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Dodgers' kiss cam operator: 'Same sex, different sex, I don't even notice.'

Showing gay couples at stadiums is a positive development.

Male couple on the Dodgers' kiss cam
Male couple on the Dodgers' kiss cam

Outsports has long been opposed to stadium kiss cams, which used to use two men kissing as a punch line. But times are changing for the better with same-sex couples now being cheered when shown on camera.

A pioneer in this development was Dan Valdivia, who operates the kiss cam at Dodger Stadium. Last May, Valdivia zeroed in on a male couple, Steven and Rick Simone-Friedland, and showed them smooching on the kiss cam. It was a first for the Dodgers. The crowd roared its approval and the video went viral.

"Same sex, different sex, I don't even notice, it all works as long as they kiss," Valdivia told Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times this week.

Typically, a cameraman scours the crowd for people who appear to be couples and gets their OK to be on the kiss cam. Steven and Rick Simone-Friedland said yes, then were hesitant when the moment neared. But they needn't have worried. "We thought it would be just so fun to do, and then we heard the crowd -€” and that was really unexpected, and beautiful, and affirming," Steven told the Advocate last year.

Los Angeles was the site of another great same-sex kiss cam moment in January when a gay couple was shown at a Los Angeles Kings hockey game. The video of their kiss has been viewed 331,000 times.

Kiss cams are still a bit dated and can be cringe-inducing if one of the people being shown hesitates to participate. But showing same-sex couples in a positive light and to applause is a huge step forward and hope we see more them at pro stadiums and arenas.

Update: After this story was posted, Paulina Aguilar wrote this on Facebook: "Last year we were sitting in loge and asked the camera crew if they could show us, my girlfriend and I. Both of the guys looked at each other and said 'sorry, we can't' while shrugging they're shoulders. Then they proceeded to show a hetero couple up one row and a few seats down."

I am not sure what to make of her claim, but it appears that there is still work to be done.