Few kisses are as iconic as an unknown sailor’s V-J Day embrace with a dainty-legged nurse in Times Square.
But a public smooch between a Navy crew member and her girlfriend has the makings of a modern legend.
After her ship docked at the Virginia Beach pier on Wednesday, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta planted a reunion kiss on her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell, HyperVocal reports.
A crowd cheered as the lesbian sweethearts carried out a proud Navy tradition: Typically, one crew member is chosen to be the first across the bow to kiss a loved one after a ship comes in.
Navy officials said it was the only time on record that a same-sex couple was selected to share the “first kiss,” the Virginian-Pilot reports.
PO2 Gaeta’s name was drawn in a raffle, but the odds may have been in her favour. She bought 50 tickets at $1 (U.S.) apiece, and said she suspected her division may have bought a few more on her behalf.
PO2 Gaeta, 23, and PO3 Snell, 22, met in boot camp and dated in secret until September, when the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on openly gay service was lifted.
“It’s been a long time coming,” PO2 Gaeta said, dressed in formal blues for the occasion.
But news of the event drew mixed reactions online.
“If I had to share a room in the barracks with a gay person, I would have to request to move to another room,” douxs wrote at cbsnews.com, adding that he served in the Navy from 1971 to 1975.
But other former sailors gave the news two thumbs up.
Commenting at the Virginian-Pilot, Richard Ladd applauded the Navy’s recognition of “love between two people who have been separated by their service to our country,” he wrote.
Stay tuned for the brouhaha that’s bound to ensue when the first male couple reunites with a pier-side kiss.
How do you feel about officially sanctioned affection among gays and lesbians in the military?