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People Are Moved By A Photo Of Two Women Kissing In The Middle Of A Trump Protest

The couple hope it sends the message that "love persists."

Posted on November 14, 2016, at 4:09 p.m. ET

An intimate moment captured by a photographer at an anti-Trump protest in New York City has a lot of people emotional.

Hennessy Vandheur /

The photographer, Hennessy Vandheur, was in the swaths of protesters along 5th Avenue on Wednesday night when he turned to see two women kissing, he told BuzzFeed News.

Hennessy Vandheur /
Hennessy Vandheur /

Vandheur said he was struck by the love shared between these two amid heated anti-Trump remarks.

"I noticed everyone was protesting something," he said. "It was nice seeing love in the middle of all the chaos."

BuzzFeed News has identified the couple as 22-year-old Laura Hetherington and her girlfriend, 20-year-old Giovanna "Jo" Barba. They're Fordham University students who attended the protest "as a means of catharsis and support on a communal level," Hetherington said.

Laura Hetherington

Hetherington and her girlfriend took to the streets because they believed the election of Donald Trump was an opportunity to protest "hate and intolerance in the form of racism, sexism, discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community," as well as one to show support for the marginalized groups, she said.

"Protesting was just as much about coming together and providing support and emotional understanding for each other," she said.

Hetherington said she and Barba kissed when they reached Trump Tower.

After Vandheur shared the photo online, people were moved by the apparent love between the women, and by what it symbolized in the protests.

In the middle of a Trump protest in Manhattan — so beautiful.

People called it "beautiful" and "pure."

Hetherington said she's touched by the reactions to the photo. She hopes the photo serves as a "reminder for those who see it: In the midst of hatred, opposition, and oppression our love will persist," she said.

Laura Hetherington

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.