Every gay on Facebook was a critic all weekend long when it came to Friday night's Opening Ceremony from London (before we collectively moved on to saturate news feeds with the next Olympics topic: men's gymnastics). But the one thing Beijing doesn't have on London's grand opening? A same-sex kiss aired 'round the world that you could've easily missed if you had blinked.
During Danny Boyle's epic Opening Ceremony events, a historic first for many countries consumed the screen for half a second.
This scene lasted just half a second, but according to a few overheated news reports, since the ceremonies were aired around the world, this was the first same-sex kiss shown in some Middle Eastern nations. And despite some claims that NBC didn’t show the kiss, this armchair detective proved that it did indeed air. It’s just that it flashed by so quickly, you could blink and miss it.
What made this girl-on-girl action significant enough to include in the Olympics opening ceremony? It was the first lesbian kiss that appeared on British television before the 9 p.m. “watershed,” meaning that it was considered suitable for all viewers.
The smooch appeared on Brookside, a now defunct British prime-time soap opera that was set on a housing development in the Liverpool area. Brookside was a perfect choice for Boyle’s parade of fabulousness, not only because it focused on social issues—including homosexuality, domestic abuse, drug use, and social mobility—but also because it was the signature program when Britain’s Channel 4 launched in November 1982, starting the growth of the multi-channel TV universe.
Some disbelievers over the weekend claimed that NBC cut the kiss from their broadcast of the events around the world, but to the network's credit, it remained: