I was reading a Canadian Press story this morning about a campaign by the government of Quebec to get residents thinking about homophobia.
The campaign includes a series of television commercials with a common theme. The commercials, it seems, lead the viewer down a typical path expecting the “lovers”, who’s activities it chronicles, to be heterosexual, and at the last second, the viewer sees that the relationship is “same sex”. The ads ask the question “Just how open minded are you?” and ends with something like “Does this change what you were thinking 20 seconds ago?”. The typical paradigm shift.
In both the gay and lesbian versions of the ad, same sex lovers are shown locked in a passionate kiss.
It surprises me that the complaints filed against the ad campaign have been negligible .. nine in total as of this writing, according to the Canadian Press. Bravo Quebec!
The CP article also states “While 78 per cent said they were comfortable with gays and lesbians, the number dropped to 45 per cent in the case of transgender people.”
Although the percentages are quite different, frankly I’m surprised, and feel quite optimistic, at how high the acceptance of trans* people is.
The only thing about the campaign, and the government website survey that accumulate this data, that get’s under my skin a little is that a reasonable person could feel an implication that transgenderism goes hand-in-hand with homosexuality .. and that assumption isn’t exactly accurate. There is little or no connection between sexual orientation and gender orientation.
I’ll be looking for the ads to appear on the video sharing sites since they’re only being aired in Quebec, and only until the end of the month.
My personal experiences in Quebec haven’t been exactly heartwarming .. regardless of which gender I’m presenting. So I’ve avoided going there for some time now. Ironically, it appeared that my inability to speak French was much more offensive than my presentation or perceived sexual orientation.
To read the entire Canadian Press article on the Montreal Gazette website, click here. (unfortunately the article is no longer available)