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Feb 27 2012

The difference?

The one on the right is making heads asplode.

117 comments

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  1. 1
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    The difference? The one on the right is in colour.

  2. 2
    Sili

    Well, the problem is of course that the tough US soldier isn’t the pitcher.

  3. 3
    Chrisco

    Im guessing the right one is two guys. I honestly didn’t realize this at first. (I DO have a thing for women with short hair.)

  4. 4
    julian

    The one on the right is making heads asplode.

    As it should.

    Look at what he’s wearing around his neck! Doesn’t he realize he’s in uniform?

    Geez… You get back from a deployment and common sense just goes out the window.

  5. 5
    'Tis Himself

    The difference?

    There’s a sailor in the left-hand photo and a soldier in the right-hand photo.

  6. 6
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    Well, the problem is of course that the tough US soldier isn’t the pitcher.

    See, that’s where you’re wrong.

    He’s a Marine, not a soldier.

  7. 7
    Dick the Damned

    The difference?

    LHS = winner, RHS = ?

  8. 8
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    The one on the right is making heads asplode.

    I’m starting to wish bigots’ heads could actually exasplode from outrage. Then the rest of us could just clean up their mess and get on with our lives in peace.

    The difference : the second one doesn’t look like one if them is going to break their spine. I’ve seen the photo of that sailor and nurse many times, and the position always strikes me as uncomfortable for her.

  9. 9
    julian

    @Tis

    Cammies look MARPAT and his boots are bloused so the one on the right is probably a Marine.

  10. 10
    elusedated

    I don’t know about differences, but the combination of the two asplodes stereotypes and prejudices about sailors and marines.

  11. 11
    slignot

    I really wish I was surprised at conservative outrage over this homecoming kiss picture, but after the incredible anger over the Navy shot a while back, I’m not surprised.

    I just don’t grok how anyone could look at this, knowing that the marine in question had served four deployments and not react with happiness and “daawww.” It’s incredibly sweet and what I love so much about this marine picture is no one in the background looks confused/alarmed/outraged, because loving homecomings are normal and joyful.

  12. 12
    Crimbly

    The second picture is so amazing.

    The first one, as famous as it is, shows the man grabbing the woman and, well, for lack of a better word, dominating. The second one is a picture of two guys who are just over the moon to see each other.

  13. 13
    susan

    Also? The one on the right appears consensual. The left–not so much.

  14. 14
    Janey Q Doe

    The one on the right made me go ‘aaawww’ because that couple on the left don’t look too much in love.

  15. 15
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I remember being seperated from my guy for quite some time.
    I remember meeting him at the airport.
    I remember a veeeeeeery long kiss.
    I remember people applauding.
    When I see the RHS pic, it takes me back to that moment, one of absolute happieness, because those two look the way I felt.
    Congratulations, might your story work out as well as mine did.

  16. 16
    Aratina Cage

    Ain’t love grand? I’m so overjoyed that this photo and the one of the sailors before them are now reality instead of imaginary scenes of what could be.

  17. 17
    mijan

    The difference?

    The one on the left is a pair of complete strangers.

    The one on the right is a committed couple, one of whom was waiting patiently, worrying through stressful days and sleepless nights, wondering if his significant other would come home alive. The other (until very recently) worried about losing his career if someone discovered he loved the wrong person, so he hid his letters from home, didn’t display his family photos, never mentioned the man waiting for him.

    By the way – I’m a veteran, and I’m gay. And the photo on the right is beautiful.

  18. 18
    bodie425

    The picture on the right has a guy in a nurse’s uniform; weird. What? Oohhhh. Strike the first sentence.
    As a gay, atheist, veteran, and nurse, I’m touched by both photos. They both represent moments of unbridled joy culminating grievous war.

  19. 19
    Anthony K

    The first one, as famous as it is, shows the man grabbing the woman and, well, for lack of a better word, dominating.

    Also? The one on the right appears consensual. The left–not so much.

    The right one is indeed the consensual one. From wiki on that famous photograph:

    In two different books he wrote, Alfred Eisenstaedt gave two slightly different accounts of taking the photograph and of its nature.
    From Eisenstaedt on Eisenstaedt:

    In Times Square on V.J. Day I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make a difference. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder but none of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse. If she had been dressed in a dark dress I would never have taken the picture. If the sailor had worn a white uniform, the same. I took exactly four pictures. It was done within a few seconds.
    Only one is right, on account of the balance. In the others the emphasis is wrong — the sailor on the left side is either too small or too tall. People tell me that when I am in heaven they will remember this picture.

    From The Eye of Eisenstaedt:

    I was walking through the crowds on V-J Day, looking for pictures. I noticed a sailor coming my way. He was grabbing every female he could find and kissing them all — young girls and old ladies alike. Then I noticed the nurse, standing in that enormous crowd. I focused on her, and just as I’d hoped, the sailor came along, grabbed the nurse, and bent down to kiss her. Now if this girl hadn’t been a nurse, if she’d been dressed dark clothes, I wouldn’t have had a picture. The contrast between her white dress and the sailor’s dark uniform gives the photograph its extra impact.

    The one on the left does have a certain amount of romance, if you consider “I’m sticking my tongue down your throat whether you want it or not” romantic. So, about as romantic as a meet-market club full of frat kids on a Saturday night.

  20. 20
    I'm_not

    As many of the comments have pointed out, homosexuality is a form of love. We should all treasure that.

