Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Same Sex PSA Deemed Harmful to Australian Children


According to Queerty:
THE SHOT - A safe-sex campaign poster removed from Brisbane, Australia bus stops after 47 followers of the Australian Christian Lobby complained that the posters went “against prevailing community standards” and introduced “sexuality to young children through forced exposure in public.”
If this advertisement had involved a heterosexual couple, there would have been no what about the child panic.  The truth is that children in this case are being used as a tool by bigots to squash any public sign of same sex love, because there is nothing remotely sexual in the advertisement.  Quite honestly I hate the what about the children routine, because it is used to oppress the LGBT community, while completely avoiding the violence, neglect, and poverty that far too many children are forced to live with.  I refuse to take bigots like this seriously, until they can prove that their concern is really about protecting children.

These bigots who use their what about the children line never stop for a moment to consider that children are not a monolithic group.  Some of them are LGBT kids who would be greatly helped by seeing same sex couples in a public setting.  Some of them are children who are growing in BLGT families and they would also benefit from seeing a good representation of their parents relationship.  Children do not need us to hate on their behalf, they need us to love and embrace difference so that the world we leave them is better than the world we were born into. When you think about it, hate is such a negative emotion, I fail to understand what these bigots could find positive enough about it to want to pass on generation after generation.

In many ways, the attempt to erase this image reminds me very much of the way that fat people are treated.  By this I mean the fact that people experience visual disgust because of a form of institutionalized hatred that is normalized.  It feels to me as though they are forcing lesbians and gays into a closet by demanding that no physical representation of them exist in popular culture. Erasure is very much a part of oppression, because it enforces the idea that a marginalized person does not have a right to take up space and therefore constructs them as a completely separate entity in our social world.

LGBT people are a part of our global population.  They eat, breathe, shit, love and fuck just like anyone else and this erasure is dehumanizing.  I often wonder what these people would do if  TLBG people stopped paying taxes?  I am quite sure that there would be an uproar because many would view this as defaulting on the social contract, but yet denying them any access to the pubic sphere is deemed acceptable - oh the irony it burns.  If we are going to hold LGBT people responsible for doing things like paying taxes, and the rule of law, then they have the right to demand the same treatment as everyone else and this includes access to public spaces.  Personally, I believe this right exists because they are fellow human beings, but seeing as how the homophobes cannot wrap their minds around this concept, perhaps they should think about what the value of a tax dollar or basic services means.