Toronto Pride Ad Draws Controversy

by | June 13, 2011
filed under Can-Con, LGBT

This year’s ad campaign for Toronto Pride is causing controversy in the LGBT blogosphere. The ad, part of a campaign called “Don’t Just Get Pumped, get Pride Pumped” features “Toronto fitness guru Brody” advertising his “Pride Pump” workout, which includes exercises like “Sexy Sparkle Crunches” and “Bangin’ Booty Butt Clenches”:

Toronto Life really didn’t like the video, saying it sets back the movement, and Queerty agreed it reinforces tired stereotypes. But PerezHilton and other blogs argue it’s just campy fun.

I asked folks on Twitter what they thought, and by and large the ones who responded weren’t really fans. One follower said she thought the biggest problem was poor execution, while another said her first response was, “Huh, sad.”

I didn’t find the Toronto Pride Pump ad particularly offensive, but I didn’t find it funny, either. And what annoyed me was that it reinforced the idea that Pride is all about gay men. There were a couple women in the video but they didn’t get a lot of play and didn’t really look like they were having fun. Organizers of the Trans March and Dyke March have often struggled for recognition next to the larger Pride parade and it would’ve been better to make an ad that exemplified a greater cross-section of the queer community.

What do you think of the ad?


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  • Chelsea

    I agree with your critique. The ad is generally pretty poorly executed… but the lack of women was what really annoyed me. I am really tired of anti-lesbian sentiments coming from gay men, and while this one was simply “I don’t really understand lesbians”, I still didn’t really appreciate it. It was trying to use the differences in the community for humour, and it wasn’t funny. I think there is a notion that only gay men can be fabulous and funny, and that is really limiting.

  • There is nothing right about this. You’d think they made this fro Pride 2000 not 2011. First, it portrays gay men as vapid, vain and sex obsessed. Second the presence of a lesbian is outweighed by the punchline which makes light of a long history of conflict within the community. Third, it reinforces the idea that Pride is only for gay men and lesbians (and no, one disco drag queen does not a trans-presence make).

    When I see this ad it tells me one thing, this years Pride will make me feel no more welcome than any Pride before.

  • bob faget

    lack of women? how about the fact that there are a bunch of queres in this ad. Man the next generation is screwed!