ACT UP Kiss-In (April 29, 1988)

This Kiss-In took place the evening of April 29, 1988. It was cold and pouring rain, but the demonstrators soldiered on. The Kiss-In was a favorite tactic of ACT UP because it defied the homophobia of the larger society, demonstrated a lack of fear and stigma around AIDS and fostered camaraderie among the demonstrators and within the group as a whole. It was also a whole lot of fun, which is evident from the footage. The night was dark and rainy so the footage had to be pushed, thus it is often difficult to see and very grainy.

Ron Goldberg says this about the Kiss-In in his ACT UP Timeline:

ACT NOW National Spring AIDS Actions (aka “The Nine Days of Rain”) – AIDS organizations in over 50 cities participate in the first coordinated nation-wide AIDS activist event. The nine days of actions run from April 29-May 7. Each day has its own selected theme, highlighting specific AIDS-related issues. Groups are encouraged to participate in as many or as few of the days as they choose. ACT UP NY, being ACT UP NY, chooses to participate in them all

Day One: AIDS and Homophobia

Christopher Street Kiss-In – 1000 protestors march up Christopher Street with umbrellas and pink balloons, and stage a massive rain-drenched “kiss-in” in Sheridan Square. Bars along Christopher St. shut their doors to the demonstrators, forbidding them from leafleting and, in the case of The Monster, even entering the bar. The demonstration is followed by a benefit for ACT NOW at Trax, raising $2000

Digital transfer made possible by a grant from the Al Larvick Conservation Fund.