  21. 21
    bodie425

    Ooops, I meant the pic on LEFT.

  22. 22
    witlesschum

    Dude on the left’s war was actually over. Dude on the right is going get sent on another deployment.

  23. 23
    Aratina Cage

    From the Wikipedia article Brownian linked to:

    V-J Day in Times Square is a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt that portrays an American sailor kissing a young nurse in a white dress on Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) in Times Square, New York City, on August 14, 1945.

    67 fucking years, almost an entire human lifetime, that’s how long it took to achieve equality in this area.

  24. 24
    'Tis Himself

    Cammies look MARPAT and his boots are bloused so the one on the right is probably a Marine.

    Soldier, Marine, same-same to an old sailor like me. A grunt by any other name is still a grunt.

  25. 25
    Sour Tomato Sand

    67 fucking years, almost an entire human lifetime, that’s how long it took to achieve equality in this area.

    While the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and all that is wonderful, I have to keep pointing out that there really ISN’T equality in this area.

    I had the good luck to be straight and I married another Soldier. Here’s some benefits we got that gay military couples can’t get because gay marriage isn’t recognized at the federal level (this’ll be skewed towards Army because that’s my branch):

    1. The Married Army Couples Program. This allows cohabitation off-post (read: actually being able to live together in a home rather than apart in a barracks), and ensures that the married couple is assigned within a 100-mile radius of each other if they are reassigned. (Usually, this means they end up getting assigned to the same post. Keeps the couple together.
    2. Basic Allowance for Housing. Because gay married couples aren’t recognized at the federal level, a servicemember is not entitled to claim xir spouse as a dependent. This means they aren’t eligible for BAH. This is a difference of anywhere between $800 to $5000 a month, depending on one’s rank and where one is stationed.
    3. Tricare. Tricare is the military’s insurance. It is, quite frankly, fucking awesome: if you seek treatment on a military post, you pay nothing. If you seek it off-post, you pay a tiny copay. If you are married to a servicemember, you get this. Unless you’re married to someone of the same sex.
    4. Command Sponsorship. For servicemembers that get stationed overseas in non-combat zones, Command Sponsorship is permission to bring your family with you. But if you’re married to someone of the same sex, you are not entitled to this, which means you can spend years (3 years or more, sometimes, depending on the location) stationed overseas, without your spouse.

    That’s just to name a few. So yeah, things are not equal yet. Not until DOMA is struck down for good, at the very least.

  26. 26
    Gregory Greenwood

    The difference?

    The one on the left doesn’t remind homophobic fundies of the type of sexual thrill that they keep telling themselves is wrong, wrong, wrongity-wrong, and that they don’t ever experience themselves because they are completely heterosexual.

  27. 27
    Brother Yam

    Beatrice, anormalement indécente @8:

    I’m starting to wish bigots’ heads could actually exasplode from outrage. Then the rest of us could just clean up their mess and get on with our lives in peace.

    Luckily, with the little bigot-brains clean up isn’t difficult…

  28. 28
    Lowcifur

    Don’t you liberal fascist atheist Muslim Zionists see the inherent danger photographed on the right?

    That guy is going to suffer lower back pain from holding that other dude up like that!

    Lowerrrrr baaaaaaack paaaaaaaaain!!!!!!

  29. 29
    Gregory Greenwood

    Two images of people sharing a moment of human intimacy and affection after a period of great stress, only significantly separated by six decades of time.

    It takes a really broken person to declare the one on the left good and true and the one on the right corrupt and evil, but xianity tends to create one of two types of people:- damaged, self-loathing, morally dysfunctional believers who embrace the delusion; and sceptical atheists who reject it. It is no coincidence that the bulk of homophobes fall into the former category.

  30. 30
    Aratina Cage

    @Sout Tomato Sand
    Of course those are all areas where inequalities still exist. You do not need to patronize me about that! As far as it goes for lesbian, bi, and gay people in the military being able to express their love and affection for each other after returning home, though, we are equal.

  31. 31
    Anthony K

    Tricare is the military’s insurance. It is, quite frankly, fucking awesome: if you seek treatment on a military post, you pay nothing.

    Wait, lemme get this straight:

    The US employs communists to protect itself from communists?

  32. 32
    Numenaster

    One’s a sexual assault and one’s a consensual outpouring of love and joy.

    Also, #28 made me lol. Thanks Lowcifur!

  33. 33
    Sour Tomato Sand

    Of course those are all areas where inequalities still exist. You do not need to patronize me about that! As far as it goes for lesbian, bi, and gay people in the military being able to express their love and affection for each other after returning home, though, we are equal.

    Well, sure, in as far as this tiny sliver of military life is concerned, there is de jure equality. I don’t mean to be a buzzkill, but the thought of all the gay junior enlisted members who are unable to share a home with their spouse (for starters) bothers me.

  34. 34
    Anthony K

    Two images of people sharing a moment of human intimacy and affection after a period of great stress, only significantly separated by six decades of time.

    Right. Intimate, except for the fact that the sailor on the left kissed every woman standing on the parade route before he got to this one. That’s how the photographer got the shot: he bet that Corporal Coldsore wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to fire a tongue torpedo at the attractive young nurse, and he was rewarded.

    So, unless the marine on the right jumped on every man in that hangar, I think there are a few more significant differences.

  35. 35
    Sour Tomato Sand

    Wait, lemme get this straight:

    The US employs communists to protect itself from communists?

    Haha, don’t get me started on this. I’ve had so many arguments with Ron Paul fanatics who are also in the military. I’ve pointed out a million times that they are a part of the best socialist system in the US– we have guaranteed employment, guaranteed time off, free health care, housing allowances, stipends for food, free food in dining facilities on military posts, a yearly clothing allowance, guaranteed pension upon retirement (which includes healthcare) after only 20 years… and yet Ron Paul’s got more supporters in the military than any other member.

    I’ve actually lost a lot of military friends over this point. I’m a Socialist, and they can’t be friends with me, even though we’re all functionally socialist in the military.

  36. 36
    Sour Tomato Sand

    and yet Ron Paul’s got more supporters in the military than any other member.

    Ahem… than any other candidate.

  37. 37
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Gah. Remind me never to read the comments on news sites– even NPR.

    The next person that complains that PDA shouldn’t be done while in uniform needs to shut the fuck up. Too many people fought too hard for too long for you to shit all over them.

    And what’s with the random capitalization of Nouns? Does No One know how the fucking English Language works?

    Anyway, I love the pic on the right. It makes me smile every time I see it.

  38. 38
    Anthony K

    and yet Ron Paul’s got more supporters in the military than any other member.

    It’s because he’s such a big dick. Normal sized ones, like mine, need no support beyond a pair of briefs.

  39. 39
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Brownian:

    So, unless the marine on the right jumped on every man in that hangar, I think there are a few more significant differences.

    Well, he could have, but he described the other guy as his partner, so I think we can say that it actually was an intimate moment.

    And it’s soooooo sweeeeeeet!

  40. 40
    Aratina Cage

    @Sour Tomato Sand

    as far as this tiny sliver of military life is concerned

    What in the ever-loving fuck? Could you be any more dismissive?That is an iconic image! Now lesbian, bi, and gay people have our own real versions of it. And anyone who has come home to loved ones after a long trip or who has been waiting for a loved one to return should know how important this little moment in time is for humans. These photos of two women and two men greeting each other passionately upon first sight after so long apart mark a momentous occasion in LGB history despite the long slog we still have ahead of us.

  41. 41
    Anthony K

    Well, he could have, but he described the other guy as his partner, so I think we can say that it actually was an intimate moment.

    And that’s the difference. There’s nothing intimate about the first photo.

  42. 42
    Margaret

    I’ve never understood why the picture on the left is considered good. Looking at the woman’s position makes my own back hurt in sympathy. Looking at the way her left arm and shoulder is pulled back rather than hugging the sailor makes me think she is trying to pull away, and I always imagine that left arm continuing its motion back, up, and around to slap him. I was not surprised when I first found out this was a non-consensual kiss.

    The picture on the right is mutual joy.

    These two pictures are very different.

  43. 43
    Sour Tomato Sand

    What in the ever-loving fuck? Could you be any more dismissive?That is an iconic image! Now lesbian, bi, and gay people have our own real versions of it.

    If you mean it’s an iconic image for those not in the military I agree with you. In terms of what it means to military members, it strikes me as just as important as all those greetings in the airport and those passers-by who go on and on thanking us for our service. That is, it makes those on the outside feel better, but does very little for the reality that is military life.

    If you want to say that it’s a huge milestone for LGB people then fine. It is. But there is enough bullshit still going on for LGB people in the military that I feel it’s necessary that we don’t pretend everything is just great now. We must not become complacent.

  44. 44
    RFW

    I may be deluded in thinking so, but hopefully the photo on the right will cause some bigots to re-think their position. A light bulb will turn on in the darkness and they’ll think “Hey, that’s not so bad. Maybe it really isn’t a big deal.”

    Or something along those general lines.

    To put this another way, every such depiction immunizes a few more bigots against future hatred, like a vaccine.

  45. 45
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    And that’s the difference. There’s nothing intimate about the first photo.

    Yes. It’s perfectly fine and much-to-be-celebrated when a manz grabs up on any woman he wants to on the street, cuz they’re public property. It’s so romantic! But consensual, unashamed kissing between two men is appalling and perverted.

    Which bothers them more—the gender non-conformity or the enthusiastic consent?

    I Blame The Patriarchy.

  46. 46
    Aratina Cage

    @Sour Tomato Sand

    In terms of what it means to military members, it strikes me as just as important as all those greetings in the airport and those passers-by who go on and on thanking us for our service.

    Gah! It was illegal for LGB people to do this not less than a year ago!

    But there is enough bullshit still going on for LGB people in the military that I feel it’s necessary that we don’t pretend everything is just great now.

    Fuck you for suggesting that that is what I was doing above when I compared the length of time it took for equality to be achieved in how LGB relationships in the military are represented in the news media.

  47. 47
    Evader, the parasite-infested branch on the evolutionary tree

    The one on the right is blurry. Unsharpen mask ftw!

    Also, fashion was a lot sharper back then. Fascist, yes, but they looked good I guess.

  48. 48
    ThorGoLucky

    Beautiful.

  49. 49
    Sour Tomato Sand

    Fuck you for suggesting that that is what I was doing above when I compared the length of time it took for equality to be achieved in how LGB relationships in the military are represented in the news media.

    1. If that’s all you meant, it wasn’t communicated well. “Equality in this area” has much broader implications than the media just showing a similar image. And even in that area there isn’t equality, unless the v-day picture was also accompanied by wails of “omg its the end of civilization as we know it”.
    2. Fuck you too for interpreting my first post as a direct attack on you.

