Tenderness

Tenderness

must remain here

only for the two of us

to enjoy to cherish

for the sight of it

the tenderness here

in the open air

in a public space

would sully it

turn it into performance

it would cease to be sacred

it would be an assault

on common decency

for two men to hold hands in public

for them to kiss

in front of innocent children

On a recent walk near High Park, I noticed two men holding hands & laughing affectionately with each other, one leaned & was about kiss the other when he noticed me & they stepped apart. I wasn’t staring, my glance was, if anything, of pleasure at seeing them so free. I was a bit saddened that they broke their moment with a sense of shame. I doubt if a straight couple would give a shit who saw them giggling & kissing.

I kept walking rather than stop & say ‘go ahead guys, enjoy.’ High Park is miles from the Toronto gay  hub Church-Wellesley where this expression of public affection gets no attention at all. This piece, written a few years ago now, still tells of the state of things today. 

‘innocent children’ has long been the go-to rationalization for many censorious reactions – an easy way to say ‘as an adult I don’t care but I’m protecting children’ to hide their own fears & judgements. They can’t say ‘I’m so immature I’d rather react your sexuality than look at my own.’

A straight couple kissing in public, at a restaurant, making to on public transit is no big thing but same sex displays of affection, regardless of how banal, are treated as bad taste, as being too in your face even when in front of not-so-innocent adults.

Considering the amount of violence innocent children see on TV I doubt if two men or two women holding hands, or even exchanging a ‘see you later kiss’ on parting is going to spin those children deep inot the sordid cauldron of same-sex ‘abnormality.’

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

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