Fighting with the Sky

Anti-Homophobic Commercials Hit the Airwaves

Posted on: July 27, 2009

When I was babysitting this past weekend, we were watching the Tour de France (I’m not entirely sure why) and what really caught my attention was a commercial that came on. The commercial featured Wanda Sykes reprimanding a group of teenage boys in a pizza place for using the phrase “that’s so gay.”

I was very pleased with the commercial and reinforced the message to the children I was babysitting. I was so impressed by the commercial that I decided to research it a little further.

This commercial was put out by Think Before You Speak, a campaign of Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network aimed at ending homophobic language in schools.

This campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevalence and consequences of anti-LGBT bias and behavior in America’s schools. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce and prevent the use of homophobic language in an effort to create a more positive environment for LGBT teens. The campaign also aims to reach adults, including school personnel and parents; their support of this message is crucial to the success of efforts to change behavior.

This campaign has some great resources, so make sure to check them out.

I also discovered that there were two more commercials in addition to the one featuring Wanda Sykes; one featuring Hilary Duff (whom I’m not a huge fan of, but the commercial is still great). This following video contains both the Hilary Duff and Wanda Sykes commercials:

I think that these commercials have the potential to be effective because they point out how using the phrase “that’s so gay” can be hurtful by turning it back on the person who says it. For example using “that’s so 16-year-old boy with a cheesy mustache” to say “that’s so stupid,” as in the Wanda Sykes commercial.

They have the potential to get the message across, especially if they widen their reach. I would like to see these commercials reach network television. So far, I have only seen the one on ESPN (I believe, or whatever channel the Tour de France was on).

This is the third commercial that takes place at a drug store:

Update: I just saw the Wanda Sykes commercial on ABC Family…but it was after midnight.


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