Wednesday, August 20, 2008

20/20 Segment on PDA

Being in an openly gay relationship as Jay and I are in, we are careful about how we display our affection--and certainly how we do so in public. Having both moved from NYC, we realize that attitudes are different in New Jersey. Although we live in a very progressive and liberal state, we are mindful that not everyone has the same values and 'live and let live' mentality as those in Manhattan.

So when we're out shopping, going to the movies, or walking Maggie, we're careful not to present ourselves in a way that might warrant negative or hostile reactions. Sure, I am confident that most in NJ are open-minded and peaceful. But it isn't the majority that worries us, but rather the minority of close-minded bigots that carry bats and guns in their pickup trucks. It can be frightening to think about such things so we don't think about it too much while remaining careful how much affection we display in public.

One time not long ago we were shopping at Wal-Mart. While not displaying any PDA, I am thinking we were talking in hushed tones, looking at items pondering whether to buy one thing or another. Such aside displays of affection did not go unnoticed. While checking out, the man behind the register said to us in hushed tones himself, "You two are family, right?" By this he meant that he too was gay but was keeping things on the 'down low'. I supposed to those who are looking, they can see. To those who aren't, perhaps they don't see.

A while back, 20/20 did a television segment on Public Displays of Affection between straight, gay men, and lesbians. All were actors being videoed by the film crews at 20/20. Below is the segment aired on 20/20. You may be surprised at the woman who called 911 upon seeing two men kiss on a park bench. But then, maybe you won't be. Still, it's an interesting video and worth all the conversation about public displays of affection.

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