Olympics Opening Ceremony Features Same-Sex Kiss: First Ever Televised in Many Countries

Last Friday millions around the globe tuned into the opening ceremony of the Games of the XXX Olympiad and for many this meant seeing a same-sex couple kissing for the first time on television.  The festivities, directed by filmmaker Danny Boyle kicked off the world’s greatest sporting event and millions turned on their television to catch the historic kick-off.  But this also meant another milestone for many countries as Danny Boyle chose to include a clip of the British soap Brookside featuring a same-sex kiss, making it the first ever kiss by two women on television in many countries around the world.

According to entertainment blog AfterEllen, the kiss between Beth and Meredith of Brookside was the first same-sex kiss seen on television in 76 countries, including Saudi-Arabia.  When it first aired in 1994, the clip also marked an important step in British television as it was the first to air pre-watershed, meaning it had been approved for viewing by all ages.

The clip was included in a series of kisses by television and film characters that were projected on a giant screen in the middle of the Olympic stadium as two teenagers kissed during the storyline about the digital age.  While brief, the clip is significant as many LGBT people in countries where living authentic lives means risking their safety were able to see themselves reflected on television just for one groundbreaking moment.