The much-publicized Gaypril “kiss-in” has been postponed indefinitely, the casualty of organizational problems and internal dissension.
The Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered Supporters Alliance (BGLTSA) had planned for a number of queer couples to kiss outside the Science Center yesterday between noon and 1 p.m. as part of its publicity and awareness program for Gaypril—BGLTSA’s self-styled name for its gay pride month.
BGLTSA had first announced plans for the event on its mailing list last week, requesting interested couples to sign up for a half-hour kissing slot.
But on Tuesday night the group’s board members held a meeting where they decided to postpone the kiss-in because of “logistical reasons,” according to BGLTSA Co-chair Fred O. Smith ’04.
Smith said the kiss-in was a “polarizing” issue about which some members had expressed reservations.
“The political reasons behind it need to be discussed and well-organized,” said Smith. “We want to make sure that our membership is strongly behind [the kiss-in].”
Smith said the group is looking at an alternative that could achieve similar goals, such as a day of holding hands, or a mock wedding.
Laure E. “Voop” de Vulpillieres ’02, secretary of Girlspot, agreed that the kiss-in was a contentious issue.
“Initially I thought it was a fun idea, but right now I feel strange. I’m not sure where I stand,” said Vulpillieres, who said she had planned to take part in the kiss-in.
Vulpillieres, who critiqued the BGLTSA in her senior thesis, said two such events had taken place in the last 10 years at Harvard.
According to Vulpillieres, one kiss-in was organized by the queer community at Harvard 10 years ago, which took place inside the Mather House dining hall and was aimed to protest homophobia.
Vulpillieres said another kiss-in was organized five years ago at the Kennedy School of Government’s ARCO Forum to protest the policies of a religious leader.
But this year’s kiss-in had no real goal, Vulpillieres said. She added that the BGLTSA had not made plans to hand out any literature to passers-by explaining the objective of the kiss-in.
“I would participate in a kiss-in to increase queer visibility, but I don’t think there was any articulate goal for this kiss-in,” said Vulpillieres.
The BGLTSA will hold another meeting this Tuesday to gauge the opinions of other queer students.
BGLTSA Co-chair Daniel R. Tremitiere ’02-’03 says that despite the difficulties, the group might still decide to hold the kiss-in next week.
Other programs for Gaypril will continue as planned.
The BGLTSA’s annual Gaypril dance—titled “Playboy, Playgirl” this year—will be held tomorrow evening at the Adams House dining hall.
The group will also hold a panel tonight on gay marriages, led by Harvard Law School Professor Janet Halley.
—Staff writer Ravi P. Agrawal can be reached at email@example.com