I HAVE BEEN TOLD I DESERVE
“A FULL LIFE THAT ISN’T JUST ABOUT FIGHTING FOR THINGS”

Here we have an advertisement (Xtra, 2011.06.18) from the AIDS Committee of Toronto congratulating “our community” for having “survived, thrived, and been resilient” through AIDS.

Four white men look at and embrace a young Indic man

Except of course for those of us who died, suffered, and were forever diminished. We’ll set aside that particular dose of bullshit and concentrate on the more serious bullshit.

One certainly does not need a master’s in semiotics from Brown to understand what this ad actually means. Four old white gay men are doting on and indeed passing the torch to their natural and ineluctable successor, a young vizmin man. The advertisement achieves the amazing feat of depicting four times as many old white models as young vizmin models while still rendering them irrelevant.

Of course this is consistent with the ideology of the organizations that run gay Toronto. You don’t matter unless you’re a tranny, a vizmin, or female in some way that’s up to you to define. And we don’t even talk about anyone “old,” let alone the most egregious oppressor Toronto’s diverse LGBTTQQI2S* communities have ever known, the white gay man.

The old gay men at whom this ad is ostensibly targetted see right through it in an instant. It’s a sop to “diversity” that marginalizes their own lives. And if the Indic were Oriental, wouldn’t the ad be attacked as a racist rice-queen fantasia? (Despite the actual demographics of Asiatic gay males and their white boyfriends? Then again, it’s not as though South Asians date each other.)

The message here is that the real gay community is made up of young vizmins. (Not pictured in the ad is another necessary feature, effeminacy.) That’s certainly what the ruling class believes. I assure you this city has a gay ruling class, and it isn’t the rich gays who remain completely out of sight save for the rare annual fundraiser. The actual gay community here, despite its inability to so much as catch a ball, is in an unending steeplechase to prove who’s the most oppressed.

I asked ACT for comment and explanation. Communications coördinator Andrew Brett top-posted:

The ad you saw was the result of our Gay Men’s Community Health team wanting to celebrate the resilience of the gay community after 30 years of showing strength together in the face of HIV/AIDS.

The photograph in this ad is one of many that came out of a photo shoot in April of this year. We’re happy that over 50 volunteers participated in the shoot, reflecting the wide range of ages, races, and other identities that make up our community – including in this photo. Although it’s difficult to show the range of images that came out of the shoot through just one ad, you’ll be seeing more of those images in the coming months.

Thanks for letting us know how you felt about the ad. That reaction wasn’t our intention, but we’ll keep it in mind for the future.

Hence ACT’s management is too ignorant to realize that the target audience for this campaign is the most astute, the likeliest to understand its true message, and, frankly, in no mood to cheer on its own erasure. I’d love to hear from the white models in this ad, and I’d especially like to hear them make the case they were not duped.

Remember: Gay men over 40 and white gay men in particular are worthless in our diverse communities. It is axiomatic that an advertisement thanking “our community” for surviving AIDS would not actually address itself to the gay community or gay men. Nor would an organization dare run an ad featuring nothing but white males. Because any of that would be racist and transphobic.

Our inferiority is simply the way things are now. When will we ever learn? If only we were 25 years younger and coloured, and had a vagina even the best doctors couldn’t get rid of, then we’d matter. Then we’d be real. Then we’d be important.

By the time these oppressed young vizmins defend their master’s theses in semiotics, we’ll all have died, and they won’t have noticed, let alone cared. They’ll be running the show. But aren’t they already?

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2011.06.22 14:39. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2011/06/22/ourcommunity/

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