A “besotón”, or kiss-a-thon, has been staged at the Six Flags Mexico theme park after a queer couple visiting said they were victims of “homophobia”.
A friend of the couple went viral on Twitter after he described how his friends were reprimanded for kissing at the theme park on Wednesday (29 December).
He wrote: “The argument was that the park is a ‘family environment’ and that gay kisses are an attack on that.”
He went on to share videos of the incident, which reportedly showed the Six Flags Mexico director confronting them about the kiss, and continued: “[He] told us that in general all displays of affection were prohibited and that it was in the regulations, we reviewed the regulations with him and that paragraph does not appear… They also pointed us out, took us out of line and threatened to take us out of the park for not complying with the ‘family environment’ rule.
“At least 10 couples in the same area were kissing but they were not singled out or intimidated.”
Lo que si dice es que “no se puede tener actos que atenten contra la moral” de acuerdo a él, un beso gay atenta y uno hetero, no. Basta de permitir que nos discriminen en lugares “seguros para la comunidad”. @SixFlagsMexico pic.twitter.com/iqrZek2mZX
— No eres tú, soy Gio. (@giov_) December 30, 2021
In further tweets he described the incident as “clearly homophobic”, and the thread has, to date, been retweeted more than 16,000 times.
In response, the LGBT+ community joined together to plan a “besotón”, or kiss-a-thon, outside the park.
— Marto (@godomarto) December 30, 2021
Droves of protesters gathered outside the park on Thursday (30 December), waving Pride flags and kissing under the arches surrounding the theme park.
— Eduardo Iniesta (@eliniestae) December 31, 2021
— Mezcal Rosa (@mezcalrosa) December 30, 2021
— #SixFlagsDiscrimina (@SoyAlcantara_) December 30, 2021
The park’s initial response was to defend the incident.
In a statement posted to Twitter, it said: “In an effort to maintain a family atmosphere, Six Flags had a policy that discourages visitors from being overly affectionate while visiting the park.
“This policy applies equally to all visitors, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
“However, based on feedback from our visitors, we have determined that there is no need to have a policy that addresses affectionate behaviour and we have removed it.”
Finally, after the kiss-a-thon had taken place, Six Flags Mexico offered a half-apology, claiming the incident was a “misunderstanding”.
In its second statement, it said: “We apologise for the misunderstanding caused to some of our visitors during their stay in our park on Wednesday 29 December.
“We stand in solidarity with our guests, partners, colleagues and collaborators who are members of the LGBT+ community. Six Flags is committed to maintaining an inclusive environment and does not tolerate racism, discrimination, or hateful behavior in any way towards anyone. Our goal is to provide a safe and fun experience for everyone.
“To show our commitment, tomorrow we will meet with a commission of the LGBT+ community together with the authorities of the Mexico City and we will work to move forward.”
But the LGBT+ community is determined to hold the theme park to account, and expects it to prove its “commitment” with real action.
Alex Orué, director of It Gets Better Mexico, wrote on Twitter: “Homophobia is not a ‘misunderstanding’.
“To overcome what happened… will require transparent and tangible actions in favour of the LGBT+ community.”
Six Flags has been approached for comment.