Sports So About Those Lesbians Kissing at Safeco Field…
posted by May 30 at 10:05 AMon
Apparently I got the attention of the Mariners organization when I floated the idea of a kiss-in at Safeco Field. A kiss-in, I suggested, might be an appropriate way to protest the treatment a lesbian couple received at a game on Wednesday night. Early in the evening yesterday an email arrived from Rebecca Hale, Director of Public Information for the Seattle Mariners, with this subject line: “Kiss In.” The text of Hale’s email: “Call me.”
“We’re trying to find out what happened,” Hale told me when we spoke. Earlier in the day Hale told the PI, according to Monica Guzman, that staff had received a complaint about two women not just kissing, but “groping.” Hale also told me that the complaint wasn’t just about lesbians kissing, but about “kissing and groping.”
The addition of a groping to the kissing charges already leveled against her came as shock to Sirbrina Guerrero, the 23 year-old accused. “Oh, my God,” said Guerrero when I got her on the phone, “that is so far from the truth, it’s ridiculous.”
Guerrero points out that when KOMO first talked to the Mariners about the incident, the organization didn’t say anything about groping.
“When did their story change?” asks Guerrero. “When they came up to us during the game we were were told to stop kissing, that a woman had complained about her kids seeing two women kissing. We were told to stop ‘making out,’ and now all of the sudden we’re making out and groping? Where did that come from?”
Jordin Silver, a friend who was at the game with Guerrero, also rejects the “groping” charge. “She was there with a girl she is dating,” said Silver, “and they hadn’t seen each other in a while. So they were holding hands, a peck here and there. Nothing inappropriate for a setting with children.”
Silver also points out that “there were tons of straight people kissing all over,” and no one was bothering these opposite-sex couples. She took this picture of a straight couple a few rows in front of their group—a straight couple “making out” right in front of a child, no less.
Hale insists that the Mariners don’t necessarily believe the women were kissing and groping, only that the complaint, as they understand it now, included both the “K” and “G” words.
“What we’re trying to do now is figure out exactly what happened,” said Hale. “We need to talk to as many of the folks who were there as possible.”
To that end The Ms are following up with the women who were told they would have to stop kissing or face ejection from the park and the “seating hosts” who were involved. If the seating hosts were in the wrong—if they applied a different standard to same-sex kissing than they were applying to opposite-sex kissing—then “appropriate actions will be taken,” said Hale. “If we have an employee who is not interpreting our policy correctly, we’ll deal with that.”
It’s hard not to see how this dispute ends at anything besides a seat-host-says/lesbian-couple-says impasse. Guerrero and her friends say that she wasn’t “making out” with her date, there were only a quick few kisses, and they’re adamant that there was no groping going on. The woman that complained about them (who no one has talked to), and the seat host that told they would have to knock it off or risk being ejected (who only the Ms are talking to), may see things—the same things—very differently. Many heterosexuals regard any signs of same-sex affection as shove-it-down-our-throats assaults on all things good and decent. A straight kiss is cute, a lesbian kiss is lewd; a boy with arm around the shoulder of a girl is endearing, a boy with his arm around another boy is groping. So we may have too wildly different takes on the exact same dyke PDA here, and it’s hard to see what action the Ms will be able to take after this investigation is over—besides, perhaps, a “we’ll never know what really happened” shrug. Which is probably just what the Ms want.
Finally, while I had Guerrero on the phone I asked her about something that’s been raised in comments, a fact about Guerrero, who works at Cowgirls Inc., that some of her friends think is the reason the Ms are suddenly floating the groping charge: Guerrero was a contestant on the latest installment of the VH1 dating show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.
“There’s a difference between the way you act on a show like that and the way you act when you’re in place like a ballpark,” said Guerrero. “It’s offensive to me to suggest that I don’t know the difference, that I don’t know the difference between a VH1 reality dating show and a Mariners’ game.”