“No people with brown hair allowed” and “Blue eyed bitch” are two slogans from Kaleidoscope Trust’s #illegaltobeyou, a YouTube and Twitter campaign asking people to consider what life would be like if it was “a crime to be you”.
In 78 countries, homosexual acts are illegal, and in five of those countries, the maximum penalty is death. What if it was a punishable crime to be too tall or too blonde?
The campaign cornerstone is a video produced by M&C Saatchi and directed by documentary maker Srik Narayanan.
It’s certainly “hard-hitting” as advertised, but not sure if it’s viral. At 1 min 30 the video takes some time getting to the point, and the last 30 seconds are just text panels explaining the campaign. On the other hand, since Kony broke it’s no longer so easy to say “OMG! Your PSA is too long!”
Kaleidoscope Trust is a fairly new organization, not yet a year old. #illegaltobeyou is backed by some celebrity support, including actor John Barrowman, and is accompanied by a text-to-donate push: To give £5 text EQUAL to 70500.
T-shirts like the ‘Blond People Are Scum’ and ‘Blue Eyed Freak’ ones shown on Facebook photo are supposedly available to the public, but I don’t see them sold online anywhere yet. Let me know if you find them! The bold slogans are very in the Stonewall UK spirit.
Ultimately the success of #illegaltobeyou (one of the goals is to trend on Twitter) will depend on whether or not UK citizens are moved to share the message. Does Kaleidoscope and M&C Saatchi’s take on Jane Elliott’s “Class Divided” experiment help you empathize with victims of unjust laws in other countries?
If any of the listed qualities were voluntarily chosen as a personal feature, then you take your own risks. Since homosexualiry IS a chosen sexual activity, why sould anyone be surprised?
Posted by Skeptical | 1-09-2012 06:12
“Skeptical”, you are defining sexual orientation simply by sexual activity.
Do you really believe that homosexuals are just straight people who decide one day to have sex exclusively with their own gender?
Posted by Tom Megginson | 1-09-2012 14:07
I really believe that the biological description for our species is,“heterosexual”. Further, a statistically predictable abberant 1% of the heterosexual population (you know, homosexuals, pedophiles, necrophiles, bestials, urophiles, coprophiles, etc.) are self-aware that their urges confict with their inheirant function, but indulge anyway. Compulsives like alcoholics commendably wrestle with anti-social /self-abusive behaviors hoping to be more integrated in our society. Trying to justify or normalize self-contradictive compulsive behavior denies accountability.
Frankly, the singular justification for a homosexual relationship is platonic love. I think society has no problem with couples co-habitating in a non-sexual relationship (think of the Odd Couple). But the inclusion of the homosexual act itself, which the ‘LGBT’ group refuses to renounce, renders the concept of a positive homosexual relationship in our society as offensive and non-sensical. Attempting to blur distinctions between heterosexual social institutions to force inclusion is highly suspect.
Homosexual is just not about rearing children from conception to adulthood.
Posted by Skeptical | 2-09-2012 03:14
Now you’re just trolling, “Skeptical.”
Perhaps a psychologist could help you discover the reason you feel such extreme loathing for gay people. Good luck with that.
Posted by Tom Megginson | 2-09-2012 14:41
Tom Megginson, you asked,” Do you really believe .....?” .
I took your statement as bonifide, and not rhetorical.
Lacking a reply, you chose to deny, and abused the messenger to evade the message.
Actually I have no paticular loathing for those that practice abberant behaviour. I simply do not accept its enfranchisment into our society. Nor do I afford inclusion of such damaging concepts which cause unproductive chaos in our societies foundations. This is especially true for folks who impulsively band together for group support events (parades) to counter the personal self-loathing and low self-image they internalize from self-contradictory behavior.
You did ask.
Posted by Skeptical | 3-09-2012 09:23
Okay, I’ll take you seriously…
You call homosexuality “abberant behaviour.”
Dictionary.com notes, “In sociology, the use of the term implies that the behaviour in question is performed in secret and mainly for reasons of self-interest, as for example in the case of certain unusual sexual practices. This may be contrasted with ‘non-conforming behaviour’, which usually refers to public violations of social norms, often carried out specifically in order to promote social change.”
According to that definition, you are 30-40 years behind the times. Homosexuality was once considered “aberrant” in the West, but ever since the “Pride” movement began it has moved into the above definition “non-conforming behaviour”.
However, I still balk at the idea that homosexuals are defined only by who they have sex with. That would mean that a person who loves and is attracted to same-sex people, but is a virgin, is not gay. Even the Catholic church accepts innate homosexuality: John Paul II wrote, 20 years ago, “They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial.”
Your earlier comment, “the singular justification for a homosexual relationship is platonic love” seems to imply that you also believe that people of the same sex can have special innate feelings for each other, but should indulge only intellectually in their natural instincts. That, it would seem to me, is the true “self-contradictory” behaviour.
There have always been gay people. Evolution obviously made them (or “God,” if you prefer). Homosexuality is so deeply felt by individuals that they will express it even in societies where it could get them executed. And all they want is to be able to love, and marry if they choose, in the way that is natural to them.
How can that possibly “cause unproductive chaos in our societies foundations”? Where is your evidence for this doomsday statement? Gay marriage is already a fact of life where I live, in Canada, and heterosexuals are still having sex with their opposite gender and marrying them.
I hope that you are able to come to terms with whoever you are. Find a happy and fulfilling life, and perhaps you will not feel so much anxiety about — and obsession over— how others have found theirs.
Best of luck.
Posted by Tom Megginson | 3-09-2012 15:17
Moving back to the PSA (just for a moment), watching it with the sound off (my standard test for message effectiveness) is an oddly uninvolving experience.
The ad makes no emotional connection, at least to me. The #tag leaves me with the instant pushback of “It’s not illegal to be me”, at which point, I switch off somewhat.
Perhaps it would be different with sound. Alas, the joys of an open office prohibit that and the execution doesn’t inspire me to check it out at home.
A good attempt, for sure. And a good idea but one which could have been made stronger stylistically I think.
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