Duelling slurs and good news for Interior Designers

Toronto-specific news? On the day when we were all hoping to celebrate the end of the Harper government? Not likely. Especially when the Harper government decides to throw a few bones at the gay community to help its budget pass. What’s that you say? You missed how the gays benefit from the budget? Let’s start with all the new cultural funding. Which is mostly just extensions of old cultural funding. Oops. But, hey the Canadian Television fund gets an extension, so presumably Being Erica is safe for now. Festivals get an extra $50-million a year, so maybe now the Tories can reconsider their decision to cut off Montreal’s Black and Blue festival.

But the big ticket item for gays has to be the budget’s tax credits for people who do home renos, which should be a big bonus to the interior design industry. People who choose to sink up to $10,000 in their increasingly worthless homes get a 15% tax credit! Um…maybe this wasn’t the greatest plan either.

Of course, if you’re Egale, you’re probably furious at my homophobic stereotyping of gays as interior designers. At least that’s the impression I get from this Globe and Mail story about Egale complaining that the use of the word “pansification” on Hockey Night in Canada perpetuates some kind of gay stereotype. Is that the stereotype that all gays are pansies, or that all pansies are gay? Actually, now that I think about it, the automatic assumption that “pansy” refers to “gay” is pretty homophobic as well, isn’t it?

Perhaps less subtly homophobic and mysogynistic — Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams suggesting that the Harper is “putting the shaft on” his province with the budget. Aside from the very unsettling image this conjures of Stephen Harper’s shaft, isn’t it time we finally stopped associating bad things with being fucked? It’s not like there aren’t people out there who already though the budget was plenty mysogynistic enough.

Ok, let’s end on a positive note, if one wholly unrelated to Toronto: Iceland appoints its first lesbian Prime Minister.


Rob Salerno is a playwright and journalist whose writing has appeared in such publications as Vice, Advocate, NOW and OutTraveler.

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