Sainsbury’s, a supermarket chain in the United Kingdom, recently faced a wave of couples kissing in order to make a bold statement: homophobia is not acceptable. Days before the “kiss-in” that took place in one of Sainsbury’s locations, a lesbian couple had been asked to leave the premises. Annabelle Paige claimed she had given her girlfriend a “light kiss” and then was immediately asked to leave the store. She goes on to say that a security guard came up to her and said that they would have to exit since a customer felt uncomfortable after seeing them kiss.
After the media found out about what happened, hundreds of couples decided to flock to that very same store and have a “kiss-in” to combat the homophobia that Sainsbury’s showed Paige and her girlfriend. This event even got the hashtag “BigKissIn” trending on Twitter after some couples had posted pictures of themselves kissing. One couple even went as far as wearing wedding attire while kissing one another.
After this event, a representative of Sainsbury’s extended an apology and said, “It is clear that Miss Paige and her partner were not behaving inappropriately and we are very sorry that they were treated in this way.”
Even if this is not the first time a public place has been bombarded by a kiss-in (example: Chick-fil-A in the United States), it proves how much of an impact a “peaceful protest” can have when it comes to combating hatred in today’s society. It is also beneficial to members of the LGBT+ community because it shows that this is a group of people that refuse to be silenced or treated as second-class citizens when no harm was done by this particular couple and their situation.
Though a kiss-in may seem as something that is not as powerful as a full-on protest, it still catches the attention of media outlets and this is what is valuable nowadays. Maybe once people start to notice the harshness that LGBT+ people have to face on a day-to-day basis, they will be more compassionate and understanding as to what it means for people who do not identify as heterosexual or cisgender.