Tuesday, 10 April 2018

"Why is a goodbye kiss no walk in the park?" - homophobia 2018 (video)

This video is from the BBC, an extraordinary video depicting what homophobia is like in 2018, and how that affects gay people. The simple act of holding hands in a park becomes the centre of attention for all passers by, some who react well and others who don't. How the couple holding hands sees everyone watching and how the couple reacts to that. The pressure felt over a simple goodbye kiss. The question asked "Why is a goodbye kiss no walk in the park?"

David and I bought our wedding rings here in eastern Sydney, Australia recently. Eastern Sydney is territory where gays feel OK, the central hub being Surry Hills and Newtown now. We got the rings at the local shopping centre and the lady serving us at the jewellers there was well and truly fine with us doing so. After we selected and paid David was right next to me and I gave him a little kiss. 

It was just an automatic reaction for him, he turned around straight away to see who was watching (he told me later there was a school girl who smiled). The thought even crossed my mind for a second whether to do it but I just thought fuck it and dived in. I've lived around here for over 30 years and I know it's gay friendly. David has only been here for our 5 yrs together and so still a bit wary. He still felt the need to scope out people who maybe might throw insults, at the very least. All this over a one second kiss.

It illustrates the point, imagine if this was in the block of 12 seats that voted No in the survey in Western Sydney, not that far from us. Obviously I'd never kiss him in public there or even hold hands. If we did live there, after the survey we'd have likely moved east. Certainly I'd have never wanted to buy wedding rings out there, we'd have travelled into the city to do so. I don't know how any gays can live there now after the postal survey results. We'd feel really unsafe. 

Again, just because we have marriage equality doesn't mean we're equal. It's a first step is all. We won't have true equality until a same sex couple holding hands and kissing whilst walking through a park will attract no more attention or opinions, no more reactions than a straight couple doing the same.

BTW, the video has captions for those of us (like me) who find the heavy accent almost impossible to understand at times :)  David has lived over there for a few years and so has no problem. I on the other hand am from Taranaki, New Zealand, grew up mostly on an isolated farm. Sometimes to me it's like they're talking in an entirely different language :s

*Update: The full screen works better on the BBC site here.

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