Sunday, December 25, 2011

A new kiss to remember -- and on the official U.S. Navy website!


This photo comes from the website official Navy website!

by Ken

As many commentators noted this week, widely circulated photos like the one above (taken, you'll note, from the Navy's official website), of Fire Controlman 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta (left), just disembarked from the USS Oak Hill in Virginia Beach, and waiting girlfriend Fire Controlman 3rd Class Citlalic Snell, evoke this iconic Alfred Eisenstaedt Life magazine photo taken in Times Square on V-J Day, the end of World War II, in 1945:

For Pete's sake, it even provoked a long post by Maura Judkis on! (As far as I can tell it was only online, not in the paper.) A number of colleagues have noted that as moving as the photo was for them, it meant as much that they could see it on the official Navy website.

Now our friend Andy of UK Gay News informs us, "This lovely photo was in virtually every national newspaper in the U.K.," with "pride of place" going to The Guardian, "which carried the official U.S. Navy photo 'above the fold' on its front page (together with a story). It was 'second lead.' "

Andy, by the way, also provided the link to Maura Judkis's Arts Post piece, "Navy gay kiss photo echoes famous V-J Day image." In it Judkis writes of the 2011 and 1945 photos:
It was the contrast of the white nurse’s uniform with the dark sailor’s uniform that made the photo for [Eisenstaedt]. “Now if this girl hadn't been a nurse, if she'd been dressed in 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,” he wrote in “The Eye of Eisenstaedt.”

Snell’s scarf adds a line of white to her black jacket, reflecting the white of Gaeta’s dress shirt against the dark naval uniform. They also embrace more as equals, unlike the WWII sailor and nurse. And theirs is a more reserved kiss, possibly because the couple knew they would make history. They learned they would be the first same-sex couple to share a kiss three days earlier, thanks to Gaeta’s winning ticket in her ship’s raffle.

Snell told the Associated Press she had been “nervous” about the attention, but because this couple is more familiar with each other — Snell wears what looks to be an engagement ring on her left hand — their kiss seems to have more tenderness.

Though the similarities in the two images are notable, it’s doubtful Wednesday’s kiss will rival the V-J kiss in photographic history. Still it’s likely meaningful enough for gay and lesbian service members as a reminder that they can imitate the iconic image just like any other couple.



At 5:26 AM, Anonymous Bil said...



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