A little gay

20 Feb

If you haven’t yet seen the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion’s Olympics ad, please take a moment now (and if, like me, you’ve watched it several times, please enjoy it again): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=effb2JYiKXM.

That’s right. To quote the CIDI: “The games have always been a little gay. Let’s fight to keep them that way.”

I’m loving this commercial. Like, watching-it-at-least-once-a-day-every-day-during-the-Olympics loving it.

The question is: why?

“That’s gay!” is a sadly still too common throwaway line that people use when they really mean: “That’s strange!” or “That’s stupid!”

In an uncomplicated nutshell, let me just say that it is not OK to say “That’s gay!” that way.

Gay is no more strange or stupid than heterosexual is (at least in my experience of being and knowing loads of hetero people). And using any identity as code for wrong/different/strange/less than is inaccurate and inhumane.

So back to: “The games have always been a little gay.” Why is this “gay” different?

IMHO (in my humble opinion):

The CIDI is using “gay” denotatively: to point out the physical intimacy of the luge, a sport that encourages a deep connection, physical, emotional and mental, between two people of the same sex.

… That is, denotatively with tongue in cheek. Probably anticipating that one reaction to their ad would be to defend the luge–there’s nothing wrong or weird about two men (or women) working as team!

Exactly. And there’s nothing wrong with being gay, either.

 

** Thanks to our North American friends. For even having an Institute of Diversity and Inclusion. And for being brave and real.[Insert fist bump]

 

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