A kiss is a beautiful thing. I say that with confidence but can’t say I really understand kissing. How did evolution come up with the idea of humans touching lips in the first place?
Did the best French kissing lead to the survival of the fittest? Apart from a couple of bunnies touching noses for cutesy Easter cards, does any other animal have kissing as part of their coupling agenda?
I’m not sure they do. Or maybe flies have a quick snog when no-one is looking? Do chimps lock lips just as soon as David Attenborough looks the other way? What would be the point of any other species adding kissing to their repertoire?
Anyway, despite it seemingly being only a human thing, kissing means a lot to us. It’s a great greeting, demonstrating trust and closeness. And a great loving thing between partners. During sex, it helps to pass the time during some of the duller moments.
The intimate and loving nature of kissing means that it’s particularly sad and poignant that it was a kiss which led to two women being taunted and beaten on a London bus recently.
After an evening out together, it was reported that Melania and Chris shared a kiss while they journeyed home, you know, because they liked each other and felt affectionate. That’s all. No big deal.
A group of male teenagers saw the kiss and decided to use the situation for their own entertainment. They tried to cajole the couple into kissing again, so that they could watch, and threw coins at them. The verbal abuse and goading switched to physical violence, and both women ended up with bloodied faces. Melania has a broken nose.
There have been many occasions in this column when I’ve talked about how things have improved for the gay community, and I stand by that - there have been many changes to how we’re allowed to live our lives, and many more protections are now in place in case things go wrong.
However, an event such as this is a reminder that, even though the general direction is positive, there are still times when we take backwards steps.
That there are still idiots around who think that it’s okay to verbally and physically abuse fellow human beings merely because they are gay, just shows that we can never rest on our laurels. That this happened in London, ostensibly one of the most liberal cities in the world, and not in the ‘backwater provinces’, is a reminder that homophobic idiots are potentially everywhere and anywhere.
No good has ever come from one group of people violently attacking a vulnerable group of people. It is a cowardly act that’s ultimately entirely pointless.
However, Melania and Chris have been brave enough to be publicly open about what happened to them, and a photograph of the two of them covered in blood on that night bus has sparked a particularly large response. We, as members of the gay community, may ultimately benefit from the reminder that we still can’t assume that we’re completely safe from attack, wherever we are. The photograph is an especially good reminder to everyone else that the war against homophobia is still not over, even in our capital city. I wish that these reminders were not still necessary.
There have been arrests since the attack on the women, and I hope that this leads to some form of justice for them.
Our thoughts are with Melania and Chris for a quick physical recovery. But most of all, I hope that they’re not letting what happened on the night bus stop them from kissing - wherever the fancy takes them.
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