Fans of an American soap have launched a campaign demanding that two gay characters kiss more often. Really.
Viewers of "As The World Turns" are writing to CBS (one of the 3 big US broadcasters after ABC and NBC) and have even set up a website counting down how much time has passed since characters Luke and Noah last kissed. At the time of writing, 157 days, 14 hours and 57 minutes have elapsed.
They first kissed last summer in an episode that is thought to have been the first gay kiss shown in a US daytime soap. But they didn't kiss at Christmas or Valentine's day. (Mr. P sighs in exasperation...)
While I personally think that this reaction to a soap opera is a little extreme, I can kinda see why this has become so important to the people behind this campaign.
Growing up gay, I found solace in media that had positive portrayals of gay characters (not that there was many, mainly TV programmes "This Life" and the groundbreaking "Queer As Folk"). Even the briefest reference held so much value for me.
Now, teens grow up in an environment where "that's so gay!" means that something is inferior or stupid.
Regardless of whether or not anyone thinks homosexuality is a "lifestyle choice" or pre-determined orientation, a positive portrayal of gay characters is needed because we are inundated with blatant and subtle stereotypes that dramatically impact on the self-esteem of gay youth.
If you want to see how the campaign is going or offer your support visit: