May 30, 2006

Out Takes poster causes drooling

The annual Reel Queer Film Festival is taking place at the moment and they have been promoting it extensively with posters on bus shelters around town. It may not be very visible here on-line, but the gist is: boy on left holds ice cream and boyfriend on right has white drool dripping from his chin. All very double/triple/rainbow entendre in the contemporary queer way: you could interpret the image according to your favourite perversion. How inclusive is that! And on bus shelters! Around town!
But not so according to queer trend critic Philip Patston (who is a stand-up comedian in his spare time, even while sitting in his wheelchair) in a guest column on
The boy's "cummy" chin is just tacky and juvenile, not to mention sexist - I can't see any muff fluff on the girls' chins. But worse, the image could be construed as sexual harassment. Anyone confronted by that image in a public place could legitimately complain that they are being harassed.
All very precious and prissy, if you ask me.
An ice cream is sometimes just that, an ice cream. (Thank you, Prof. Freud)

In a vaguely related issue, the Reel Queer organisers scored a spectacular own goal. They offered an incentive prize of a mini-holiday in Fiji for festival attendees. Since gay nookie is a no-no in Fiji (men have been arrested and jailed for gay sex there while on holiday), just as it is in most Pacific islands, except New Zealand, and people with HIV are very unwelcome there (Bruce Kilmister of the HIV support group Body Positive was well pissed off), one has to wonder why this kind of prize is being offered to its main target audience. Perhaps they wanted to attract a few straight couples to their film offerings with the prize?
Then, not to be outdone by Reel Queer, another sponsor of the film festival, the NZ Aids Foundation found itself in hot water too over a prize it offered viewers of a trip to Hawaii despite the USA having a restrictive access policy for HIV+ people. What a mess! And they wonder why people are ignoring their messages.

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