  50. 50
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Audley:

    Gah. Remind me never to read the comments on news sites– even NPR.

    What, you mean there might be homophobes on Nice Polite Republicans?! Well, I never.

    I’m reading them, too. There are two or three regular right-wing trolls whose comments have been removed. Overall, the rest are nowhere near as awful as I expected, honestly.

  51. 51
    Ingdigo Jump

    speaking of which…wtf happened to NPR?

  52. 52
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Daisy:

    What, you mean there might be homophobes on Nice Polite Republicans?!

    *snerk!*

    No, the comments weren’t terrible, just disappointing. I didn’t read through all of them*, but there were more than enough of the “well, that’s nice, but it shouldn’t have been pubic” theme.

    I’m just reminded of hippies who have grown all up and lost their way, you know? The type of middle-aged, middle-class, suburbanite, watered-down “liberals” who drive Volvos. They vote Dem, but won’t ever push for the big changes.

    And they think NPR is radical.

    *There’s only so much abuse of capitalization that I can handle.

  53. 53
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ing: Bush II happened. Specifically, Kenneth Tomlinson.

  54. 54
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    *Public, not pubic. XD

    Ah Typos, I hope you appreciate that epic sacrifice.

  55. 55
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    I’m just reminded of hippies who have grown all up and lost their way, you know? The type of middle-aged, middle-class, suburbanite, watered-down “liberals” who drive Volvos. They vote Dem, but won’t ever push for the big changes.

    I grew up around Boston. Trust me, I know.

  56. 56
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Daisy:

    I grew up around Boston. Trust me, I know.

    Yep, we’re rife with them here in NY, too.

    Glad you knew what I was getting at!

  57. 57
    Chris from Europe

    NPR lies about DADT:

    The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that had barred openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. military ended last September.

    DADT didn’t bar openly gay men and women, but anyone about whom assholes found out.

  58. 58
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Ing,

    just in case you weren’t being sarcastic, have you read this:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/01/National-Public-Rodeo.print

  59. 59
    'Tis Himself

    I’m just reminded of hippies who have grown all up and lost their way, you know? The type of middle-aged, middle-class, suburbanite, watered-down “liberals” who drive Volvos.

    I do not drive a Volvo.

  60. 60
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Well then, you’re safe from my anger, ‘Tis.

  61. 61
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    What “happened” to NPR is the same self-inflicted wound the “liberals” and “Democrats” in the US have given themselves. Craven, abject fear of being called “biased” in a liberal direction. In response they don’t defend themselves or their integrity. Oh no. They lurch to the right.

    And then act surprised when that isn’t enough and the hard right still attacks them with the intent of defunding and marginalizing.

  62. 62
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    If y’all will forgive a bit of speculating, I’d say another difference is that the couple on the right went home and made sweet whoopee that night.

  63. 63
    Aratina Cage

    @Sour Tomato Sands

    1. If that’s all you meant, it wasn’t communicated well. “Equality in this area” has much broader implications than the media just showing a similar image.

    Did you not notice that I quoted the Wikipedia article about the straight counterpart photo? That I was directly talking about the number of years since that one was taken and this one? That the comparison between the two is what this thread is about?

    And even in that area there isn’t equality, unless the v-day picture was also accompanied by wails of “omg its the end of civilization as we know it”.

    Equality in eyes of the law. They can do it and the press can publish photos of it and nobody will be discharged from the military for it no matter how much some people dislike it. In fact, the one taken of the women sailors earlier was *the* official photo for one ship coming in, something unheard of before just a short while ago.

    2. Fuck you too for interpreting my first post as a direct attack on you.

    But it was. You assumed far too much about me, missed the context, and then talked down to me using your “good luck” straight position like I had no clue about all the inequality that still exists. I did not appreciate that, and I do not appreciate you portraying me as saying something I was not as you did above.

  64. 64
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    [Meta]

    I also think Sour Tomato Sands was out of line here. First you tell us about your straight privilege and then lecture others how equality has not been reached yet?

    Deh fucking ‘uh…..!

  65. 65
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    I’m curious. I know that the sailor and the nurse were strangers, but are people just assuming that the VE kiss was non-consensual? Being caught up with elation could lead someone (and not just the guy) to indulge in some spur of the moment kissing. Is she on record saying that she was assaulted (whether she used the word or not)?

  66. 66
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jesus Christ. I can’t make heads or fucking tails of NPR’s comment system (doesn’t matter how you sort them, they’re all jumbled up by date and time) but apparently I’m censored. I didn’t “meet community standards.”

  67. 67
    Anthony K

    I’m curious. I know that the sailor and the nurse were strangers, but are people just assuming that the VE kiss was non-consensual? Being caught up with elation could lead someone (and not just the guy) to indulge in some spur of the moment kissing. Is she on record saying that she was assaulted (whether she used the word or not)?

    In fairness Ibis3, I’m making that assumption. I have no idea whether or not she considered it some sort of assault.

    Perhaps she missed the part where he grabbed kissed every woman before her; perhaps she didn’t care.

  68. 68
    beergoggles

    Well this is NPR, the same people who think there’s two sides to being gay and conversion therapy is one of them. So the comments there are par for the course. I’m just surprised they don’t have a poll asking whether gay soldiers should be allowed to meet their loved ones immediately after disembarking.

  69. 69
    Inaji

    Aratina Cage:

    But it was. You assumed far too much about me, missed the context, and then talked down to me using your “good luck” straight position like I had no clue about all the inequality that still exists. I did not appreciate that, and I do not appreciate you portraying me as saying something I was not as you did above.

