When Toronto Pride rolls into town, the large attendance always reminds of us just how much the city supports its gay community. Sure, hate crimes still exist, the city recently threatened to pull Pride’s funding, and inappropriate f-words are flung from passing vehicles, but for the most part, Toronto is a safe and relatively easy place for gay men and women to live. Then Tourism Toronto, in partnership with Pride Toronto, launched its P90X parody Pride Pump 2000x, filled with the dainty, over-sexed, workout-obsessed (read: gay archstereotypes). We’re curious as to when an episode of Queer as Folk re-emerged as a gay factory standard.
In the video, instructor Brody wears skintight shorts to show off his glistening oil-rubbed skin, promoting a gym lifestyle centred on the fact that all gay men and women want is “the best chest.” Amid “sparkle crunches,” a “disco break,” a requisite “bear” appearance and a lesbian who is grossed out by a penis (some may be surprised to note that this woman has a deep voice), we can’t help but wonder how out of touch (or straight?) the person who cooked up Pride Toronto’s painful-to-watch and setting-back-the-movement promotional video was. If gay activism is on the rise, how will the community be taken seriously if the organization that fronts the city’s largest gay celebration backs these old-hat, shouldn’t-be jokes? If they were looking to shoot fish in a barrel, why didn’t the Pride committee just hire Big Gay Al?
UPDATE: The video was released by Tourism Toronto in partnership with Pride Toronto. An earlier version of this post incorrectly attributed the video. Toronto Life regrets the error.