Three Duke students organized a same-sex kiss-in at the Spanish Galleon Nightclub, a popular beach-week destination in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The demonstration—which occurred at 1 a.m. Wednesday—came in response to allegations on Yik Yak that men were asked to leave the club, known as SpanGal, after making out with other men, said senior Daniel Kort, the outgoing president of Blue Devils United and one of the leaders of the kiss-in.
At least two postings on Yik Yak and a number of accounts from eyewitnesses contributed to the "sound evidence" that men were being kicked out of the club for kissing other men, Kort said.
The kiss-in as a response featured at least 10 different same-sex pairs of students who identify as LGTBQ and students who do not identify as LGTBQ, he said after the event, noting that the group included students from Duke, the University of Richmond and Yale University.
"I would say that it was a success. None of us were kicked out or even approached by a bouncer. That being said, there was a bouncer who was in the vicinity and definitely looking our direction," Kort said.
Kort and juniors Victoria Chang and Tyler Nelson—the incoming president of Blue Devils United—came up with the idea for the kiss-in over lunch Tuesday when discussing the previous incidents that occurred at SpanGal.
"On the spot we came up with the idea for a kiss-in," Kort said. "We said let's do it—let's put in on Yik Yak, let's put it on Facebook, let's message as many people as we know."
He explained that the kiss-in took place by the cage closest to the entrance at SpanGal, and noted that even though the group never confronted management, its act of leading the kiss-in still had a noticeable impact on members of the LGTBQ community.
"We weren't able to make the direct point to the management that we find their practice of kicking out gay couples is homophobic, but we were able to create a safe space for LGTBQ individuals on the dance floor," he said. "In the aftermath, we did see people who identify as LGTBQ—they appeared to be more comfortable with the people that they were dancing with. Since night club culture can be so hetero-normative, it was really refreshing to see that space that was much more LGTBQ inclusive and really broke the norms that are imposed by heteronormativity."
Update: This article was updated at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday after the kiss-in took place.
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