Do you feel a sick day coming on? In the ongoing wave of protests following the California Proposition 8 vote to ban gay marriage New York actor Ryan Bauer-Walsh has upped the ante by declaring Dec 10 global Gays on Strike Day.
Daniel Allen Cox, the Montreal-based author of Shuck, says Canadians should definitely join in. “I think cross-border noise is in order, even if it’s for rights that many of us will choose to never exercise,” he says.
But Toronto actor/writer David Tomlinson isn’t quite ready to sign up. “Any course of action which closely resembles something depicted in a John Stamos made-for-TV movie is probably a really bad idea.” He’s referring to 2006’s Wedding Wars in which Stamos plays a gay man who decides to boycott his rightwing brother’s wedding and inadvertently creates a national protest movement. Who knew that forgettable little sitcom was prophecy?
“It’s almost a cliché,” says Bauer-Walsh of his Gays on Strike Day. “‘Who’s gonna do your hair?’ and all, but after hearing that Prop 8 was passed we knew that some kind of big action was necessary.”
Only days after the event’s Facebook page went up it had more than 16,000 members.
Xtra’s Cocktail Confessions columnist Shaun Proulx says, “I can’t tell you how many people I know, especially queers in the US, who are feeling the rumblings of a new civil rights movement. So absolutely count me in.”
What would a day without gays look like?
This Hour Has 22 Minutes star Gavin Crawford says it would be “like a musical with no singing, or sex without an orgasm.”
Scarier, says comedian Shawn Hitchins. “A Mel Gibson movie,” he says. “There would be a lot of hair, some apocalyptic overtones and at least one DUI.”
Crackpuppy guitarist Patricia Wilson goes darker still.
“Queers serve a world purpose: to deflect all the self-loathing these motherfucking redneck, religious homophobes have for themselves,” she says. “So a day without us as a community will see a huge increase in suicides as they turn their self-hate on themselves.”
All the while, says Tomlinson, the food will be terrible, “Lots of Jell-O salad and Velveeta.”
Bauer-Walsh is prepared to risk it all, hoping for the change he was promised. The strike, he says, “is not really about taking the day off work but more about taking the day to be seen as a supporter of gay people.”
Ultimately, says Crawford, “It is always important to stand up for yourself.”