Alex Blaze

Lesbian couple asked to leave strip mall for kissing

Filed By Alex Blaze | October 15, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement

Caitlin Breedlove stresses several times that she didn't kiss her girlfriend as a "publicity stunt," but unless she's completely making up the incident, it couldn't have gotten any publicity without the security guard's actions (transcript at the link):

Please let the "old school peaceful demonstration" be a gay kiss-in. They so deserve it.

The fact that she does work for a local LGBT org is related to this story; flying-biscuit-cameron-village-raleigh.pngtoo many people let this sort of thing slip by without a response. One has to wonder how many same-sex couples the security guard told to leave before someone raised a ruckus about this.

And we should also wonder how many people don't even hold hands in the first place to avoid any confrontation, which is probably the majority of same-sex couples in public. We've had federal hate crimes legislation for over a year now, and people still don't feel safe being visible in public, so we can see how much that bill changed things.

Moreover, who died and let this security guard dictate people's actions in what should be a public space? While I know that this is just spitting into the tide, the privatization of public spaces means that we're going to be told what we can and cannot do when we're out more often, even in places where we think we're free. As was made evident two years ago when a gay couple was arrested for kissing in Salt Lake City on what they thought was public property, most people don't even know how much land has been privatized.

Raising public awareness will do more to help than punitive legislation would, but sometimes it seems like we're never going to get past this. Here's a story about violence against LGBT visibility from just this week in Sweden:

On Thursday, the activists were entering a restaurant and were transphobically and racially harassed by a group of young men. On their way out the activists were physically attacked by this same group and pelted with eggs. The aggressors then also smeared egg on the face of an activist. The police did not respond adequately to the reported case of violence.

The following morning Transgender Europe and RFSL called for an appropriate investigation. However, when the activists were interviewed by the police, later in the afternoon, the police asked a series of unacceptable and offensive questions to the activists about their gender identity and right of stay in Sweden. In addition, the incorrect use of names and pronouns violated the dignity of the activists. Through their behaviour the police made the activists feel intensely violated and humiliated.

Sweden, not North Carolina. Humanity has a ways to go.

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A lot of security guards are jerks. It is possible this clown was not acting on behalf of property management or representative of other security guards for the property. Maybe she should wait for the management to respond both her and the biscuit shop before getting to public about it all. Hopefully management will quickly deal with this misguided, overzealous security guard.

Should have let the rent a cop push them around and sued them for doing so. Getting hit in the wallet seems to teach some of these types a lesson.

I know that area a bit.
The rent-a-cop may be mormon, they have quite a few in the area.
Also, hate to say it but it is redneck central.
And in the end, the constitution says we're allowed to be HAPPY! Seriously, the only think rent-a-cops can do is call the police, if they do and you get arrested for kissing go in front of the judge and jury and DEMAND justice!

Derrick Eral Brown | October 15, 2010 9:47 PM

Cameron Village management apologizes for confrontation with lesbian couple. I'm so very glad they did. I do enjoy shopping there.

Reading this story today hit me in two different ways at once.

#1 being that just today for the first time, I caught myself in a PDA with my girlfriend. However, the difference was that that was in front of the Egyptian on Hollywood Blvd. We took the stares we got and didn't give a damn. That's not likely to be true everywhere; in fact, that'd be very dangerous in most places, even in the US. (Side note: I say "caught myself" only because I was rather blindsided by the move, though certainly not embarrassed for doing so.)

#2 reading it as a security officer. MOST officers, though not everyone believes this, really are just trying to enforce their post orders. However, this is not something that (should) ever appear in post orders! That should be checked first. If the guard found something in his orders to defend his position, then it is BOTH his and the contract holder's responsibility to blame. I'm assuming that's not the case, though, in which case, there are two options:

1) Suspend the officer for his clearly homophobic remarks. That's an easy call to make, as what was said clearly was discrimination against an innocent party. A guard's duty is to BOTH provide customer service and enforce post orders. Clearly part 1 was violated.

2) The mall's management could decide that if the security company was unwilling to discipline the officer, that they do not need to align themselves with that security company, and dissolve the contract. This would flush the whole situation out IF in fact it is a problem among the whole company. It would also allow them to rewrite the post orders with the new company and explicitly PREVENT this form of harassment. And let's be real, security companies change hands all the time, often for less than this.

In closing, to Geena: We're not all jerks :) Some of my colleagues are, yeah. Again, though, that can be fixed with a complaint above the guard, if post orders are in violation. And, of course, some of us guards are also queer!

(Disclaimer: I am NOT affiliated with this security post nor its parent company. I am a transgender lesbian Securitas Officer working in LA. I have personally found Securitas, among other security employers, to be fair and just in its employment and protection of LGBT rights. Also, yes, I see action has been taken, but I'll post anyways)

>In closing, to Geena: We're not all jerks :)

Thanks for the reminder. I realize being a security guard is a difficult position and many have saved lives or come to assistance in various emergencies. Lot of short tempers and dangerous criminals in this world and security guards take the first line of defense.

Good luck with your work. I thought these days you could do practically anything on Hollywood Blvd. without even getting a blink, apparently not.