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A CHAIN SUPERMARKET IN ENGLAND KICKED OUT A LESBIAN COUPLE FOR KISSING
When I arrived in Brighton, in southern England, as an 18-year-old, I expected to find some sort of queer paradise: the kind of place where rainbow flags lined the streets and poodles and gimps crawled interchangeably on leads in the hands of beautiful drag queens. Or, at least a bit more of that kind of stuff than what the urinals of a drab Doncaster shopping center had to offer.
However, after a few weeks as a student in the city, the honeymoon was over. Paradise begins to look a bit less fabulous when your friend gets beaten up on his way home with another man. Brighton, like everywhere else, is home to bigots.
Four years later, things haven't changed that much. When I arrived at work on Monday morning and saw the lead story in the local paper—that two young women were told they’d be chucked out of a Sainbury's chain grocery store if they continued to “display public signs of affection”—it stirred a familiar sickness in my gut.
The couple’s eviction from the supermarket was a result of a customer complaining that the couple’s light peck on the cheek was a serious risk to the safety of her child—that it was “disgusting.” Relatively speaking, being asked to leave a store is nowhere near as frightening as a savage physical attack that leaves your life in ribbons, but it’s a small example of the day-to-day experiences many LGBTQ people face, little reminders that we're still a way from being on equal footing with straights.
TextA SUPERMARKET at the centre of a homophobia row has said “everyone is welcome” as nearly 1,000 people are set to pucker up and get ready for a “kiss-in”.