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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When Unconventional Kisses Go Viral

Theirs was a kiss that stunned a conservative town. When a moment of passion for two men was published on a newspaper front page it provoked fierce debate in one of South Africa's oldest communities.

In a single photograph Bjorn Czepan and Mark Dean Brown became unwitting symbols for tolerance and gay rights at the predominantly Afrikaner, rugby-playing Stellenbosch University.

Our comment:

It is time Stellenbosch shifted paradigms. It was not the kiss, it was the genuine affection in the portrait and untold other mysteries of the human soul the had those people furious.

Usually, we know, people tend to attack and remonstrate things they do not understand. It is much safer that way. Also, the very photo will evince in segments of, and not exclusively,  the hetero-normative community a feeling of awe and disbelief.

Paradoxically, we do not believe in the slightest that the sports-oriented population of Stellenbosch, descendants that they are from a country in the vanguard when it comes to gay rights, are prejudiced towards displays of affection. Also, we hesitate in considering that African men (surely enough we have countries in this beloved continent...) were put off by the image. Gay marriage, if we are not mistaken, is legal in South Africa. Is not the colony keeping pace with the metropolis?

We also want to sprinkle this virtual page with one more comment regarding the nature of sports. Rugby, Football, Soccer, and Wrestling contests, are all displays of (veiled) eroticism. 

You may not agree with the above, surely. That is within your scope.

Sadly though, the tragedy that has befallen the couple has touched us to the core. A moment of silence is due.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Smeets

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  1. It is a beautiful picture, but I am not sure I understand what the tragedy that has befallen them.

  2. it is in the Guardian link above, Howard.

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