Frank Bruni has a column this weekend about That Kiss: the full on joyful kiss between NFL draftee Michael Sam and his slim swimmer boyfriend. Not just a kiss between two men, but an inter-racial kiss as well. Freighted with meaning, that exchange. Bruni writes,
|From NBC news|
And they’re still rare enough that the initial, internal reaction that I and many other gay people had to the way Sam clutched and kissed his boyfriend on national TV wasn’t exultation. It was alarm. Had he gone too far? Asked too much?
.... I still sometimes feel panic when my partner, meeting me in a restaurant, gives me a perfunctory kiss on the lips. And yet I feel robbed — wronged — if I sense that an awareness of other people’s gazes and a fear of their judgment are preventing him from doing that.
We shouldn’t be bound that way, and on the day of the pro football draft, in front of the cameras, Sam rightly declared that he wasn’t. He did so with a gesture at once humdrum and heroic, a gesture that connects everyone who has been in love and affirms what every love shares: physical tenderness, eye-to-eye togetherness. It was something to behold. It was something to hold on to.