Boston sports radio station WEEI showed that segments of Massachusetts remain homophobic after it aired a segment both offensive and lame about the Gay Games possibly coming to Boston. Wrote the Boston Globe in an article about the fifth anniversary of gay marriage being legal in the state:
Even in Massachusetts, gays and lesbians have yet to achieve complete equality. On a sports radio talk show on WEEI-AM (850) last Wednesday [Nov. 12], callers reacted to the news that Boston had been named a finalist to host the 2014 Gay Games with a stream of homophobic jokes and slights, as the show's hosts cackled with glee and added their own antigay wisecracks.
Thanks to Ted Rybka at GLAAD, I listened to a fake promo that station ran of an announcer commenting on the 2014 Gay Games in Boston (click here for a link). Here are some of the announcer's choice "comedy" bits:
"The Gay Games flame is coming into the stadium. His name is Bruce and he's from San Francisco."
A 100-meter runner "loves to come from behind."
"We'll head over to the aquatics center for women's diving. What kind of diving?"
"He'll grip the pole for this upcoming vault."
Have you stopped laughing yet? The jokes are offensive and homophobic, but they're also incredibly lame and dated. "Bruce from San Francisco?" That wasn't even clever 30 years ago.
I don't mind a little humor at my expense if it comes from allies. For example, I laughed last week when Bill Maher on HBO, talking about Prop. 8 protests, wondered whether the gay political equivalent of "Joe the Plumber" was "Joe the Fudgepacker." Risqué, but Maher's show has been terrific in consistently puishing for gay equality and at least it was clever and topical. The WEEI morons, in contrast, are trotting out idiotic stereotypes that show they still fear and are ignorant of real gay people, especially those in sports. I wonder how many of these lamebrains would feel if suddenly one of their beloved Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins or Patriots came out?
The way to combat this is to both complain to the station management, while at the same time mocking them for their ignorance and total lack of comedic sensibilities. I am reminded of a "Seinfeld" episode where Jerry was upset by an anti-Semitic joke told by his dentist. "Are you offended as a Jew?" someone asked. "No, I'm offended as a comedian," Seinfeld said.