Sunday, March 22, 2009

"That's so Gay" PSA

Oh, cheesy television PSAs. They're generally anti-drug these days, and the latest batch is ridiculously sexist and inaccurate (I'm thinking specifically of the "slut shaming" anti-marijuana PSA in which the girl realizes that scandalous pictures taken while high have been texted to the whole school. A: Marijuana doesn't work that way. B: Slut shaming is stupid). There's also that annoying "Optimism: Pass it on" PSA where the kid playing baseball alone strikes himself out and decides he's the greatest pitcher in the world. Alright kid: I can't help but notice that you're playing baseball all alone. That's pretty sad. Couple that with the fact that you genuinely suck at hitting the ball, and you should want to kill yourself.

Generally, I think everything would be better without these PSAs. The anti-drug ones are exaggerated and misleading; The other ones make my brain hurt. But today, I was watching Degrassi: The Next Generation (shut up) and a new type of PSA came on:



How awesome is that? A PSA for sensitivity towards gays! A PSA that actually says something on a topic that matters! (Sorry, but the 'war on drugs' is unnecessary and detracts from real problems. It isn't deserving of a bajillion PSAs).

Apparently there's a whole series of them, but I haven't seen them until now. Hilary Duff is in one (I suspect that she's struggling to stay relevant, but good for her anyway):


But my favorite by far is this one that Wanda Sykes did, not just because Wanda Sykes is super saucy and hilarious but also because she is ACTUALLY gay:


I, too, went through a phrase of calling stupid or bad things "gay," until I thought more about it. It's easy to say things like that when you hear other people say it daily (specifically as a teenager). I find it incredibly insensitive and annoying to hear now, though, especially when it comes from people who I think should know better. Gay people have to endure enough stigmatization in this country; let's not make it worse by using language to associate them with all things negative. It's not just a "saying," it's deliberately derogatory language. It hurts, and it perpetuates the association between "bad" and "gay" in the minds of those who use it and hear it.

Knock it off.

4 comments:

Herding Cats said...

Two things:

1. I watch Degrassi tooo.....no shame!

and...

2. I hate the saying "That's so gay!" I need to show these clips to my high school students. It's awful to hear them spout this off out of habit.

Lucy said...

Anyway to make them think before they speak is good!

Michelle said...

(I LOVE DEGRASSI)

And I love those commercials, I've seen all of them. Didn't know Wanda Sykes was gay, either! But it just cracks me up. The Duff one - "wearing a skirt as a top" - makes me laugh.

Baba Taro said...

I stop the kids around me when they do that. They probably still say it, but not around me any more.

Thanks for the clips!

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