Gay ‘kissathon’ protest organiser says demo in Hackney Sainsbury’s was ‘display of defiance’

Gay ‘kissathon’ protest organiser says demo in Hackney Sainsbury’s was ‘display of defiance’

The 'kissathon' demo was held at a Sainsbury's local in Hackney on Saturday

Monday, August 15, 2016

The man who organised a gay ‘kissathon’ protest in east London on Saturday says the demonstration was a “display of defiance.”

The event, held in a branch of Sainsbury’s in Hackney, followed an incident at the same supermarket in which a woman complained about the behaviour of a gay couple.

Thomas Rees and his partner Joshua Bradwell were pulled aside by a security guard and informed of the complaint. Rees said he had been holding his partner's hand and may have put an arm around his waist..

The story subsequently went viral, and numerous gay couples descended on the supermarket on Saturday, kissing openly in the aisles to protest the complaint.

Segalov, the organiser of the protest and also the news editor of HUCK Magazine, lauded the action.

"Having something positive, a display of defiance, empowerment, is quite pleasant for everyone," he told Paul Ross. "It's quite an active decision to speak to the media about this, it's not easy. 

"What's not been that surprising is this number of people messaging me saying this happened to them in McDonalds, in the train station. 

"What's important is to make sure places like Sainsbury's do make an effort to make sure these things don't happen again and to provide an opportunity to speak up."