public. In June, two men were handcuffed and threatened with arrest for merely kissing on the cheek. Just a few weeks ago, two men were detained by security guards of the Mormon Church and subsequently arrested for kissing. We want to send a message that ALL couples have the right to express their love through public displays of affection and kindness. So we are organizing this event, in conjunction with over 50 other kiss-ins across the country, to demonstrate this message of equality.
Q: What if I don’t have anyone to kiss?
A: Don’t worry about it… lots of people are showing up without someone in particular to kiss (including many of the event organizers!). Just come prepared to give and receive the same amount of love and acceptance as everyone else who will be in attendance!
Q: What if I don’t want to kiss someone?
A: It’s completely okay! Just come and display any level of support that you’re comfortable with, whether it be holding your best friend’s hand, giving out a hug (or ten), or even just observing the beautiful displays of queer (and straight) love! Our message is strengthened by the number of supporters that we have in attendance. So even if you aren’t comfortable with public displays of affection, you can still show up to support equality!
Q: What if I’m not queer… how can I be an ally?
A: This event isn’t just for queer people to show their love… it’s a chance to celebrate the equality of ALL love! So if you don’t identify as queer, come out and show your support—kiss your opposite-gender partner, show up alone, or kiss a friend! We welcome anyone who wishes to help spread the message of equality for all loving couples!
Q: Will I be safe?
A: The goal of the National Kiss-In movement is to CREATE safe spaces in which all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are able to express their authentic selves. Though we do unfortunately live in a world that often demeans the queer community, we rest assured that our visibility and strength in numbers will pose no threat to kiss-in participants. Instead, we will effectively deconstruct the homophobic and transphobic mindsets that are used to marginalize queer people. (And as with any event on Fountain Square, there will be sufficient security and surveillance).
Q: What should I bring?
A: Obviously your beautiful self! We want to make sure that Cincinnati can see us celebrating our love, so don’t hesitate to bring anything else that would make us more visible—signs, t-shirts, musical instruments, etc.
Q: How will the kiss-in effect the public’s perception of the queer community?
A: Some people are concerned that the kiss-in would perpetuate the over-sexualized image of the queer community that falsely resonates in our society. However, look around you… every day, you can see couples expressing their love for one another in public without hesitation. For couples that society deems “normal”, this is not seen as a sexual or obscene act. However, due to recent events, it’s become more and more evident that not all couples (especially queer couples) are able to enjoy this simple, basic right.
By joining together on Fountain Square (and across the country as a national movement), we’ll send a clear message that we refuse to be bullied into silencing or hiding our love or affection for each other. By taking a firm and visible stance in over 50 cities across the country, we will further our cause of love, solidarity, and equality for ALL people.