23 June

Coming Out, Taking A Stand: Kissing A Donkey In The Morning

by Jon Katz
Coming Out
Coming Out

When you write on the Internet, you get in trouble every day, sometimes just for breathing, but this morning I got in trouble for kissing my donkey Simon. A member of the Open Group At Bedlam Farm stormed out of the group in a major huff because she said she felt pressured to kiss donkeys after several photos of donkey kissers were posted.

One of the donkey kissers – a secret cult, really – is a nurse and I wondered if she would put up a photo of her kissing a donkey (my donkey) in the operating suit where she worked. This caused one other member to protest loudly and quit: “I thought this was about creativity and encouraging creativity,” she wrote. ‘Being told I need to kiss a donkey is not about creativity nor is it thoughtful.”

Well, it may not be thoughtful, but I think it is creative and worthy of encouragement. Donkeys have big soft noses, they love to be kissed, I begin every day of my life kissing my donkey Simon on the nose and wishing him good morning. In my first marriage, this would not have been encouraged, but Maria finds it quite normal and has never even remarked upon it. Of course, I am not stupid even if I am thoughtless, I make it a point to kiss Maria before, not after I kiss my donkey.

I think the country would be a much better and more hopeful place if our political leaders were required to kiss a donkey or horse or dog or cat on the nose each morning before going on talk shows and yelling at one another. Frankly, I did not see it as controversial, I get in much worse trouble for euthanizing dogs or shooting nasty roosters. The Internet is an anger and rage machine sometimes, there are people who will get ticked off at just about anything and share their outrage with other angry people.

I expect to hear from the animal rights people momentarily, kissing donkeys on the nose probably comes under the rubric of exploiting animals and using them for entertainment, or in my case, something even worse: abuse. Can you sexually harass a male donkey if you are a man? This is the new era. Everyone is coming out, this is the age of sensitivity. You can kill somebody and nobody will pay much attention but if you are insensitive, you will light up Twitter in a heartbeat.

But I need to come out. I am a donkey kisser, I can’t let the others take the heat by themselves. So this morning, I asked Maria to take a photo of my kissing Simon – as I do every morning – and wishing him a good day. I can hardly imagine writing a word without it.

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