HomeTrending TopicsGus Kenworthy’s Fast Olympic Kiss Is Really A Actually Large Deal – HuffPost
Posted in Trending Topics on 18th February 2018

20 months in the past, on a Sunday morning kind of like at present, I woke as much as a telephone name from HuffPost’s Nationwide Editor informing me lone shooter at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, murdered 49 folks, most of them queer folks of coloration.

A number of hours later, in the course of the determined hunt for a motive that follows each seemingly mindless atrocity just like the one which unfolded in these early June hours, the assailant’s father informed reporters that his was son “very offended” on the sight of two males kissing weeks earlier than the taking pictures, saying that might have been part of his son’s motive.

Heartbroken, enraged and searching for some option to course of what had occurred, I wrote a chunk arguing that regardless of the victories the LGBTQ neighborhood had secured lately, a homosexual kiss ― even in 2016 ― was nonetheless thought of a surprising, terrifying sight for too many individuals. I additionally argued that it was, in gentle of that devastatingly sobering truth, completely crucial for queer folks to proceed kissing each time and wherever they may.

Others felt equally, and HuffPost Queer Voices launched a #KeepKissing hashtag on social media that quickly included hundreds of queer and non-queer folks proudly kissing same-gender companions, associates, coworkers and even strangers. The marketing campaign despatched a message to each allies and enemies that this easy, stunning demonstration of affection should be thought of disgusting by too many individuals ― and was due to this fact nonetheless a dangerous public act ― however, regardless of the very actual and probably harmful penalties that might observe even probably the most harmless of shows of affection, we’d not be ashamed; we’d be paralyzed by our concern and we’d not cease kissing.

This morning I woke as much as a photograph of Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy kissing his boyfriend earlier than a qualifying run in Sunday’s slopestyle occasion in Pyeongchang, South Korea:

I, in fact, had a really totally different response to seeing this picture than I did to the information I obtained virtually two years in the past; however after my preliminary exhilaration subsided, I couldn’t assist however assume how gorgeous it nonetheless is to see two males kissing in public.

In some methods, sadly, it might be much more gorgeous than it was in 2016 contemplating the America we’re struggling to make sense of proper now: a rustic that, for the primary time for the reason that inception of GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance examine 4 years in the past, is reportedly experiencing a “swift and alarming” drop in general acceptance of LGBTQ folks. The report additionally discovered a “vital” enhance within the variety of queer individuals who have been discriminated in opposition to due to their sexual orientation or gender identification. 

Much more disturbing, there was a 400 % enhance in hate-motivated homicides in opposition to cisgender queer, homosexual, and bisexual people from 2016 to 2017, in accordance with the Nationwide Coalition of Anti-Violence Applications. In the meantime, violence in opposition to transgender girls of coloration continues to extend, and tragic headlines describing deadly assaults on black lesbians and their households introduced within the new 12 months.

This information, whereas surprising, shouldn’t be stunning contemplating who’s within the White Home and what has transpired within the final 12 months. Since coming into workplace, President Donald Trump and his administration have rescinded protections for queer folks, nominated virulently anti-queer judges and politicians and overtly supported ― or, in some instances, even advocated for ― anti-LGBTQ rhetoric on a nationwide scale, all of which has made the already perilous existence of being queer in America much more perilous as we trudge additional and additional into Trump’s presidency. 

Which is why pictures just like the one in all Kenworthy and his boyfriend are extra essential than ever ― and never simply in America however in so many components of the world the place being queer is taken into account deviant, prison and even punishable by loss of life.

The apparently unplanned kiss (his boyfriend jokingly insisted “if I’d have identified it was a giant deal, I’d have made out with him”) is simply the most recent transfer by Kenworthy, who, together with fellow Olympian and buddy Adam Rippon, has used the Olympics as a possibility to defy the anti-queer rhetoric popping out of the Trump administration, particularly from Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the opening of the 2018 Winter Video games.

“To have the ability to try this, to provide [my boyfriend] a kiss, to have that affection broadcast to the world, is unbelievable,” Kenworthy stated. “The one option to actually change perceptions, to interrupt down boundaries, break down homophobia, is thru illustration. That’s positively not one thing I had as a child. I by no means noticed a homosexual athlete kissing their boyfriend on the Olympics. I believe if I had, it might’ve made it simpler for me.”

And whereas Kenworthy and Rippon would in all probability argue that they’re merely being precisely who they’re after they aren’t competing ― or underneath the highlight ― on the world stage, their use of those alternatives to make an announcement (even unknowingly) have been nothing wanting thrilling and matter greater than ever.

As a lot as I look ahead to the day when queer kisses could be as ho-hum and apolitical as non-queer kisses; so long as they nonetheless aren’t, we should proceed to maintain kissing, telling our tales and being whoever we’re each time attainable with out providing excuses or apologies ― not solely to indicate our enemies that regardless of our very justifiable fears, we received’t be terrorized into silence and aren’t going wherever, but in addition within the hope that it would startle even one queer particular person into realizing that there might be a spot for them on this planet the place they’ll transfer past the already exhausting each day process of merely surviving and might really safe a life for his or her self crammed with all the issues ― from actually equal rights to a fast peck the lips ― that make life value dwelling.

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