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Sshh! A Day In Hand: Same-Sex Hand Holding

Today is,  A Day In Hand: Same-Sex Hand Holding (Sshh), which celebrates its anniversary. What started off as a campaign by one man, David Watkins, has grown into a recognised and celebrated global monthly phenomenom and silent revolution.

A Day in Hand supports people to publicly hold hands across the globe. Sshh has two main ideals:

1) To see more Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) people living their lives publicly without shame and to the full.

2) Same-sex love out in the open, so people start to accept the reality of LGBT lives not so unlike their own. The more you’re ‘out’ the less hard being ‘out’ is.”

photo provided by www.alonglines.com

photo provided by www.alonglines.com

Living in Brighton, I have no qualms walking down the street hand in hand with my partner. Twice we received verbal abuse; from some teenage boys up by Preston Park and another time by some teenage girls at St Peters Church. But just go out shopping and we won’t be the only same sex girls feeling comfortable and confident enough to walk hand in hand.  I’d however, feel very differently just heading a few miles out from the Brighton bubble, to another location in Sussex or even other areas of the UK where I will be less inclined to do so. In my 10 years in Brighton, only once have I seen two men holding hands down the street.

That is why today is so important. Despite huge leaps forward in law during the last 10 years, for us as LGBT people, public affection is still taboo, and even more so it seems for the boys.

An article in Scientific American by Jesse Bering, makes the point clear.

‘Nobody is stopping gay couples from holding hands in public, or from kissing and hugging, for that matter. In most of the world, it’s not illegal to do so, after all. But the problem here isn’t a legal one. It’s a psychological one. Not only do gay couples wish to avoid being pummeled by the occasional homophobic thugs who can be lurking anywhere or being subjected to epithets spit at them by simple minded onlookers. More simply, we’re just wary of making those around us uncomfortable. And what makes the situation complicated is the fact that, although many people hold the explicit belief that it’s okay for gay people to be affectionate with one another in public (that is to say, if you were to ask them whether it’s okay for gay people to kiss in public, they’d say of course it is), the same people nevertheless hold implicit negative attitudes on the subject’.

I still remember two years ago when a gay couple at St Pancras, London, were told by a First Capital Connect staff member over the public tannoy, to “please keep their hands to themselves and refrain from kissing.”

The full story can be read on PinkNews.

As Sshh! founder says ‘Homophobia exists because of ignorance. And I know that every time I hold hands with a man publicly, I am striking a blow for ignorance. Same-sex hand holders, inject a dose of 21st century reality into the minds of people who still believe that to exist you have to hate.’

Homophobia exists in Brighton & Hove, it’s often just more subtle, evident when you scratch beneath the surface. Until same sex couples can do exactly as any regular heterosexual couple does on a regular basis at train stations, on buses, in the streets and anywhere else loving couples happen to pass through, it is important that all of us take part today in Brighton & Hove, as much as anywhere else. So lets join hands – love has no exceptions and we should all be free to express it equally.

How to take the day in hand in 3 steps:

1) Find someone of the same sex that you love, respect, or admire.

2) Put your hand in their hand.

3) Step outside

Participants can email photos to yourstories@adayinhand.com.

Don’t forget to add your photos to your Zhoosh Profile Page

One Response to “Sshh! A Day In Hand: Same-Sex Hand Holding”

  1. adamhighway says:

    I’m so glad you’ve posted this blog, it’s sad that the movement hasn’t got more coverage yet, and anything we can do to encourage participation is important.

    :)

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