TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 By NESTOR LAIVIERA
Dozens of gay men and lesbians, and straight friends embraced and physically expressed their affection towards one another to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.
The group of between 30 to 40 young people made up predominantly of young girls who gathered around the Love monument in Spinola Bay, St Julian's on Tuesday evening seemed at first nothing out of the ordinary.
But the moment a whistle blew, they all stopped what they were doing, and embraced one another, to the surprise of many who were walking along the coastline. Some giggled and smiled jovially as they hugged, while some others allowed themselves to savour the moment as they kissed their partner.
30 seconds later, a second whistle blew – the signal for the collective embrace to end. The couples and friends ended their embrace, marking the end of one of Malta's first kiss-in 'flash mobs' that organiser Christian Job hopes will catch on.
"I'm very happy about how it went," he told MaltaToday following the event. A Frenchman who lived in Malta for several months, Christian said that the small-scale of the event is not a problem. "It started small in Paris too, and grew from there, to other countries as well," he said.
"This is Malta after all, he concedes," in a not-so-subtle quip targeted at some of the more conservative elements of Maltese society.
He hoped that as Paris' kiss-in flash mobs caught on in other countries worldwide, it would locally as well. "I hope that some Maltese people will be inspiring by this and will organise their own kiss-ins, he said."
He said that the feedback regarding the event was very positive, even if the turnout was not what the Facebook event page had indicated.
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