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Merry early Christmas, equality fans
December 21, 2011 2:46 PM   Subscribe

The Navy's first kiss tradition enters the post Don't Ask, Don't Tell era If you're like me you may never have heard of the Navy's first kiss tradition. But it's not unusual for a ship returning from deployment to run a contest or raffle which gives the winner the first kiss with their sweetie on the dock; you can find wikipedia media showing past events. After tonight's news broadcasts pretty much everyone in the country will have heard of it because you can be sure, whether it's portrayed as a step forward or a sign of the end times, every broadcast is going to lead with the first same-sex Navy first kiss between disembarking Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta and her girlfriend, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell of Los Angeles.
posted by phearlez (82 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
Whoops, should have mentioned it's a youtube link. I'm seeing a lot of still photos around the web but it's so much more sniffle-inducing with the cheering.
posted by phearlez at 2:48 PM on December 21, 2011


Wonderful.
posted by ZaneJ. at 2:50 PM on December 21, 2011


I don't mean to invite anything by this, but I think that the reaction will be much different for lesbians than it will be for gay men, both in the media and the Navy.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:51 PM on December 21, 2011 [13 favorites]


Wait, her name is Gaeta?

It didn't turn out so well for that other fellow named Gaeta.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:53 PM on December 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


Maybe, but this is good stuff nonetheless.
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM on December 21, 2011


I think that the reaction will be much different for lesbians than it will be for gay men

Yeah, how many sailors were just cheering two girls kissing rather than further implications for the Navy.
posted by Brockles at 2:55 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is good.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:57 PM on December 21, 2011


Excellent!
posted by jim in austin at 2:59 PM on December 21, 2011


It didn't turn out so well for that other fellow named Gaeta.

*cough*

I am sure you're right, Burhanistan, but that trailing acceptance has been there for the last twenty years. I'm similarly sure it didn't hurt that they're pretty. But ya know, it's still huge and wonderful and I'm hoping that if I keep rewatching it for another five minutes I can keep from getting weepy thinking about it while driving home.
posted by phearlez at 3:00 PM on December 21, 2011


I think that the reaction will be much different for lesbians than it will be for gay men, both in the media and the Navy

Yeah, how many sailors were just cheering two girls kissing rather than further implications for the Navy.

That may be true, but for those two women that kiss was hugely meaningful. It's a little unfair to discount gay women because gay men have it worse. This is still a public acceptance of same-sex relationships, even though it only involves women.
posted by arcticwoman at 3:01 PM on December 21, 2011 [16 favorites]


Cool. Wonder if the 'cover and a kiss' tradition will change too. Probably not soon, mids are skeered of standing out.

Also, just to get it out of the way:

Submarines: 100 men head out, 50 couples come back.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:02 PM on December 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't mean to invite anything by this, but I think that the reaction will be much different for lesbians than it will be for gay men, both in the media and the Navy.

You know, every military person I know just does *not* give a fuck who you fuck on your own time, so I don't think so.

Seeing this made me well up and smile.
posted by notsnot at 3:02 PM on December 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


This was very sweet and nice to see.

But I wish there wasn't such a big part of me that enjoys these things by thinking about old bigots like McCain sitting at home getting angry seeing this, and then getting angrier by seeing how very few other people are angry.
posted by skewed at 3:03 PM on December 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


You know, every military person I know just does *not* give a fuck who you fuck on your own time, so I don't think so.

From what I know of the Navy they all care a lot about the people they serve with and also like opportunities to cheer.
posted by Artw at 3:07 PM on December 21, 2011 [17 favorites]


Sweet.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:09 PM on December 21, 2011


Such a lovely and simple story, really improves my whole day.
posted by Nelson at 3:10 PM on December 21, 2011


Fantastic. Best SLYT this year.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:11 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


this represents two things the bigots and assholes said would ruin the military, women and gays. and there she is, fresh off the boat, kissing her girlfriend. this is wonderful.
posted by nadawi at 3:11 PM on December 21, 2011 [24 favorites]


Seeing this made me well up

Not me.

Certainly not at work.

Nope.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:18 PM on December 21, 2011


Fantastic. Best SLYT this year.

If there were a prize...
posted by Artw at 3:19 PM on December 21, 2011


Yay!
posted by zarq at 3:22 PM on December 21, 2011


Tell Me No Lies - Offices just get very dusty, is all.
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on December 21, 2011


Yay!
posted by ardgedee at 3:26 PM on December 21, 2011


Woop!
posted by New England Cultist at 3:34 PM on December 21, 2011


I miss the old days when sailor could shout out: ship ahoy, sailor boy/don't forget your dingy.
posted by Postroad at 3:45 PM on December 21, 2011


A PHALANX OF REPORTERS AND VIDEO CAMERAS ARE ARRAYED TO REPORT ON THIS; REMEMBER THE ENTIRE WORLD IS WATCHING, READY TO CRITICIZE YOU AS AMBASSADORS FOR YOUR SEXUALITY AND IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU MAKE THE KISS LOOK NATURAL AND UN-SELF-CONSCIOUS.

