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Steve Frame
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I got my ATWT Google Alerts today and the talk of Google news today seems to be Friday's kiss. Here are just a few of the spots that covered the kiss in thier columns.

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History was made last Friday when two male characters locked lips on As the World Turns. The five-second kiss between Luke (Van Hansis) and Noah (Jake Silbermann) was the first between men on daytime television and came four years after two women kissed on All My Children. "The story is really about to just pick up," Silbermann told AfterElton.com. "After the kiss, it's really just beginning for them." CanWest News Service

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ATWT's Luke and Noah capture the Internet zeitgest

Now here's a story that became a little happier the more I looked into it. Thanks to a tip on our forums, I learned that a YouTube clip of the kiss between Luke and Noah from Friday's As the World Turns was flagged as inappropriate. When a clip is flagged, it is restricted to registered YouTube users who give their birth date to verify that they are 18 or older. My interest was further raised when I read on a message board that "Nuke" fans were re-uploading the clip on their accounts, leaving new versions that would have to be flagged all over again making it so that anyone searching the site for a clip of Luke and Noah's first kiss would certainly be able to find it without having to register to the site to get past the flag.

The double-standard of what counts as "inappropriate" on YouTube isn't a new discovery. In January, AfterEllen wrote about how mild depictions of lesbian affection tends to get flagged on YouTube while similar scenes of heterosexual love get left alone. Meanwhile, in May, we noted a a clip with a particularly hateful anti-gay message that had gone unflagged for six months.

While the earliest clip to feature Luke and Noah's kiss remains flagged (meaning a user felt it was inappropriate and called the site's attention to it), you can find ten more clips that are currently unflagged. So far, only one duplicates the clip that was originally flagged, meaning that several different users went through the effort of converting the scene into a digital format and uploading it to be shared. However, the flagged video remains the most popular one, having over two hundred thousand views (as of this moment, at least).

I have to admit, I came into this story feeling a little cynical but seeing so much fan support for Luke and Noah, as well as a good amount of interest, has made me feel a little less negative. It's important to remember that YouTube is for the most part user-driven, and while that leads to most of its problems (the uploading of copyrighted content like this, hateful messages) it also represents an upside: our voice in these matters does not go unheard. So check out the clips, add more, and add positive comments 'til your fingers bleed. Because you know the haters are doing the same.

Linked
In the 1990 film Longtime Companion, a group of friends gathered to watch a historical event -- the very first male gay kiss on daytime television. And this week, a mere seventeen years later, reality finally caught up to fiction. (By contrast, the time between Jaime Sommers' bionic ear and the first FDA-approved cochlear implant? Eight years.)

On Friday's episode of As the World Turns, after weeks of will-they-or-won't-they anticipation, teen dreams Luke and Noah sealed their attraction with daytime TV's first mano-a-mano kiss. Yowza.

Sure, All My Children broke the daytime gay-smooching barrier in 2003 when Bianca laid one on Lena, but lesbians are always ahead of the curve. L.A. Law had an all-girl kiss three years before Melrose Place famously cut away from poor gay Matt's one chance at on-screen action. Even Will & Grace, a show whose main cast was literally 50% homosexual characters, had two onscreen gay kisses in its entire eight season run. (Though one was with the delicious Taye Diggs, who by all rights should really count as at least three or four regular men.) So, yeah. It's still a big deal.

Next week: Luke says to Noah's (d'oh!) girlfriend, Maddie, "There's something you don't know about Noah." Yeah, no kidding, Luke. Now, soaps being soaps, he's probably just going to tell her Noah doesn't like her coffee, or something. But still.

Linked
History was made last Friday when two male characters locked lips on As the World Turns.

The five-second kiss between Luke (Van Hansis) and Noah (Jake Silbermann) was the first between men on daytime television and came four years after Bianca (Eden Riegel) and Lena (Olga Sosnovska) kissed on All My Children.

In a statement posted on its website, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) praised the 51-year-old soap opera.

“CBS and As the World Turns are to be commended for showing an authentic expression of this couple's affection for each other just as they would with any other characters,” said GLAAD Entertainment Media Director Damon Romine.

In the scene, Noah moves in for a kiss while Luke is helping him tighten his necktie. Luke draws back briefly and then continues kissing.

The smooch came after weeks of physical tension between openly gay Luke and Noah, who is dating Maddie (Alexandra Chando) on the show.

“The story is really about to just pick up,” Silbermann told AfterElton.com. “After the kiss, it's really just beginning for them. I'd really like to see the characters move along with their relationship. I'd like to see them experience the same things a lot of the other relationships on the show have experienced.”

Both Silbermann, 24, and Hansis, 25, are making their television debuts on As the World Turns.
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