Queer couples share tender, steamy, defiant kisses in new Stonewall anti-hate campaign

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Stonewall encourages festive PDA with Proud Mistletoe kiss campaign (Stonewall)

The Stonewall video, entitled Proud Mistletoe, shows queer couples kissing in parks, under Christmas decorations and on the night bus home.

It was filmed in response to the worrying spike in anti-LGBT+ hate crimes recorded across Britain this year, which has left many queer couples afraid of showing affection in public.

Unveiling the campaign, the LGBT+ charity said: “Reports of homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic hate crimes continue to rise in 2021. Help create a world where all LGBTQ+ people can show affection without fear.

“This Christmas, kiss hate goodbye.”

Stonewall announced that a rainbow-coloured mistletoe filter will be added to Instagram for the campaign, so couples can “kiss responsibly” amid the pandemic.

The charity said in a statement: “This Christmas, we’re encouraging LGBTQ+ people to kiss goodbye to hate.

“Let’s fight hateful attacks with love, and help create a world where all of us can show affection to our friends, family and partners without fear. By continuing the legacy of LGBTQ+ trailblazers, who used kiss-ins as a form of protest in the 1970s and ‘80s, we too can reclaim public spaces in the name of love and pride.”

Davinia Green, the director for Stonewall in Wales, said on Twitter: “Feeling so emotional this morning as my timeline is flooded with our new Proud Mistletoe campaign.

“Let’s keep up the momentum… let’s (COVID-friendly) kiss hate goodbye.”

Stonewall’s campaign comes after reports that the number of anti-gay hate crime reports in the UK has tripled over the last six years.

Data obtained by Vice World News shows there were 6,363 reports of hate crimes based on sexual orientation in 2014-15, compared to 19,679 in 2020-21, a total increase of 210 per cent.

The number of transphobic hate crimes has quadrupled across the same period.

Only ten out of the 45 UK police forces recorded a decrease in hate crime, and the vast majority of those who provided data had seen a year-on-year rise in hate crime reports since 2014.

Diana Fawcett, Victim Support’s chief executive, told the Independent: “It is both concerning and disheartening that our figures reflect this significant increase in hate crimes across the country.

“It’s also worrying that there has been a huge jump in the number of people seeking support for disability, homophobic and transgender-identity related hate crimes, which we’ve seen have a damaging effect on the victim’s sense of safety, well-being and self-worth.”

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