Gandalf Zaps Key For Gay Red Shirt Jibe, Gay Red Shirt Day Booked For 9 Nov

Gay red shirt day 9 Nov

Highly respected actor, Sir Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf in the Hobbit movies, has spoken out about John Key’s careless ‘gay red shirt’ insult (read New “Gay” Jibe From NZ Prime Minister) writing in his blog,

“Recently in a light-hearted radio interview (see below) he referred to his host wearing a “gay red top,” by which he meant, apparently, “a weird red shirt.”  Defending himself later, he said he was using the word in the sense that his children used it and not in any way to disparage gay people.  Anyway, he said, the word was in the dictionary.  So of course are many other words that can give offence.

Nevertheless, Mr Key should watch his language.  I’m currently touring secondary schools in UK, attacking homophobia in the playground and discouraging kids from the careless use of “gay” which might make their gay friends (and teachers) feel less about themselves.  So even as he supports the proposal to introduce same-gender marriages in New Zealand, I do hope John Key listens to his critics and appreciates their concern.  Careless talk damages lives.

Link to the New Zealand Herald story

Sir Ian also tweeted,

the same post generated a lot of comments on Sir Mckellen’s Facebook page, and some criticism,

Rex Bradbury (Lower Hutt NZ) Why are you getting involved in this Ian!? Stick to making films. Butt out. Peter Jackson has just lost a lot of potential viewers of his movie. People who take offence at this comment need to get a life!”

Randall Douglas (Lincoln, Nebraska) Growing up I was influenced to think that “kind of gay” meant something stupid you didn’t want to do. A gay person corrected me that this language offended her. I no longer apply the term this way. It’s time that your PM update his ideas. Gay no longer means happy, and I think the usage of the slang alternate meaning of gay in the 80s and 90s was an attempt to connotate homosexual with lame, stupid, and weird. Thank goodness we know better now.

Kelly Bingle I find John Key such an embarrassment to our country… speaking like a child to derogatively put down his “opponent” or radio announcer shows he is a week person who needs to offend others to raise himself above others in his own head. Just like a child might do.

Gates Eleanor Henderson (Wellington, NZ) How has John Key been supportive of the gay community? he originally said he wouldn’t support a second reading of the marriage equality bill, only changing his mind after his dreamboat Obama said he’d support marriage equality. He is a dork who doesn’t think before he talks. Apparently a lot of NZers like him because he is an average bloke and speaks his mind. I think he tries to be a comedian and fails.

Gay Red Shirt Day

The backlash against Mr Key’s remarks has already got underway in New Zealand, with GayNZ adding their support to a  Gay Red Shirt Day on 9 November. Their website states,

The call comes on the back of John Key’s description of a radio host’s red jacket as “gay” as he was a co-host on Friday.

This initiative was started by “a group of critical thinking parents on Facebook” who say they are raising awareness that people need to be more mindful of their language, even the Prime Minister, and that just because a definition is in the dictionary it doesn’t make it acceptable.

“We have no agenda other than wanting to help destigmatise the word ‘gay’. As parents of children who may or may not be LGBTQ we are standing up for their future,” a spokesperson says.

“After seeing the Greens post their ‘Gay Red Shirt’ picture this morning we decided it would be a great idea to have an ‘official’ Gay Red Shirt Day to hopefully bring a bit more awareness to the issue.”

You can find follow Gay Red Shirt Day on its Facebook page here.

Click here for all our Homophobia in New Zealand blogs.

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The company, which doesn’t need any more publicity than it deserves, is responsible for the Low Carb Beer is Queer campaign.

It has a number of new campaign posters for next years event, all displaying the Olympic symbol topped with a NZ Silver Fern, including this one

Straight Beer

As far as we are aware there has not been a reaction yet from the Olympic committee, or their London hosts,  voicing their thoughts about the Olympic symbol being associated with homophobic slurs, even those made in jest to sell beer… ” read on