Spanish newspaper El PaÃs (via Instinct magazine) reports today that Facebook has removed yet another image of two men kissing because their administrators consider gay men kissing to be controversial. The photo by Spanish artist Juan Hidalgo had been posted to the Facebook page of Visible Cultura, ironically, an anti-homophobia project. Here’s the kiss in question, with a censor bar added by page administrator Pablo Peinado after Facebook removed the image.
Facebook later acknowledged that they were wrong to remove the image, but this isn’t the first time they’ve been caught. By my count it’s the third in a year, and that’s just the ones that have made the news. Facebook isn’t alone, though, and I think it’s important to acknowledge the obvious effect this has on both gay kids who are being told that their very natural feelings are disgusting, and straight kids who are taught that it’s okay to treat their gay peers with such disrespect and derision.
The continued branding of G-rated affection between gays as pornographic and offensive is the impetus behind my tongue-in-cheek series Shocking STR8 Kiss, which I hope (perhaps in vain) will help straight folks understand the absurdity of censoring gay affection by censoring culturally celebrated images of straight people showing affection for each other. Please share them with your friends. (Not sure where to start? Show them Ross and Rachel’s kiss from Friends.)