Gay Navy Couple Recreate the Iconic New York WWII Kiss- But Faces Homophobic Backlash


The iconic picture, known as the “Kissing Sailor” photo, portrays a U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger in a white dress.

The photo was taken on Victory over Japan Day, just hours after it was announced that Japan had surrendered and World War II was finally over.

The sailor in the photo was on a date in Times Square and decided to celebrate by kissing the closest nurse, a stranger who was not his date.

Navy soldier Bryan Woodington, 33, had been stationed in the Persian Gulf and Europe for seven months this year. When he returned home for the holidays, he and his husband Kenneth, 30, decided to recreate the iconic photo, News 4 Jax reports.

“I was excited and I could not wait for it to happen,” Bryan told the local affiliate. “I knew I was going to dip him.”

When Kenneth saw his husband disembark the ship, he said he “lost all control…just dropped everything and…ran.”Bryan suggested that I wear all-white because he wanted to redo that famous photo, but he didn’t know we won the lottery until the day he came home,” Kenneth tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I had never seen the photo myself.”

The dip was impressive, but Kenneth says it’s Bryan’s favorite pose especially when the two dance at home to Lana Del Rey. “I do yoga so it doesn’t hurt my back,” jokes Kenneth.

After local television channel News 4 Jax interviewed the couple, the station reported it was “bombarded” by enraged viewers who wrote, “How sad that your station has dropped to such a low as to show a gay couple kissing on your newscast,” “I’ll never watch your news again!!!! So long, News4Jax” and, “I thought this was a ‘family friendly’ news channel.”But Kenneth and Bryan are bolstered by friends, family and the public. On Naval Station Mayport’s Facebook page, people wrote, “A new twist on an old favorite! Love it!” and “I wish my Husband would kiss me like this!”

Some feigned disapproval by writing, “This makes me sick to my stomach. White shoes after Labor Day” and “This is disgusting. The weather should be ashamed of itself looking all gloomy.”

“There are people who see the beauty in it,” Kenneth tells “As for those who don’t, have a nice day.”

The U.S. Navy and the Naval Station Mayport did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment. Spokesperson Bill Austin told News 4 Jax that a same-sex kiss is “not an issue” and that the Navy is “gender neutral.”

“We’re showing our love for each other — we’re not hurting anyone,” Kenneth tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I’m just a spouse waiting for his sailor.”


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