The Power of a Kiss

thSince time began the emotive power of a kiss has been well documented, from Judas’s betrayal kiss to Jesus, to the emotional pull of Rodin’s world famous sculpture, The Kiss. This simple show of affection continues to be extremely powerful when shared with the wider public, particularly if the kiss is between a couple of the same sex and even more so if the same sex are male. One just has to take a look at the furore caused by the chaste kiss between the two Eastender characters, Colin (Michael Cashman) and Barry (Gary Hailes). This gay kiss was a first for any UK soap opera and caused equal amounts of praise and homophobic abuse from fans of the show. The red top tabloids went into meltdown with headlines like Eastbenders. Since then all the major soaps have included gay characters, reflecting the majority of the public opinion that being gay and showing affection through a kiss is not something to be ashamed of. However, there is still a section of the community who are literally repulsed by the sight of two men kissing; rather predictably two lesbians kissing receives a more titillating response from the tabloids and the majority of those (mostly male) homophobic complainers. Most recently Eastenders introduced a new gay character’s, Danny Pennant and Johnny Carter (played by Gary Lucy and Sam Strike) and once again complaints from viewers came in, however, the amount of complaints was dramatically smaller to those received back in the 1980’s. What is interesting to note is there has apparently been no complaints from viewers of Hollyoaks when they aired there own gay storylines. This has been put down to Hollyoaks having a younger, and perhaps a more enlightened audience fan base. Away from the soaps, John Barrowman’s man on man kiss at the opening of the Commonwealth Games got many of the social media sites buzzing with many people congratulating organisers for including the kiss, which helped highlight the fact that gay marriage is illegal in 42 of the 53 commonwealth counties taking part in the games. Even The Mirror congratulated the games with their online page showing “14 more amazing gay and lesbian snogs” Of course there was the usual backlash from others who were so disgusted that they had turn the television off and go and sit in their shed and fume. Living in Brighton it is easy to forget that there is still so much prevalent homophobia across the UK, and worse anti-gay legisation in the other countries across the world. For this reason alone it is all the more important that high profile, out gay men like Barrowman, show the world the power of the kiss, giving hope to all those who fear to share this simple act of love. John Barrowman’s Commonwealth Kiss

 

 

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