The Kiss Heard ‘Round the World

A woman stands up, refusing to sit the back of the bus. A bespeckled man decides to fast until the violence ends in Calcutta. Another steps in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square.

No guns. No army. Not a single punch thrown.

But these tiny acts changed the world.

Yesterday, it happened again when two members of the Russian women’s 4×400-meter relay team took a stand against Vladimir Putin and the Russian laws prohibiting homosexual expression.

And they did it with a

Standing on the podium with gold medals around their necks, Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova told the world not everyone in Russia believes in bigotry, not everyone is filled with hate.

It was powerful, dangerous and brave, and I hope nothing happens to these wonderful women. They haven’t made a formal statement, so there’s a chance this wasn’t political.

Still, it broke Russian law.

It’s also a blueprint for every athlete competing in the Sochi Olympics.

I know a lot of people want the U.S. to boycott the games, but billions of eyes will be watching, and one simple act of solidarity will mean more than not showing up ever could.

This is how we open people’s minds…with love.

6 thoughts on “The Kiss Heard ‘Round the World

  1. You think so? I agree with you but I haven’t heard their kiss was a sign of protest. I mean it’d be really cool, hope they don’t get sent to Siberia. You know, I’m really pissed off at Russians right now. I know it’s not All Russians, but if I hear that again I’m gonna puke.

    • I’d read on that it was in protest, which I just linked to, but I also just made some changes to reflect the fact they haven’t formally said that it was in defiance of Putin. Still, it broke Russian law, which won’t go unnoticed. They also kissed twice apparently – once after the race and again on the podium.
      Regardless, it’s offered a course of action for every athlete in the games, and I’m sure we’ll see more than one beautiful act of solidarity.

    • Yes, I tend to agree with your statement of “I haven’t heard their kiss was a sign of protest” – that’s because it wasn’t.

      That’s just how it was understood by America, unfortunately; I really hate that it’s now being used as propaganda. Most European and South American nations are very open with affection. Spain: it’s a kiss on each cheek as a greeting, done by both genders, equally. It has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality or sexual orientation. Mexico: it’s a kiss on one cheek. Both men and women, young and old often hug and hold hands openly, m-m, f-f, f-m. This isn’t an outcry on pro-gay or anti-gay, this is just who they are. It’s a non-issue for these people and generally a misunderstood concept within America.

      My issue with it is: that it’s now being abused for Gay Rights (which shouldn’t need this propaganda). People are people and LOVE is LOVE~ therefore equality must be for all. When this has far more to do with repainting Russia red as enemies over Edward Snowden and the recent strange case of Bradley Manning with Wikileaks.

      It’s awful that this would be re-branded to further promote disinformation to abuse all of these important challenges that the government of America is now facing. This is affecting ordinary citizens; not only in your America but across the world, and that’s an issue that still hasn’t been addressed by the American government, at all. The scariest part of this is, that they’ve deliberately made these issues so murky. I really wish this had only been about Gay Rights but it just isn’t – it’s truly about much deeper and sinister things.

      I think we need to start reconsidering people and know that we’re all human. Governments are no longer employed by us, and this is precisely what the underpinning of this entire motivation of deceit across the world actually is. People -or- money, oil and gas/resources? We MUST start asking these profound questions of those in charge first. #Reconsider :) Peace be with all, and equality for all too.

      • First, thank you for your well-thought-out response. It’s made me think and question a few things. I admit that I’ll never know the motivation for this kiss, because I haven’t spoken to the two women, but unless you have, I bet we’re in the same boat.

        I do agree there are a lot of “issues” which are used to distract people from the real challenges in our world. Governments and the media take advantage of our appetite for all things SEX.

        But I would argue that human rights and the ability to love who you choose is important. When laws are passed, laws which make being gay a crime, attention needs to be drawn.

        A country chooses to host the Olympics, and with that decision, they are inviting a closer inspection of their policies. It happened in China and it will again in Brazil.

        These two athletes might not have meant anything with this kiss, but as far as I can tell, it broke Russian laws because children were watching, which is a weak, flawed reason for oppression.

        When you say, “My issue with it is: that it’s now being abused for Gay Rights (which shouldn’t need this propaganda)” I wish that was the case. I wish causes, like Gay Rights, didn’t need anything more than common sense, but when you’re talking about rights for minorities, people are often too busy to study the issues. They need a reason to pay attention, and often a simple, digestible image or story can turn the tide of public opinion.

        I am sorry if these two athletes didn’t mean to draw this attention or reaction. They probably just want to compete. But they did this on a very public stage. Throughout history people have been thrown into roles they might not have ever asked for. Just ask Bob Dylan.

        But even if this kiss was nothing more than simple affection, seeing it was important to a lot of gay men and women all over the world, especially in Russia.

        And I hope this inspires more acts of love during the games.


  2. As for these 2 girls – good on them for doing what they feel is right. They are not harming anyone.
    As for “political” side of it: I had a look at Russian media, and even they can’t say categorically whether it was a “gay” kiss, or just a celebratory kiss. Either way, it should not make any difference. Sport should be about sport. Not about social/sexual/political issues.

    • I understand the “Sport should be about sport” argument, but the Olympics have always had a huge political component. When a country campaigns and accepts to host the games, there will inevitably be a spotlight on their policies, from China’s treatment of its workers to the economic inequality and corruption in the upcoming games in Brazil. Personally, if an athlete wants to take advantage of having an audience numbering in the billions, I have no problem with it. He or she has sacrificed and dedicated years to make it to this stage, and I don’t feel comfortable telling them to shut up and just play.

      But I do agree with you that they weren’t harming anyone, and I apologize if they didn’t intend for this interpretation but it has drawn attention to something I personally hold very dear.

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