A Day in Hand, the campaign to encourage LGBT people to hold hands in public, is asking them to show their affection publicly on the last Saturday of each month.
The first Sshh! (same-sex hand-holding) Saturday will be on September 26th, to remember July’s shooting at a gay bar in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The campaign has received the backing of a number of celebrities such as mayor of London Boris Johnson, Peter Tatchell and Boy George and is an attempt to allow gay, bisexual and trans people to feel more comfortable in public.
A Day In Hand founder David Watkins is trying to make Sshh! Saturdays a worldwide event and is asking people to uphold photos of themselves holding hands to firstname.lastname@example.org.
He said: “Sshh! Saturdays aims to ultimately create safer spaces for LGBT people. As the idea of Sshh! Saturdays grow in popularity and spread across the world, the last Saturday of every month will become a day of support for LGBT people who want to show their commitment in public. Many years ago in the UK, LGBT people knew that the last carriage of every train would be populated by members of the queer community. Today, A Day In Hand wants people to feel the same sense of support in public spaces on the last Saturday of every month.”
He continued: “Same-sex hand-holding (Sshh!) is a silent revolution for LGBT people, because nothing needs to be said: no bold speeches, no reactive arguments, no war of words. Each LGBT person has the power to change the hearts and minds of people in their local community quietly, subtly, by simply holding hands publicly and owning their space. However, hand-holding is a simple powerful gesture that can happen anywhere, at any time.”
For those who live in areas where same-sex affection is public is not safe, Watkins stressed that the campaign was not asking people to ignore their “survival instincts”.
Instead, he said: “We are asking people to think about public displays of affection in more creative, less obtrusive ways. If you can’t hold hands in your immediate area, how about resting your head on your partner’s shoulder at the cinema, or kissing them good-bye in the car? We have to start expressing our love in the mainstream.”