Seriously though, aside from having to put up with the stress of being first, I'm happy for them.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:48 PM on December 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Damn you Obama, how could you let this happen?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:48 PM on December 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


And the YouTube commenters are true to form tonight. How did that place become the world's largest cesspool of bigotry, hate, rage, and idiocy?
posted by zachlipton at 3:49 PM on December 21, 2011


I don't mean to invite anything by this, but I think that the reaction will be much different for lesbians than it will be for gay men, both in the media and the Navy.

Absolutely true. But it's a step, nonetheless. And if it gets to be casual, commonplace, taken for granted, like an opposite-sex kiss, I think we're closer to a place where people's consciences push them to accept it for male/male as well.
posted by tyllwin at 3:50 PM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Must be a new tradition. I don't remember any raffles for the opportunity for a first kiss on the dock. It was pretty much married sailors hit the beach first.
posted by Mojojojo at 3:59 PM on December 21, 2011


Here's hoping that's the encore.
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on December 21, 2011


In my world, this is as important a military kiss photo as this one.

It's nice when some part of a war ends. Even culture wars.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:03 PM on December 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Just noticed their wedding rings in this shot.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:11 PM on December 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fucking awesome.
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on December 21, 2011


You know, I usually keep my mouth shut about this kind of thing, but I have to say: this is disgusting and these women should be ashamed. This is part of the moral slip that America is currently facing and it's high time it stops. It's one thing for this to happen way out at sea, but on land? No sir. That's not what the Lord intended. I'm with the communities out there who have banned this kind of thing. It's shameful and it's a slippery slope into more disturbing trends. It ruins families. And you know that I'm right, even if you don't want to admit it. I urge fellow Americans to stand with me against this kind of thing. Say no to raffles and all other forms of wicked gambling.
posted by ColdChef at 4:41 PM on December 21, 2011 [24 favorites]


In the year 2111, the US Navy will commission its first multipurpose airplane/spaceship/submarine armed with rail guns, powered by nuclear fusion, and crewed by 50,000 brave sailors. And that ship will be called the U.S.S. Citlalic Snell.
posted by miyabo at 4:43 PM on December 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Huh, I hadn't noticed the rings but at least on Officer Snell's hand that's just one ring, so I'd say engagement, not wedding. Given that Snell is identified as from LA that would jibe with the current in-limbo Prop8 situation there.

I look forward to seeing their wedding announcement when that abomination is struck down.
posted by phearlez at 4:46 PM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh. Railguns will be quaint by 2111. They already use what is basically a railgun to launch planes.
posted by Artw at 4:48 PM on December 21, 2011


Frackin' hell, all this todo and human suffering, and then, when you see it int the light of day it's two women who're finally allowed to give each other a sweet and modest kiss on the lips.

What. The. Fuck.

DADT in retrospect, already looks like a fucking draconian medieval practice that should have never gone on for as long as it did.

The GOTP and the religious Right owes every gay person in this country an apology for-fucking-ever.


Yet the GOTP jackasses who want the Presidential nomination talk about re-instating DADT.

I'd like to see them try that one.
posted by Skygazer at 4:48 PM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


For the curious, the ship was Oak Hill, LSD 51.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:54 PM on December 21, 2011


For the also curious, the name Citlalic comes from Nahuatl. (The tl pair is kind of a hint that it's an American language…)
posted by hattifattener at 5:01 PM on December 21, 2011


Citlalic is a very cool name.
posted by ovvl at 5:05 PM on December 21, 2011


Citlalic is a very cool name, yes, but dang it invites so many jokes.
posted by weinbot at 5:12 PM on December 21, 2011


Heh. Railguns will be quaint by 2111. They already use what is basically a railgun to launch planes.

Like so.

posted by Artw at 5:15 PM on December 21, 2011


I had to just stop favoriting comments, because I was really trying to favorite progress and equality and romance and triumph.
posted by Occula at 5:18 PM on December 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know what's pretty cool? When the course of human events moves forward not by somebody stepping onto the gunship and taking aim, but by somebody stepping off of it and showing a simple profession of love.

And by their compatriots showing them support.

Good for them. Good for those that follow them.

