Sunday 4 December 2016

‘How Gay Are You?’ quiz is 'shameful' insult - LGBT community

Published 18/03/2016 | 10:30

The 'How Gay Are You' quiz appeared in The Irish Sun on St. Patrick's Day
The 'How Gay Are You' quiz appeared in The Irish Sun on St. Patrick's Day

A quiz titled "How Gay Are You?" has been dubbed as "shameful", by an LGBT community activist.

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The quiz, which appeared in The Sun on St Patrick’s Day, included questions such as ‘How many sexual partners have you had’ and ‘What is your favourite Madonna era’ as a means of determining just ‘How Gay’ the reader was.

Brian Finnegan, Editor of Gay Community News, said the quiz was hugely outdated and is an exercise in pushing offensive stereotypes.

“This quiz is straight out of the 1970s.

“I am a gay man and I’m part of a very diverse community, where people come in all shapes and sizes with many different interests and attitudes. The gay community isn’t as narrow as this quiz suggests.

“The Sun and other tabloids have always been interested in homosexuality as a means to garner salacious headlines.

The quiz printed in the Irish Sun pushes 'offensive' stereotypes, according to an LGBT activist AFP PHOTO / Paul FaithPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
The quiz printed in the Irish Sun pushes 'offensive' stereotypes, according to an LGBT activist AFP PHOTO / Paul FaithPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

“The quiz is compiled of many offensive questions, particularly the one which asks ‘How many sexual partners have you had’ which pushes the completely shameless stereotype that gay men can’t keep count,” he said.

Finnegan suggested that the publication of the quiz almost one year after Ireland’s historical referendum, which legalised same-sex marriage, is not representative of the attitudes of the ordinary Irish person.

“This quiz does not represent the ordinary people of Ireland who became the first in the world to support same-sex marriage by referendum. It does not represent the ordinary people of Ireland who pushed for the LGBT community to have the same dignity and respect as everyone else in this state.

“This quiz is portraying that homosexuality is all about sex but considering our historical achievement last year, Irish people have changed that view and are seeing gay as love, just as it is for everyone else," he said.

Speaking of the quiz Brian Sheehan, Director of the Gay, Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) said: "Essentially I can imagine that this article was meant to be a bit of fun and its harm was perhaps unintended but this stereotyping can be difficult for people in the LGBT community.

"Young people in particular can end up being ridiculed by these kind of articles, which have unintentional consequences for vulnerable members of this community and young people who are struggling.

"I don't think this article is supported by Irish people, who last year voted in support of equality. LGBT people are at the heart of so many Irish families in this country and articles like this one are unintentional lapses by the media, which for the most part, is very responsible in this area."

Twitter-users were also offended by the quiz, which linked a love of Judy Garland, interior design, and Kylie Mingoue with being homosexual.

Chris Kennedy tweeted: “Bloody Hell, this is 2016, yes? The Sun is clearly in the Dark Ages.”

“Yesterday’s Sun is open in the coffee room on an awfully offensive and crudely stereotyping ‘How Gay Are You’ quiz,” wrote Thom O’Neill on Twitter.

Editor of the Irish Sun Paul Clarkson said the entire point of the piece was to "poke fun at stereotypes".

Mr Clarkson said: "I'd ask anyone to actually read the piece before they jump to lazy conclusions about the Irish Sun perpetuating negative stereotypes about the Gay community.

"The entire point of the piece, written by Gay campaigner and author Matt Cain is to poke fun at the stereotypes - and I quote, the author writes:

'In reality the only thing that makes us even a tiny bit gay is if we would enjoy kissing another man - however you might feel about Madonna and musical theatre'.

"The Irish Sun has a very progressive attitude to gender and anyone who actually reads our paper would know that, rather than looking for offence."

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