Nothing Like A Good ‘Ole LGBT Stereotype To Sell Government Healthcare

In a new holiday themed ad (video below), LGBT people are portrayed as sex-crazed human cesspools motivated only by half-naked men prancing (no pun intended) around in underwear and antlers. While the ad is very clearly aimed at getting gay men to enroll in the government healthcare program, it has angered gay rights groups for its portrayal of gay American men.

“This cynical ad betrays the depths Obamacare advocates will sink to in order to pad their pathetic enrollment numbers,” Log Cabin Republicans executive director Gregory T. Angelo said in a statement. Angelo urges Obama to disband his involvement with the ad and “denounce it immediately.”

But let’s reboot and take a look at this issue under the microscope in the wake of advocacy groups criminalizing Phil Robertson for remarks that gay people were, at base-value, promiscuous. How is this ad any different? Considering that it tries to depict gay people as purely motivated by the indoctrination of sexualization, this form of objectification is not any different. This is simply another form of propaganda for stereotypes that the LGBT community shouldn’t allow.

Obviously, the statements asserted in the ad are false. Gay men, or most men for that matter, aren’t masturbating in the streets or at work. It’s a rough argument, the idea that gay men are only driven by sex and ads with men dressed (or lack thereof) as reindeer. This is, at a fundamental-level, objectification of gay men.

There is a problem with the way the LGBT community is seen, viewing us as a people purely propelled by sexualized images of men. Conor Gaughan, the managing partner of Collective Conscience, part of the team who created the ad, posted a rebuttal on the Huffington Post arguing that the content of the ad was justified by the “mission to build visibility” for the Affordable Care Act.

Excuse me? That doesn’t even make sense. However, he continued, “Does it use self-deprecating stereotypes? Perhaps. Is it unconventional? Certainly. Trivial? Far from it.”

This is just a repackaged, less-nuanced way of saying “sex sells.” Which in this case, doesn’t really mean much considering the low adoption numbers of the plan put forth by the Obama administration. What’s interesting is that he suggests in his statement that it was an ad put forth in jest, but he still states that there’s a possibility of it’s deprecating nature.

Apparently, sex isn’t selling enough. And while the video was, in Gaughan’s words: “[a] fun and playful video [that] will be an effective tool to raise awareness among the LGBT community, specifically younger gay men,” the ad only comes across as crass and deeply, grossly ignorant.

That’s the point of the ad, but it’s a sorely missed pointed by the sheer fact that it reduces us gay men to a people that are only concerned with healthcare as long as there are all but naked men dancing around to promote the concept. Come on. In a time when LGBT awareness and acceptance is on the rise in the United States, how was this ad OK’d? How is it raising positive feedback for the LGBT community? The only awareness this video raises is a false idea that not only stereotypes gay men in harsh and obscene ways, but objectifies and dehumanizes us as humans.

The enrollment date of January 1 is as fluid as the structure of the ad. The original deadline date of December 23 was moved to December 24, but soon after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that anyone who had started an application would be able to call in to the center and finish.

The ad in all its crassness is featured below for convenience:

Ian Proegler

Ian Proegler

Deeply sarcastic and opinionated, mildly nosy, and lover of all things ironic. I write for and about advocacy groups and political news (or scandals, yay).
Ian Proegler