    True. It’s bad enough having such shit dumped all over what you said, even more so when STS has no idea whatsoever what you’ve been through and just how much you fight the good fight.

  70. 70
    Sour Tomato Sand

    Aratina:

    Alright, rereading my posts, yeah, I’m coming across like an ass here. I’m sorry.

    Let me clarify a few things:
    1. I did not intend my first post to be an attack on you, but I see I didn’t word it well either. I just wanted to point out– as a servicemember– that there are a lot of issues that civilians don’t see here. The federal ban on gay marriage has huge and far-reaching effects on members of the US military, because so many benefits are rights are based on one’s marital status.

    2. As far as my straight privilege: I’m pansexual. But the person I fell in love with and married is of the opposite sex, which was lucky in that we were able to then get all the benefits from it. That was basically a coin-toss and as far as benefits go, I came out ahead (though took a lot of shit for my wife being 18 years older than me, but that’s neither here nor there.)

    3. The reason I’m not celebrating the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy being lifted much is that I think the DoD is using it as propaganda for recruiting LGB people, and then not letting them know all the other ways they’re going to be screwed. Furthermore, it irritates me that President Obama can use it now to say he’s all pro-LGB despite that the rest of his record says otherwise, and now he can just sit back and do nothing because American progressives will let him.

    Anyway. That’s all. I’m sorry about all the idiotic stuff I said on top of that, because it was stupid. I’ll do better next time.

  71. 71
    magistramarla

    I’m a military wife, and this picture cheers me. I am so happy to see these small steps in the right direction. Next, I hope to see the spouses of our LGB troops given the same privileges that I enjoy. Changes happen slowly in the military, but I hope to see the improvements continuing to happen.
    I’m also a Marine Mom, and I say Hooorah for those Marines!

  72. 72
    mikee

    Awesome picture

    I notice that some of the people commenting at NPR are disguising their homophobia by saying they don’t like it because it is an undignified pose or that PDA in uniform is undignified.
    I went through and disliked all of these comments and liked all of the positive comments about the picture – the positives are winning by a good margin which is excellent.
    Personally I think it is a gorgeous picture.

  73. 73
    mikee

    @Siri #2

    “Well, the problem is of course that the tough US soldier isn’t the pitcher.”

    Siri, could you please explain what you mean by that comment?

  74. 74
    Aratina Cage

    Thanks Sour Tomato Sand. I wish I had tried to explain myself more clearly at first in my frustration at being misunderstood instead of expressing so much hostility. I might have even read some of that into your comments that wasn’t there? Anyway, it looks like our initial responses to each other were mostly just cases of miscommunication. I think we understand each other better now.

    And you might be right about this kind of thing being used as a recruiting tool despite the huge array of inequalities that are still present. Just today, my defacto husband (we’d probably be married if it weren’t for DOMA because he is not a US citizen) saw a couple of military guys holding hands in public on a college campus in the South. I mean, I’ve seen that a lot at gay bars for men, but not with their military outfits on or in a public environment like that. Things sure have changed swiftly! I hope we can keep the momentum on these victories for equality even with the election season bearing down on us and Obama no doubt preparing to throw us under the bus at the slightest hint of a dip in his poll numbers.

  75. 75
    tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach

    That guy is going to suffer lower back pain from holding that other dude up like that!

    Forget that – just look at those *haircuts*! What was that barber thinking? But nevermind- even a small reminder that there is occasionally some progress is good. More would be nice but enjoying a win when you see one is a privilege we should all get to have a few times.

  76. 76
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Josh:

    but apparently I’m censored. I didn’t “meet community standards.”

    Some petulant wingnut or two probably reported you for “abuse” for calling them a bigot. Wah, poor babbies.

    Mikee: The Marine (not soldier) in that photo is assuming a pose that is gendered feminine in our society, which is likely an additional irritant to the haters. Sili is saying that the Marine is the “receiver,” not “giver,” in bed — which he shouldn’t have said, because he has no way of knowing from that photo. But I have seen a few comments to that effect on the NPR thread, and they were considerably nastier.

  77. 77
    DLC

    The one on the left sets off Naughty Nurse Fetishes all over ?

  78. 78
    Louis

    You Gays, with your Agenda! You’re going to use that photo to make me have sex with a big, muscly, well, oiled, lightly shaved, fresh scented, marine aren’t you? Probably repeatedly.

    I won’t do it I tell you!

    Okay, I’ll do it but I won’t enjoy it!

    All right, I might enjoy it, but only if the marine is played by Brownian (Must has Teh Ghey Secks with Brownian) and we get free drugs.

    I am firm in my standards, oh yes, very, very firm. Turgid even. Positively tumescent.

    But seriously, nice one LGBTQ folks…this is a step in the right direction for you guys and gals. Here’s to many more!

    Louis

  79. 79
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    The PDA thing is a bit bothersome. As a former Marine, I see that and it makes me a bit uncomfortable. Plus the colorful lei seems terribly out of place and bugs me too. It’s like they’re posing with their hands in their pockets, or walking and smoking at the same time, or outside without a cover on. The fact that it is two guys is sort of an afterthought, way in the background.

  80. 80
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Improbable Joe:

    Jesus fuck, man. The marine came back from a 3rd deployment with the actual fucking ability to kiss his partner hello (after four years!) without being immediately removed from the military and you’re squicked out by PDA and a fucking lei?

