I always find one of the hardest, bravest, and most freeing things to do is kiss another guy on the street.
I'm old enough to have grown up thinking being attracted to guys meant a life very unlike what you expected - no marriage, no kids, hiding to a certain degree. So much of that has changed for the better these days.
Standing on a street corner, kissing my date goodnight. It shouldn't be anything. But it is. It still is. There are jeers from passersby. People gawp and tut as they walk past us.
It's a terrifying thing. Still. This isn't even my boyfriend, just a guy I had a nice evening with. Even with my eyes closed a part of me is constantly alert for the potential aggression. The tone in the jeer that means we should pull apart for a moment. The sound of footsteps suddenly running towards us. Maybe a real threat, maybe just to scare us. Either way it's there.
I've always been confident on this front. Defiant. I'm scared. Every single time. Straight people never have to think of this. I do. Every time. But I refuse to be beaten. I will stand on that corner. I will kiss him. Even amongst the cries and unhidden comments. Meeting the eyes of those who stare. I am entitled to kiss the person I like. I have earned the right to be open to love. Generations stand with me on that street corner. Scared too. Defiant too.
It's a simple but powerful thing. To kiss someone. The person you like. We take it for granted. It's still a rare opportunity in too much of the world. Gay or straight or anything.
To kiss someone shouldn't be a protest. But if it is, I'm all the more determined.