Same-Sex Couple Share The Traditional Navy First Kiss


One year ago TODAY, President Barack Obama signed the repeal of the US military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that barred gays and lesbians from serving openly in all branches of the US armed forces. In September of this year, the DADT policy was completely repealed and from that time forward gays and lesbians have been allowed to serve openly. Today we learn that a lesbian couple, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta and Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell, became the first same-sex couple to openly participate in the US Navy’s traditional “first kiss” practice. Click below to watch video of the historic first kiss.

History was made on a Virginia Beach pier on Wednesday when two women sailors, one just home from 80 days at sea, became what was believed to be the first same-sex couple to share the Navy’s traditional first kiss. At Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, where a crowd had gathered to welcome home loved ones, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta, 23, stepped off amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill and planted a kiss on the lips of her partner, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell, Navy spokeswoman Ensign Sylvia Landis confirmed. Asked if they were the first same-sex couple to share the tradition, Landis said the Navy “doesn’t really keep track of stuff like that … but it’s believed to be the first one.” The kiss came after the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule regarding homosexuals was repealed earlier this year. Landis said that “to the Navy, (it was) really just a normal homecoming. “It’s just news to some people because for them (gays and lesbians), they don’t have to hide it anymore, I guess. It’s just a first; that’s why it’s significant to some people.” Gaeta, of Los Angeles, told local newspaper The Virginian-Pilot she had bought $50 worth of $1 tickets in a raffle run by the Family Readiness Group. “Traditionally, when a family comes home there’s a raffle … that each sailor or family member buys tickets to,” Landis explained. “They draw names for winners of first hugs and first kisses.” She said money raised in the raffle would be used to throw a Christmas party for children of sailors. Snell, of Placerville, California, told the newspaper the kiss would “open a lot of doors not just for our relationship, but for all the other gay and lesbian relationships that are in the military.”

Isn’t it amazing how something so simple as a kiss can be such a big, important deal? I can understand how most people might not understand the significant importance of being able to openly participate in the Navy’s “first kiss” practice but that is only because most people don’t know what it’s like to be discriminated against in this way. Gays and lesbians have had to hide and refrain from partaking in simple practices like this for fear of reprisal and expulsion from the US military. It’s when you see something so seemingly small as this become such a big deal that people begin to understand a bit more. I absolutely had to share this story with all y’all as soon as I heard about it. This may be one small kiss for this couple but it really is one giant leap for progress is our great nation.

[Source, Source]

  • Lorrian

    Trent, when I saw that picture for the first time it brought tears to my eyes…so beautiful, finally.

    • Krissy

      I agree. The image itself is beautiful, I especially like the angle of the woman on the right’s back. It becomes even more powerful because it seems as if they genuinely love each other. You can just feel the love by looking at it.

      I think this photo will go down in history, much like the Nurse and Sailor kiss photo from WWII.

    • @Krissy — “I think this photo will go down in history, much like the Nurse and Sailor kiss photo from WWII.” I thought the same thing :D

    • Krissy

      Doesn’t it kind of make you teary eyed that we get to witness this moment in history? It makes me so proud that we FINALLY made this step for the men and women who have risked their lives for us. The photo reminds me that in some ways our world is changing for the better.

  • Dezden

    I agree with everyone above… At first I didn’t think too much of it, but the more I’ve seen it and thought about it… it’s so powerful.

  • rOXy

    I guess it all has to begin somewhere. While I think this is awesome, I have a difficult time celebrating it as a step towards equality. I HOPE military officials aren’t just pretending to accept gay service men and women. What would really prove it is extending military benefits that are in place for straight couples to include same sex partners. As of now, they don’t. Let this first kiss be a reminder that we’re not there yet.

  • Ally

    Marrissa Gaeta is a hot number I wish I had a girl like her