  81. 81
    Quodlibet

    When I first saw the picture on the right, I simply saw two soldiers; only on closer inspection did I realize that both were men. At first I thought the one in uniform was a woman with a snazzy short haircut. It took me a moment to say to myself “Oh! Two men! Feeling free to love each other in public! Yay!” And then I realized how lucky I am to live in a community where this would not be unusual. (Thank you, CT, for being reasonable.)

    As more of our LGBT neighbors can gradually begin to live their lives openly (such as greeting eachother tenderly after a long separation) I earnestly hope that the bigots will calm down and open their eyes to the fact that it’s really OK. The world will NOT end if we all treat each other with fairness and ensure that we all have equal rights.

    Regarding NPR – I’m a long-time reader, and an occasional commenter, at the NPR site. It seems to me that after NPR fired Juan Williams, an enormous horde of right-leaning commenters arrived. I remember the day it happened, watching the comment count run into the thousands on the stories about the case. Prior to that, I don’t recall many stories getting more than a few hundred comments. One of the Juan Williams stories ran to more than 7000 comments, most from irate right-wingers. They seem to have stuck around and sullied the commentariat considerably.

    Of course, the quality of NPR’s reporting has declined noticeably; they’ve lost much of their edge and independence. The local stations in my area do a good job with news reporting, however.

  82. 82
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    The difference?

    I like the photo on the right much better! ;-)

    (Well that and all the other things already mentioned by good folks here already.)

    The difference?

    About half a century of cultural development towards a less homophobic society and a widespread understanding that same sex couples are just as loving and human as everyone else and deserve to be treated with the same rights and respect and recognition?

    The difference?

    Never mind the difference; how about the similarities?

  83. 83
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @79. Improbable Joe :

    The fact that it is two guys is sort of an afterthought, way in the background.

    Which, of course, means you’d feel and say exactly the same thing if it was a female and male there, I’m sure .. No wait, I’m sure that you wouldn’t actually.

  84. 84
    Quodlibet

    me at #81:

    When I first saw the picture on the right, I simply saw two soldiers; only on closer inspection did I realize that both were men.

    It isn’t two soldiers, of course; it’s one soldier and one civilian. I have rotten eyesight and have to peer at the screen and even then, I miss details. What I meant was this:

    When I first saw the picture on the right, I simply saw two people; only on closer inspection did I realize that one was a soldier and both were men.

    That’s better.

    The point is, what I saw first was the joyful embrace.

  85. 85
    julian

    Which, of course, means you’d feel and say exactly the same thing if it was a female and male there, I’m sure .

    Probably.

    However much Marines might gripe about the old Corps and how much they hate paperwork, they’re anal about stupid and arbitrary rules.

    Personally I’ve never been able to care but I’m one of those guys who gets bitched out for having his hands in his pockets.

  86. 86
    truthspeaker

    I see one big difference: the guy on the left had a good reason for fighting.

  87. 87
    Gregory Greenwood

    Brownian @ 34;

    Yup, bad comparison on my part. It may be that there was no consent on the part of the woman in the image in the left, though we cannot be sure one way or the other this long after the fact without her own testimony, and now that you inform me that he had been pretty much accosting random women with his lips, the image does come across as rather creepy in any case.

    Conversely, the image on the right is one of an actual stable and genuinely intimate relationship – the kind if relationship fundies should be in favour of given all their blather about the importance of family-this and committment-that, if they weren’t all such awful homophobic hypocrits that is…

  88. 88
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Yeah, I’d say the same thing if it was a female and male there. I HAVE said the same thing while on duty. It is a Marine thing… the same way I’m crazy irritated to see people insulting this Marine by referring to him as a “soldier.” A hug and a kiss would have been fine, as long as it didn’t last too long.

    My FIRST thought when I saw this picture, because of the lighting, was “where the fuck is his cover?!?!” before I realized that they’re in some sort of hanger and must be standing near the entrance. Then I thought that the boyfriend out of uniform had better not be another Marine, because he could really use a haircut. If he’s a squid, then it’s cool. :)

  89. 89
    Sour Tomato Sand

    It’s an Army thing too. As an NCO I’ve corrected PDA’s quite a few times. The military is really good at cultivating extreme OCD reactions to slight infractions of regulations, and they tend to hang on even after you’re out.

  90. 90
    Aratina Cage

    It is a Marine thing…

    You do realize that the person in the military outfit in the photo on the right is a Marine, don’t you? Why should anyone give a care about what you think?

  91. 91
    Anthony K

    Anyway. That’s all. I’m sorry about all the idiotic stuff I said on top of that, because it was stupid. I’ll do better next time.

    Thanks Sour Tomato Sand. I wish I had tried to explain myself more clearly at first in my frustration at being misunderstood instead of expressing so much hostility. I might have even read some of that into your comments that wasn’t there? Anyway, it looks like our initial responses to each other were mostly just cases of miscommunication. I think we understand each other better now.

    Aww. I’m snapping a picture of this.

    Conversely, the image on the right is one of an actual stable and genuinely intimate relationship – the kind if relationship fundies should be in favour of given all their blather about the importance of family-this and committment-that, if they weren’t all such awful homophobic hypocrits that is…

    Yeah, I didn’t mean to harp so hard on the rather coercive nature of V-J Day in Times Square, but I think it’s important to realise the fellows on the right are an actual military family, the kind the Support the Troopers keep reminding us to support and respect.

