Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Great Global Kiss-in:

IDAHO Video Roundup

Waymon Hudson, a regular contributor to the Bilerico Project group blog, to which I have also contributed, has performed a wonderful favor for the global gay community. He's gathered up several video and pictorial reporting from activists far and wide, all about what they did for the incredible worldwide few days of rolling kiss-ins in many many places.

The collection from Waymon starts with the first official IDAHO mashup, and in a few deft edits, gives a great overview of the kiss-ins. A very powerful mashup and there should be more from the IDAHO organizers in the coming days.

Here is Waymon's report:

A huge number of cities around the globe took place in the Great Global Kiss-in Protest. May 17th was the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), a worldwide rallying event offering an opportunity for people to get together, reach out to one another, and educate about the dangers of anti-LGBT discrimination and hatred in our society.

This year's event was a kiss-in, the purpose of which was to increase visibility of the LGBT community and its allies. Acts like the Great Global Kiss-in are important. Simple acts of affection between people of the same gender are still seen as shocking and taboo and can too often lead to violence. Highlighting the differences between the way we view and treat those couples and their heterosexual counterparts can be illuminating and freeing.

Affection between same-sex couples or gender non-conforming couples is not out of the ordinary and shouldn't be something that leads to violence or hate. We shouldn't be afraid to hold hands, kiss our partners or spouses, or be like any other couple when it comes to being affectionate and showing our love and commitment. The old meme of "I don't care what they do as long as they don't shove it down my throat" is a false double standard from those uncomfortable with LGBT people that needs to be challenged. Showing love and affection is natural and should be treated as such- whether between opposite-sex couples or same-sex ones.

Official IDAHO Kiss-in 2010 Video Global Mashup

A global celebration of the freedom to love peacefully. Around the world, in many cities, local activists got together to kiss, hug, or hold hands in solidarity with all those who cant because of homophobic and transphobic laws and attitudes.

St. Petersburg, Russia

Minsk, Belarus

Minsk had its gay pride march. For just 10 minutes, 40 Russians and Belarusians and Russians waived a 12 meters long rainbow flag for a short march of approximately 200 meters. They were at first met by a large group of journalists, photographers and TV crew. But when they reached the first crossing point, they were trapped by several vans of anti-riot police. Suddenly, the doors of the vans opened and anti-riot officers ran towards the participants. "I never saw anything of the kind" said Nikolai Alekseev by mobile phone. "They were brutal and violent" he added. Another participant who did not want to be named said: "It was like a group of wild dogs". The march ended with most of the participants being arrested and violently beaten. A few managed to escape but the police ran after them.

Austin, Texas

Plymouth, England

Bogotá, Colombia

London, just outside the British Parliament

Paris, in front of the Eiffel Tower

(Check out more coverage by our own Alex Blaze!)

San Francisco, California

Head over to Michael Petrelis's pad for more details on San Francisco's event.

Chicago, Illinois

About 50 marchers held a picket in front of the city's popular Millennium Park interacting with rush hour commuters, several of whom joined the event.



Thanks to Gay Liberation Network ( for the photos- for more, click here.

Berlin, Germany

Hopefully, a day will come when events like the Great Global Kiss-in aren't necessary or acts of rebellion. Until then, we keep fighting one kiss at a time.

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