This evening at 6pm, protesters will be assembling at an unassuming Sainsbury’s store in Brighton to pucker up with a partner of their choice for the #BigKissIn, which seems to have taken the city by storm.This follows the news over the weekend that two female students were told to stop kissing while shopping, or else they would be asked to leave the store, after complaints from a fellow customer concerned with the safety of her child. It didn’t take long to decide we had to do something about it.At this point I want to make something clear. Our kiss-in is not about the security guard, who no doubt will have faced the same pressures we are protesting about today, especially as a contracted member of staff in a massive corporation. We don’t know their gender or sexuality; it would be unfair to make assumptions about prejudice.The real issues here are that homophobic attacks still occur on a regular basis. That in 81 countries it is illegal to be openly gay. That there are children being taught by their parents that it’s wrong to love someone of the same gender. That growing up LGBT means you are more likely to be bullied than not. Ultimately, that casual and explicit homophobia is still rampant in our communities.The fact that this happened in Brighton, often referred to as England’s gay capital, is also significant. In such a supposedly tolerant and accepting place, people are still made to feel uncomfortable displaying affection towards their partners or friends. The sheer number of responses we’ve had to our campaign – with 1,000 people saying they will attend – highlights that many recognise the situation these two women found themselves in.People have been quick to point out that Sainsbury’s has privately apologised, and have made a small donation to charity – but that’s not good enough. The hundreds of people descending on the branch this evening are asking for three things: a public apology, a substantial donation to a charity that helps fight homophobia and a review of Sainsbury’s equality and diversity training. It feels slightly strange demanding money from a protest, but it feels necessary. If Sainsbury’s are going to claim they are taking this incident seriously, their multimillion pound profit margins must be able to take a slightly bigger hit. Whether Sainsbury’s likes it or not, this incident has been a stark reminder that we have a long way to go to combat homophobia. The onus is on them now to do something about it.I’m not going to attempt to draw a line as to where public displays of affection become too much to stomach, but what happened here did not cross that line. Having spoken with the women involved, it is clear that the “slight peck on the cheek” that caused them to be confronted would have caused no concern had they been a man and woman.The real point of today is to show that whoever you kiss, regardless of their gender or sexuality, it’s something to be celebrated, accepted and treated normally. The original incident occurred on National Coming Out Day, an annual event that promotes and recognises the LGBT community. I hope our protest is the start of the end of the need for a day like this and that there will soon be a time when the fears, pressures and anxiety many associate with coming out are just a memory.A final word for anyone calling this an overreaction: congratulations on feeling comfortable kissing whoever you like in public. Some of us don’t.