    (Not disagreeing with that sentiment, mind you: training and deployment is obviously hard on troops and their families, but I do have little tolerance for disingenuous platitude-spouting ribbon-wearers.)

    Then I thought that the boyfriend out of uniform had better not be another Marine, because he could really use a haircut.

    I think that’s why I could never have made it in the military: anybody* can answer a recruitment call, but there are so few of us who can be proud of our gorgeous, envy-inducing hair, it would be a damn crime to keep it shorn and tucked under a helmet (even now that I’ve gone all salt ‘n’ pepa and can no longer wear it long.)

    Maybe when I’m gone fully white, I’ll sign up for something like the French Foreign Legion—by that time I’m sure this sexy mane will have gotten me into enough trouble that a change of profession and identity will be welcome.

    *Clearly not anybody.

  92. 92
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Aratina Cage, your irritation is misdirected. Completely.

  93. 93
    Aratina Cage

    My irritation? You’re the one irritated by the photo on the right, not me.

  94. 94
    Gregory Greenwood

    Brownian @ 91;

    Yeah, I didn’t mean to harp so hard on the rather coercive nature of V-J Day in Times Square

    No, I was wrong and you were right to call me on it. I appreciate the honesty.

    …but I think it’s important to realise the fellows on the right are an actual military family, the kind the Support the Troopers keep reminding us to support and respect.

    An important distinction, and one that needs to be made.

    (Not disagreeing with that sentiment, mind you: training and deployment is obviously hard on troops and their families, but I do have little tolerance for disingenuous platitude-spouting ribbon-wearers.)

    Agreed. Such people always carry a curious whiff of non-religious piety – a public display that they are supposedly better than mere mortals by sole means of mouthing insincere sound bites about issues they would never actually be prepared to take a real stand on.

  95. 95
    Sour Tomato Sand

    Agreed. Such people always carry a curious whiff of non-religious piety – a public display that they are supposedly better than mere mortals by sole means of mouthing insincere sound bites about issues they would never actually be prepared to take a real stand on.

    And the funny thing to me is that it makes me and everyone else I know uncomfortable when people thank us for our service. We never quite know what to say, so I’ve settled on “Thanks for your support.” It’s about as disingenuous as “thank you for your service.”

  96. 96
    Conor Sans Pantaloons

    The picture on the right is such a fantastic display of two people being back where they need to be. I sometimes think beyond pictures like this too much, into hospital scenarios where they are being kept from one another because some paperwork claims they aren’t “family.” Bullshit, a couple as connected as that should not be kept from comfort in arduous times just because a bureaucracy soaked in fear and theocracy is “grossed out” by them. Still, beautiful picture.

  97. 97
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Julian and Sour Tomato Sand: I’m not military, but I’ve got close friends and family who are, and there are definitely some rules of decorum that stick with people for life. That said, how often do we see such disapproving comments on the threads to news articles that feature heterosexual military couples?

  98. 98
    Anthony K

    We never quite know what to say, so I’ve settled on “Thanks for your support.”

    I’m sorry: you have an opportunity to scream “I’ve seen and done things you can’t even comprehend, man, and you have the gall to say ‘Thank you’?!” at a stranger and you don’t take it?

    How not fun is that?

  99. 99
    Ingdigo Jump

    The Watchmen version was better

  100. 100
    Conor Sans Pantaloons

    The Watchmen version was better

    Better, or bestest?

  101. 101
    Sour Tomato Sand

    That said, how often do we see such disapproving comments on the threads to news articles that feature heterosexual military couples?

    Well, that’s a fair point, but I certainly wasn’t motivated by homophobia and I don’t think any other military poster on here was. It’s sort of a US (and some other nations I’m sure) military in-joke, I guess. Like the rule about not putting your hands in your pocket unless you’re retrieving something (“but sergeant, I’m retrieving warmth!”), or walking while smoking or talking on a cell-phone, or wearing sunglasses in formation, or failing to wear a hat when outside and not under overhead cover, or any of a billion other silly regulations that don’t matter to anyone outside of the military. Same deal with the nitpicks about uniform. This, also, prevents military members and veterans from enjoying any military movie unless everything is perfect, or movies where anyone is using a firearm in an unsafe manner (Basically all of them. My wife and I both find ourselves yelling “MUZZLE AWARENESS!!” during a lot of action movies.)

  102. 102
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Brownian, 91

    but I think it’s important to realise the fellows on the right are an actual military family

    QFT.

    How anyone can’t see the love and connection between these two human beings (in the right picture), or even worse, actually SEE it and then STILL judge it is beyond me.

    My first reaction was “D’awwww! SOOOO SWEEET!”

    Sour Tomato Sand, 101

    Like the rule about not putting your hands in your pocket unless you’re retrieving something (“but sergeant, I’m retrieving warmth!”)

    That made me lol and I’ll be sure to relay this story to a friend who is a sarge In Teh AAAAAARMY. (YAY Pauley Shore).

    I have many friends in the military and they all have a thing against PDA, no matter who preforms it, military or non-military people, doesn’t matter.

    I think it’s ridiculous and I simply cannot imagine a sensible rationale (what, you’ll disgrace the uniform by showing human emotion and affection and tarnish your country’s “WE FUCK YOUR SHIT UP” image? Doodz, which is what the military was traditionally viewed to be made up of, aren’t allowed to be all mushy and lovey-dovey because…. something evopsych bullshit or misogynistic? WHAT????).

    Still, I do acknowledge that this is something that gets pretty damn deeply ingrained and almost impossible to challenge and slash or change in an individual.

  103. 103
    qwerty

    The difference is the sailor picked out a totally strange woman he didn’t know to plant a kiss upon her while the Marine is kissing his partner of some years.

    Yes, I remember reading about the famous sailor kissing the nurse on VE day and she didn’t know him at all!!!

    That said, as one who lobbied to overturn DADT, I can only say WOW, that photo is GREAT!!!!! Yippee!!

  104. 104
    qwerty

    Ooops. The sailor/nurse photo was taken on VJ day.

  105. 105
    edmundog

    ” the same way I’m crazy irritated to see people insulting this Marine by referring to him as a “soldier.” ”

    You know, I hear people say this every so often, and I always wonder if they know how petty, whiny, and insane they sound to people. A soldier means a person engaged in military service. Deal with it.

  106. 106
    Aratina Cage

    The guys in the photo on the right have been interviewed by KHON2′s Gina Mangieri:

    “We couldn’t talk, I can barely talk now, his hands went numb, my legs were shaking, our first kiss after just knowing how we felt about each other,” Morgan said.

    And for a-holes like Improbable Joe:

    Other comments have in the middle, people saying they don’t mind a welcome-home photo but don’t want to see so much public display of affection, gay or straight.

    “My friend Sgt. Thomas Stivers, he came home and his picture was in the Hawaii Marine (http://www.mcbh.usmc.mil/news/Feb24A12.pdf) of him kissing his wife and holding his newborn baby that was just born a few days ago,” Morgan said. “His picture is no different than mine. It is a homecoming picture. Gay, straight, lesbian no matter who you are, love is love.”

  107. 107
    qwerty

    Ibis3 @ 65:

    The story seems (if you check Wikipedia) to be that the sailor on the right was going down the street kissing any female. And the woman (years later) who claimed to be the nurse left her job to see the commotion on the street must have seen him coming.

    So, I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that the joyousness of the occasion probably let her permit him to kiss her and/or perhaps she may have been just as willing to be kissed.

    And the one similarity no one has comment upon is the simple fact that both photos do display a joyous occasion. The end of WWII (VJ day) on the right and a reunion of a loving couple on the left.

  108. 108
    Aratina Cage

    Here is more about the context of the event from Dalan Wells on Towleroad:

    …The PDA complaints are still from people who do not realize what a “Homecoming Ceremony” is. All the couples in that hangar were jumping all over each other and hugging and kissing. We do not carry on like that when he is uniform. I just dropped him off on base and did not even give him a good bye kiss since he was in uniform. [...]
    Posted by: Dalan Wells | Feb 28, 2012 1:25:20 PM

  109. 109
    qwerty

    Sour Tomato Sand:

    “This, also, prevents military members and veterans from enjoying any military movie unless everything is perfect…”

    Yes, as a veteran, how true!!! Hollywood rarely gets it right.

  110. 110
    Sour Tomato Sand

    Aratina:

    It’s a bit more nuanced than that, speaking for myself: I know what a homecoming ceremony is, and I know that PDA is completely allowed during it, but the obsessive noncommissioned officer part of me goes “argh no PDA’s in uniform!!” and it takes a second to put that back in check. I am certainly not saying they shouldn’t have done it for my part. It’s basically a conditioned response.

  111. 111
    qwerty

    Favorite NPR comment:
    The Marines should try to recruit the partner, Dalan Wells. He looks like he could bench press a small car.

  112. 112
    maneatinglemur

    He’s home, he’s alive, he’s safe and he’s back in the arms of the guy he loves after who knows how long in the crosshairs. It’s a beautiful picture and anyone who thinks there’s something wrong there is seriously disturbed.

    But, hey, I’m such a sucker for a happy ending.

  113. 113
    Aratina Cage

    @Sour Tomato Sand
    I can understand that. However, I’d hoped that people here who are compulsive about that for whatever reason would be a bit more thoughtful; this is not the time to whine about how much the love being expressed in this photo bothers you.

    But what is really happening here, and you might not know this, is that Improbable Joe has been acting like a royal a-hole lately around FTB. His opinion on this matter is not called for at all. Heck, even the Marine Corps Base Hawaii spokesperson said that this is “your typical homecoming photo”, which flatly contradicts Improbable Joe’s bullshit claims about what constitutes proper Marine PDA above.

  114. 114
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Sounds like the issue is more “Public Displays of Humanity.”

  115. 115
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    It is a Marine thing… the same way I’m crazy irritated to see people insulting this Marine by referring to him as a “soldier.”

    So, it’s a “Marine thing” to feel smugly superior to the other branches of the military. Gotcha.

  116. 116
    arakasi

    Naked Bunny w/ a Whip

    So, it’s a “Marine thing” to feel smugly superior to the other branches of the military. Gotcha.

    I work with Marines on a daily basis, and yeah, it pretty much is. You get used to it after a while.

    My first thought when seeing the right-hand photo was that the civilian just managed to catch a jumping Marine without being knocked over or hurting his back – he must be built like an ox

  117. 117
    Tuválkin

    The difference is that the left side photo shows a mildly intoxicated person kissing a stranger in the heat of enthusiasm, while the right side photo shows a stable couple sharing a passionate greeting after a long and stressful absence. I know which one my own religious and conservative mother would approve of (even if grudgingly).

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