Happy Holidays.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:19 PM on December 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


whether it's portrayed as a step forward or a sign of the end times

I get that this is "news," and if it has to be news, I'll go with step forward rather than sign of the end times. But I'd be happier if it were not really news at all but just a kiss.
posted by Naberius at 5:30 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know that rum, sodomy, and the lash are long-standing Navy traditions. It is as a proud American that I welcome the Navy's decision to finally share them with those of us ashore.

(Seriously: awwwwwww! So sweet!)
posted by Forktine at 5:41 PM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


This makes me happy.
posted by in the methow at 6:01 PM on December 21, 2011


In the year 2111, the US Navy will no longer exist as we know it, since we will have finally, as a species, found our way to global peace and equality.

(Hey, since we're having a good day, why not wish for that pony.)
posted by tzikeh at 6:04 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This makes me proud to be an American.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:18 PM on December 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


But I'd be happier if it were not really news at all but just a kiss.

Agreed. Two people kissed. Yawn. The FPP is way over the top. The news broadcast I watched earlier tonight sure didn't lead with this "story" (read: footage) and I doubt I'll watch one that does.
posted by red clover at 6:21 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Booed Gay Soldier: ‘Military Has Been 100 Percent Positive’ Since DADT Repeal
posted by homunculus at 6:23 PM on December 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


In the military blogs and forums I frequent, the reactions are split along age lines, with older people cheering the fact they they are no longer active military members and younger ones expressing happiness for the couple but wondering what the big deal is.

Basically, It Gets Better.
posted by squorch at 6:36 PM on December 21, 2011 [17 favorites]


I think this is awesome, and powerful, and a clear sign of Real Change.

And yet I can't help thinking of my lefty activist queer acquaintances and the idea that open queers pushing the buttons that send drone missiles into innocent civilians isn't really something to cheer but ok having noted that, this is awesome, and powerful, and a clear sign of Real Change.
posted by mediareport at 7:15 PM on December 21, 2011


"Citlali" means "star" in Nahuatl, and is a fairly common Mexican name. I hadn't run into the "Citlalic" variation before, but Google shows it's not terribly unusual, at least.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:40 PM on December 21, 2011


ROU_Xenophobe: "For the curious, the ship was Oak Hill, LSD 51"

Oh, so this means the US Navy has a ship with the number LSD 25? High-larious.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:43 PM on December 21, 2011


Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta and her girlfriend, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell of Los Angeles

You misspelled 'pretty'. Twice.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:53 PM on December 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


USS San Marcos
posted by squorch at 8:04 PM on December 21, 2011


...duh.

I remember conversations with certain types of people regarding this running along similar lines. I'd get folks who are pro-waterboarding, all about 'fighting them over there' all that. I ask the same question "Did you serve?" No. To a person. Usually no plans to go in to the military to actually fight anyone, much less terrorists. Or even sit in an office. Nope.
Entitled to their opinion tho. Ok.
Same deal here. We can't have gays in the military. Bad for morale. Blah blah.
Ever serve?
No.
Uh huh.

You sit and crap next to each other in boot and in the field. People will talk to you wearing your underwear - your name stenciled on it - by the laundry. You have unwritten rules regarding masturbation areas.
The kind of friction those people were expecting never existed. Vanity, prudishness (unless you've got some social phobia) go right out the door pretty quick.
Only an issue because some assholes made it an issue.
And 9/10ths of the ex-military folks against it are remembering their service though major nostalgia filters now that they're squatting on porcelain, showering privately and are able to discharge their chemistry on a regular basis.

This is nice, don't get me wrong. But I am sort of raw that it's the military that has to bear this kind of load - again.
Dumping detainment and trials, all that, on the military, I see as a single piece of the American mindset that demands some sort of social change, creates this disturbance or trauma, sets up the military to fail (because if it gets this kind of response it's a success for the U.S., if something drops, it's the military's fault), then disassociation from the side that was creating all the bullshit (the bigots in this case).

Same pattern.

And in some cases success (as defined by the American public or fractions/factions of it) is worse. Because then you're a hero.
Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy.

From what I know of the Navy they all care a lot about the people they serve with and also like opportunities to cheer.
posted by Artw

You make me smile man.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:16 PM on December 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


This was delightful. Just completely delightful. Made me so happy - perfect video for the season. Thanks for posting it!
posted by kavasa at 10:02 PM on December 21, 2011


Beautiful. Thanks for posting.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:15 PM on December 21, 2011


sounds hot
posted by cupcake1337


You misspelled 'pretty'. Twice.
posted by obiwanwasabi


Not to go too far off-topic but honestly I think we could really do without these kinds of comments and I'm not quite sure why they irk me but they do.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 11:41 PM on December 21, 2011 [20 favorites]


Being a filthy foreigner, am totally perplexed as to how one pronounces Citlalic.

