International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia! Go Make Out!


Not the state, but the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia! It’s today, May 17! It’s celebrated worldwide, and this year the day is marked with a Great Global Kiss-In. Chances are there’s an event you can attend nearby – Towleroad has conveniently put together a list for you of where that’s happening.

+ San Francisco — Monday, May 17, Kiss-in & Solidarity Speak Out, Harvey Milk Plaza, Market and Castro Streets, 5:00 PM
+ St. Louis — Sunday, May 16, Great Global Kiss-in, Citygarden, Corner of 8th and Market, 3-4 pm.
+ Portland, Oregon — Monday, May 17, Great Global Kiss-in, Pioneer Square, 701 southwest 6th Ave, 2-3 pm.
+ Chicago — Sunday, May 16, Great Global Kiss-in, The Bean, Millenium Park, 3-4 pm.
+ Austin, Texas — Sunday, May 16, City Hall Plaza, 3-4pm
+ New York City — Sunday, May 16, Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, 1:30 – 2pm
+ New York City — Monday, May 17, Times Square, at the base of the red TKTS staircase, 6-7pm.
+ Birmingham, Alabama : contact [email protected]

Even if you don’t live in one of these cities, you can still participate! At the IDAHO website they say that you can “record a video of you with your partner and/or friends featuring friendly kisses in a creative way. Put these videos on Youtube or other video shareware and share them with [email protected] or go directly to our special site . French speakers can also go to our partner ’s website to upload their video and watch kiss-in events videos for inspiration!”

Get going! Make moves! As Pam’s House Blend says:

“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.”



Harvey Milk Day is coming up on May 22nd, and there are protests organized all around the country in the week leading up to it as well as on the day itself. Jillian Weiss at the Bilerico Project tells you about them, and urges you to think about getting involved. (@thebilericoproject)


On Saturday, about 20 people gathered with rainbow flags on a side street of Minsk for a gay pride march, and the Belarus police promptly broke up the group, tore away their flags, and arrested the marchers. The protest was the first of its kind in Belarus, and the participants, some of whom had traveled from Russia for the event, were in defiance of an official ban. “The police reaction was completely disproportionate to the threat which they thought the protesters posed,” Russian activist Nikolai Alekseev told Reuters. “There were 20 people there, behaving peacefully, there were no scuffles and there was no basis for such a rough operation by the authorities.” You can view video of the police response at Joe my God. (@joemygod) (@swissinfo)


Jane Lynch has also spoken out against Ramin Setoodeh’s homophobic Newsweek article, and applauded Kristen Chenoweth’s response. And since the Lynch can do no wrong, this conversation is basically over. “The thing is, actors are actors: You can’t play gay anymore than you can play somebody who’s Catholic… I do think what Kristin and Ryan did was so important, and I’m glad that they said it. It doesn’t mean, ‘Off with [Setoodeh’s] head.’ But I’m very glad, and I thought it was very heroic what the two of them did.” (@theadvocate)


Whereas American Eagle used to have a “personal appearance” policy that required employees to wear gender-specific clothing, they are now allowing employees to wear whatever they like and also giving them trainings on trans issues. (@feministing)


Slate has some speculation on the nomination questionnaire that Elena Kagan will be asked to fill out. Read it and lol. “Please list any moving anecdotes from your life that would play well on national television. Include lessons learned.” (@slate)

Also everyone is still obsessed with her sexuality:

…the White House reiterated last week that questions about sexual orientation “have no place” in judging a nominee (but her gender most certainly does). Quite how you defend this argument—from a president whose own criterion for nominees is a real experience of how law can affect ordinary people—is beyond me. It is also beyond most ordinary people out there.


In which a NYT op-ed columnist insightfully brings together the two most talked-about gay stories in the news, Rekers and Kagan: “Thanks to Rekers’s clownish public exposure, we now know that his professional judgments are windows into his cracked psyche, not gay people’s… But the rear-guard remnants of the Rekers crowd are not going down without a fight, and their focus on Elena Kagan has been most revealing… By late last week, double-entendre wisecracks about Kagan’s softball prowess were all the rage on Fox News and MSNBC. These dying gasps of our culture wars, like Rekers’s farcical pratfall, might be funnier if millions of gay Americans and their families were not still denied their full civil rights. “ (@nyt)

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. So, idaho is indeed being celebrated all over the world, but here in the UK, the lady making the speech about it was Theresa May, new Home Secretary and Minister for Equality. But get this – she has one of the worst voting records on gay issues during her time in parliament.

    Way to go pick the person in the country that directs equality legislation! She got the job after the thought-to-be favourite, Chris Grayling, was passed over, possibly to do with his fantastic gaffe over the B&B that denied service to a gay couple. It’s so great when we have this amazing choice of homophobes to pick from to form our cabinet.

    I know I should be glad of the incredible freedoms I have in this country, but it just rankles every time a first-world country looks like they’re taking a step backwards.

  2. Good for:

    brave queers in Belarus
    American Eagle (who knew?)
    Jane Lynch
    Harvey Milk Day
    int’l queer kissing


    • Yeah, the American Eagle thing is what I was most surprised about in this fix.

      • I work for American Eagle and the policy fucking pisses me off. The men’s clothes are so much nicer and I still get the same discount but I can’t wear them to work which is ridiculous. But I have no idea how to fight a giant corporation when I don’t even consider this a career.

Comments are closed.