Local 49ers fan talks about kiss photographed, published by Sports Illustrated
Aaron Ochoco kissed friend in bar during game
Last Updated: 107 days ago
SAN DIEGO - While the city of Baltimore celebrates a Super Bowl victory, the actions of a 49ers fan from San Diego is still sparking headlines.
"The Super Bowl result was rough ... I'm very passionate about my team," said Clairemont resident Aaron Ochoco.
In the past few weeks, it was his passion for his team that became a hot topic online.
"I was really surprised it was such a big deal, because it was just a kiss at the bar," said Ochoco.
Ochoco said that kiss took place at a gay sports bar in San Francisco, as the 49ers battled the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.
Ochoho, who is gay, brought his friend, Greg -- who is also gay and a 49ers fan.
After a thrilling come-from-behind win, Ochoco (pictured on the right in the photo) planted a kiss on his friend inside the bar.
"The emotions of the kiss [is] who's next to me, I'm so excited. I want to share this experience with somebody," said Ochoco.
A week later, a photo appeared on Ochoco's Facebook page, and that led him to the bookstore and an issue of Sports Illustrated.
It turns out a photographer from Sports Illustrated -- Deanne Fitzmaurice -- snapped the photo. It's believed to be the first same-sex kiss to ever appear in the magazine, and the photo created a buzz on social media -- negative and positive.
"It's little things like this, I think, that breaks down barriers," said Ochoco.
Ochoco said he hopes the picture makes a small dent in the stigma and stereotypes associated with homosexuality and sports. It's a hope for change emerging from a moment of excitement.
"To me, it means my team won a championship. For others, it means barriers have come down in Sports Illustrated. Who knows, there may be someone out in a city not so accepting who sees it and says it's OK to be gay and a sports fan," said Ochoco.
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