This made me tear up with joy. Yay! to finally being acknowledged as people!
posted by the.carol.baxter.experience at 11:53 PM on December 21, 2011


Video link now broken, youtube account suspended.
posted by tigrrrlily at 12:04 AM on December 22, 2011


but I think that the reaction will be much different for lesbians than it will be for gay men, both in the media and the Navy.

I don't know much about the media, but you've definitely never been on a submarine.
posted by BurnChao at 1:51 AM on December 22, 2011


MSNBC has the video and some interview after.
posted by grabbingsand at 3:58 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Semdley man wrote, "People will talk to you wearing your underwear - your name stenciled on it - by the laundry. ...Vanity, prudishness (unless you've got some social phobia) go right out the door pretty quick."

Living so close in a big group means your prickly parts will either be ground away or, less often, will really cause problems. In "Generation Kill" a Marine insists, "It doesn't mean you're gay if you think Rudy's hot."
posted by wenestvedt at 6:01 AM on December 22, 2011


What's the opposite of "."?
posted by IAmBroom at 6:08 AM on December 22, 2011



"Two women kiss a..."
This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement from claimants including:
RenTV
Studio Stanhope
Ben Froehle


Seriously, YouTube? This is why your copyright infringement policy sucks.
posted by Runes at 6:32 AM on December 22, 2011


Burhanistan, maybe you're right. But humans are really social creatures, and every person who sees a sweet homecoming kiss and hears cheering has their squicked-out-ness about same-sex sex reduced a little, and their attitude about same-sex couples softens a little.

Yay for the end of homosexuality being banned in the military.

Yay for the end of don't ask, don't tell.

Yay for people being in love.
posted by theora55 at 6:40 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


"It doesn't mean you're gay if you think Rudy's hot."

I still can't get over the idea that someone I used to hang out with, back in the '90s coffeehousing heyday, is now a media personality with people who've never actually met him, wanting to sleep with him. He really does look more like a model than a soldier.

It's easier to focus on that un-reality, than to think about all the things he did in the years in between.

Let people kiss who they want, they earned it, not that anyone really should have to earn the right to love.
posted by nomisxid at 8:22 AM on December 22, 2011


What's the opposite of "."?

!
posted by desjardins at 8:55 AM on December 22, 2011


The FPP is way over the top.

Oh ffft, yeah, I was a little hyperbolic about that bit. I just meant that this was a cute little tradition that didn't seem like it had made its way out into popular knowledge. It may not have led a broadcast but this post-DADT moment made something newsworthy that would otherwise only have seen tv time if they needed a feel-good time filler.

I agree, I look forward to this being no big deal. But for the moment it's a big deal because it's an opportunity to celebrate a win. If that's not obvious to you then I guess you have different facebook friends than I do; it's been all over my feed with the amount of enthusiasm usually reserved for new babies.
posted by phearlez at 9:03 AM on December 22, 2011


It's a little unfair to discount gay women because gay men have it worse.

No one was discounting anything. It's just interesting to wonder whether the coverage would have been as widespread.

What's the opposite of "."?

Thoughtful commentary.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:04 PM on December 22, 2011


NBC Nightly News: Gays in the Military. One Year After President Obama Signed the Repeal of DADT [video | 03:12].
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on December 22, 2011


[If anyone can find a replacement vid, we'll be happy to swap out the FPP link, by the way...]
posted by jessamyn at 2:02 PM on December 22, 2011


He really does look more like a model than a soldier.

Actually, the people that I serve with have all kinds of looks. Any one of the three people in that picture, I can imagine in flak jacket and kevlar.

Sadly, the only people I can't imagine serving are the kids I went to that high-price private school with.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:42 PM on December 22, 2011


> [If anyone can find a replacement vid, we'll be happy to swap out the FPP link, by the way...]

Here it is on CNN.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:52 PM on December 22, 2011


The original CNN footage is here.


The FPP is way over the top. The news broadcast I watched earlier tonight sure didn't lead with this "story" (read: footage) and I doubt I'll watch one that does.

That says more about the poor priorities of news channels than anything else.

I just sent the above footage off to my aunt who spent two years getting hounded out of the Army for her lesbian relationship. She had her mail opened, off-base housing searched ... finally she resigned half-way through the court of inquiry.

That simple public kiss is a huge moment for tens of thousands of gay veterans. I'm sorry it's not your cup of tea, but for some people it's a Big Effin Deal.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:57 PM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


(whups, Burhanistan's link is better)
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:00 PM on December 22, 2011


One Year After DADT Repeal, Openly Gay Soldiers In Afghanistan Say They’re Better Able To Focus On Mission
posted by homunculus at 6:15 PM on December 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


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