In past years, Brett Meyers chose only to watch LGBTQA "KissOuts."
On Tuesday, Meyers decided to make the most of his senior year. Though he wasn't dating anyone, he participated in the KissOut and kissed one of his close friends.
Though Meyers said society has been adapting to the idea of same-sex couples, he still feels that Valentine's Day is more geared toward heterosexual relationships. The KissOut, he said, breaks those barriers.
"It shows you that love is universal," Meyers (senior-telecommunications) said. "Everyone feels love, whether it's between same-sex couples or heterosexual couples. Love should be for all."
In the HUB-Robeson Center, a crowd of more than 20 gathered on the ground level during the crowded lunch hour for the annual KissOut put on by the Penn State Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally Student Alliance.
As 12:30 p.m. drew near, the participants drew closer, some with rainbow flags wrapped around them, and simultaneously locked lips.
For this year's KissOut, Erica Pilgram kissed her girlfriend, which she said added to the value of both the moment and the kiss.
But in the past, Pilgram shared kisses of support with close friends.
"This kiss is going to mean more," Pilgram (junior-food science) said moments before she kissed her girlfriend Ashley Matz. "It's exciting to be 'out' with someone."
Tuesday marked the first time Matz (senior-psychology) participated in the KissOut. Before this year, she said she spent some time questioning the feelings she had toward other women.
Matz, said she is glad that LGBTQA created the opportunity at Penn State.
"It's so neat that they have this to express our feelings toward a significant other," Matz said.
At the second KissOut at the Allen Street Gates at 3 p.m., yesterday, 10 students attended but this did not mean the KissOut did not serve its purpose, President of Rainbow Roundtable Jenny Shipley said.
"I like the events where we can be public and proud and visible," Shipley (junior-mechanical engineering) said.
This year marks the eighth annual KissOut at Penn State.
On Valentine's Day in 2005, an LGBTA group, Allies, organized the first KissOut on the steps of Old Main.
The photos of same-sex couples kissing made the front page of the Collegian and sparked a series of letters to the editor expressing readers' anger toward the image.
Today, though, the event hasn't generated the negative response seen in past years.
A third KissOuts at 6 p.m. in Redifer Commons drew applause and some gasps from nearly a hundred students eating dinner as the participants completed their final KissOut.
For Marlene Ratliff, the public display of affection was something to admire.
"If you have the confidence to [kiss] in Redifer or the HUB, then more power to you," Ratliff (junior-history) said.