Archive - Jul 18, 2008

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Memo to Mark Sanford and David Thomas: GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY.

Man, I bet you're really uncomfortable now. I know you're very busy these days trying to convince people that you're OK with gay people, but you should just stop bothering. By your actions and your words we shall know you, and your actions are stupid and your words are even more stupid.

The trouble started when a British ad agency contracted with six locales - Atlanta, Boston, New Orleans, South Carolina, Vegas, and D.C. to be part of a campaign promoting gay tourism in England. As part of the campaign, a bunch of posters went up in the London subway system that said, oh, just as a random example, "South Carolina Is So Gay". One of these six locations reacted to being called gay in much the same way as a seventh grader, scrambling frantically to get the cooties off, pull out of the ad campaign prematurely, and not pay the $5,000 they owed to be part of it.

This was, of course, the only locale with the word "South" featuring prominently in its name, and it was, of course, Republican state senator David Thomas and Republican governor Mark Sanford talking in very deep voices, slapping each other on the back, and bragging about how much poontang South Carolina gets from its Canadian girlfriend you've never met. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"We welcome anyone to visit our state. But we agree with Sen. Thomas about using tax money to promote any group with a particular social or political agenda." - Mark Sanford's spokesman, Joel Sawyer.

First of all, congratulations, gay people! While the rest of us have to spend years thinking, evaluating, growing, and deciding on our personal social and political agenda, you're BORN with yours, and it's a mantle you automatically assume the instant you come out of the closet. Unless, I guess, that closet is in a Log Cabin. And hey, look, a Republican homophobe managed to get the word "agenda" right in there.

Of course, travel agencies, like any other marketing agency, sells to specific demographics all the time. Did Virginia concern itself with alienating non-lovers? It did not. Does Las Vegas worry about offending sane, sleaze-free men in happy marriages? Hell no. But insinuating that South Carolina might be friendly to gays? That's a problem.

"South Carolinians will be irate when they learn their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent to advertise our state as 'so gay... [Gay tourists will] get off the plane and say, 'Where are the gay beaches?' and no one will know what they are talking about." - David Thomas, to Time Magazine.

But remember, they're not homophobic. They just think that gay travelers will immediately seek out all the gay things they heard about from the travel agency before hitting the baggage check. Gay things that obviously do not exist in South Carolina, because if they did, South Carolina's upstanding, moral, straight citizenry would know about them.

The instant the bad publicity started, of course, they began backtracking. The governor and senator may not like your gay kind, but they sure do like your gay euros, all shiny and full of much more monetary value than straight dollars. Behold, as the forces of free-market capitalism war with the forces of bigotry in the souls of asshole Republicans!

"If a homosexual is attracted here, that's great. But I have a problem with tax money being spent on ads with a social viewpoint, particularly with sexual orientation." - Governor Sanford, ensuring not only that gay tourists will want to avoid South Carolina like it's Larry Craig's stall, but also ensure that the gay people IN South Carolina wish the economy weren't so shitty so they could get the fuck out. I hear Washington D.C., Boston, and Atlanta are so gay.

Local gay and lesbian groups, by the way, raised the $5,000 the state reneged on with the ad agency in an awesome bit of public-relations jujitsu that makes Sanford and Sen. look even more fucking ridiculous. But I think we should go one step further. So if you're flying into South Carolina anytime soon, do me a favor. As you walk through the airport and vicinity, ask any local you can find where the gay beaches are, preferably in an obviously fake British accent. If you have a monocle, bring that too. If we do this enough, they'll all have to learn where the gay beaches are in self defense, and South Carolina really will be just a little bit gayer.