Some college students sent a message against homophobia to a popular nightclub in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., this week -- and sealed it with many kisses.
Students from Duke University, the University of Richmond, and Yale University staged a same-sex kiss-in early Wednesday morning at the Spanish Galleon, a club in the resort area that the students say had previously ejected same-sex couples for kissing.
"At 1 a.m. we, as planned, congregated near one of the bar's four stripper cages and began making out with people of the same gender," Duke senior Daniel Kort, one of the organizers, tells The Advocate via email. "Some pairs made out for only a few minutes, while others capitalized on the space we had created for extended make-out sessions. Both men and women, LGBTQ and straight, participated. We counted at least 10 couples who took part."
Kort and fellow Duke students Victoria Chang and Tyler Nelson came up with the idea for the kiss-in after seeing reports on Yik Yak, a social media app used widely on college campuses, that same-sex couples had been kicked out of the Spanish Galleon, or "SpanGal," for displaying affection. They then used Yik Yak and Facebook to publicize the event.
Although they were prepared for the worst -- being ejected -- that didn't happen, Kort says. "None of us were even approached by a bouncer," he says. "I noticed that one bouncer was watching from a distance."
"I feel like the kiss-in was successful because it provided a safe space for same-sex attraction," he adds. "Mainstream nightclub culture can be incredibly heteronormative, so it was an amazing feeling to send the message to the club's management and our peers that we're queer and we're here to stay. We were so happy to shake up the norms that ordinarily make it acceptable to unfairly treat LGBTQ clubgoers."
The Spanish Galleon's management did not respond to local media's requests for comment. Below, watch a report from Myrtle Beach TV station WMBF.
WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather