Sunday, 6 March 2011

Forever friends?

Given the success of Dan Savage's 'It Gets Better' campaign, it's hardly surprising that others are following in his well-intentioned footsteps and coming up with their own social media initiatives. The cynical side of me also wonders whether it's a handy way for them to raise their own profile in the process.

Advocating for gay inclusion this week is Canadian actor Avan Jogia. The nineteen year-old star of several things you've never heard of, is hoping to encourage straight men to open themselves up to gay experiences. No, not like that - he's thinking of the platonic kind.

Avan thinks that too many guys still have hang-ups about hanging out with the boyz, so he's created a campaign called 'Straight But Not Narrow' to get them to be more homo-social. Trying to explain his perspective, Avan says "We are a group of men talking to men about men who like men and how men should be ok with your man friends liking men. it doesn't make you any less of a man or make it look like you're into men if you're friends with a man who likes men." For a pretty straightforward concept, he's managed to describe it with a degree of complexity that Christopher Nolan would have trouble following.

It remains to be seen whether the world's heterosexual men will suddenly find themselves re-evaluating their lives because the star of a Nickelodeon sitcom said so. If anything, they might be concerned that they'll end up talking about men so much that Carrie Bradshaw would tell them to change the subject.

Sarcasm aside, it's nice to see someone else stepping up to defend his gay friends and imploring others to do the same, but I can't imagine that a weekly video on the subject is going to have much effect. Gay men already have to put up with being the accessory of choice for many women, this is just going to compound the problem. As well as tedious conversations about shoes and handbags, we're now going to have to learn about football and cricket too.

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