(Gawker) Yesterday Canada’s National Post newspaper ran this rather questionable ad which alleged teaching children about gay and transgender tolerance would turn them into crazy schizophrenic homosexuals who don’t know what gender they are. They have now apologized. Kinda.
The newspaper issued a hedging apology today. They say the ad should not have run and the paper didn’t follow the proper vetting procedures for advocacy advertising. The apology says the tone of the ad was off and insulting, which—duh. However, they say that the questions raised in it should be part of the conversation about teaching gender and sexuality to young children. That’s fair, but it’s just the way they put it that really cooks my maple leaf.
Where the ads exceeded the bounds of civil discourse was in their tone and manipulative use of a picture of a young girl; in the suggestion that such teaching “corrupts” children, with everything that such a charge implies; and in their singling out of groups of people with whose sexuality the group disagrees.
Thankfully a remark about how gays and transgenders “choose” their sexuality was taken out of this paragraph. The editors are paying attention!
Still, I usually save playing semantics for lawyers and four year olds, but this isn’t really about “sexuality.” When discussing which gender a person is attracted to sexually, one should stick with “sexual orientation.” As a wise lesbian once taught me, “‘Sexuality’ is what you do, ‘sexual orientation’ is who you do it with.'” Man, she was a freak in bed.
And in terms of the anti-trans sentiment here, it has nothing to do with either “sexuality” or “sexual orientation” but rather gender and gender expression. Sure, these are complicated terms and labels, but considering the paper just pissed off a whole bunch of people by running this ad, they might want to look into just what they were going to say before they piss them all off again.