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Deconstructing the "That's So Gay" Crap

Posted by libhom Wednesday, January 07, 2009

GLSEN and the AdCouncil are responsible for this PSA. They deserve a lot of credit for it. The "that's so gay" saying is obnoxious at the very least. At its worst, it creates a more hostile climate and culture for lgbt people.

Here's the code to put this in your blog. Just copy and paste.

Hat Tip to Queers United.

Here's GLSEN's press release on the PSA:

Ad Council Names GLSEN's "Think Before You Speak" Its Top Creative Campaign of the Year

Nov 20, 2008

NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2008 – The Advertising Council awarded advertising agency ArnoldNYC its Gold Bell Award for Creative Excellence on Wednesday for developing the "Think Before You Speak" campaign with GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. The campaign topped more than 50 Ad Council campaigns from the past year and was selected by the Campaign Review Committee of leading advertising executives.

"Arnold's work on the 'Think Before You Speak' campaign is both creatively brilliant and strategically compelling," said Priscilla Natkins, EVP, Director of Client Services at the Ad Council. "The agency took a potentially inflammatory subject matter and developed thoughtful inclusive communications that is truly resonating with teens nationwide. We delight in their success."

The Ad Council's first LGBT-themed campaign, unveiled last month, targets anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language among teenagers. It features humorous TV public service announcements that star Hilary Duff and Wanda Sykes interrupting teenagers who use the term "that’s so gay."

Nearly 9 out of 10 of LGBT students (86.3%) experienced harassment at school because of their sexual orientation in the past year, according to GLSEN's 2007 National School Climate Survey.

"We are deeply honored and thrilled that the Ad Council recognized the humorous but powerful campaign creative developed by ArnoldNYC in partnership with GLSEN," said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. "We are deeply grateful to the Ad Council, Arnold NYC and the countless others who recognized the need for such a message of respect and tolerance."

The campaign is supported by the interactive website ThinkB4YouSpeak.com. that allows youth and educators to take action to ensure a safer and more welcoming environment for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

The campaign has received widespread media coverage, including The New York Times, ABC’s "The View," "Entertainment Tonight," CNN, ABC’s "Good Morning America" and Perezhilton.com. Bill O’Reilly of FOX News' "The O’Reilly Factor" even referred to Hilary Duff as a patriot for her work on the PSA.

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established nationally in 1995, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on GLSEN’s educational resources, public policy agenda, student organizing programs, research, public education or development initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.

I know this PSA has been around at least a couple of months, but the content was new to me and probably is new to many others. Challenging heterosexist ideology is a long task, but a worthwhile one.



  1. Hrag Says:
  2. I'm glad someone is tackling this...it's obnoxious.

  3. Giggles Says:
  4. I like these ads too. My favorite one is with Wanda Sykes, just cause I love Wanda.

  5. Unknown Says:
  6. Oreilly didn't denounce the ads as a propaganda piece from the "homosexual agenda"? I can't believe it!

  7. Anonymous Says:
  8. I've got a pretty thick skin, but this does annoy me. I've taken my niece and nephew to task for using the phrase. I mean, if you're going to insult someone/something, at least understand what the hell you're actually saying!

  9. randompawses Says:
  10. I haven't seen any of the ads, but it's way past time that phrase was challenged in a very public way. I've jumped on my youngest son's case more than once for using it. He claims it's just the way kids talk these days - and that that type of thing is common in the military culture.

    Well, I've got news for ya, kiddo: It's time to stop the bigotry! Insulting your bi- and homosexual shipmates with that kind of talk is *unacceptable*! I hope and pray that President Obama will usher in a more enlightened and open era, end the asinine "don't ask; don't tell" policy, and finally allow our gay, lesbian and bisexual brothers and sisters to serve openly.



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