Everything I’ve ever done,
Everything I ever do,
Every place I’ve ever been,
Everywhere I’m going to,
It’s a sin.
-Petshop Boys, “It’s A Sin”
We all like to get a bit sinful during Pride.
But a vandal, armed with a black marker, has been defacing posters advertising Saturday’s dyke march and Friday’s A Certain Sort party with one word in all capital letters: sin. The word “Repent” and crude crosses have also been added to some posters.
Dyke march organizer and Capital Xtra columnist Ariel Troster says the city’s lezzies won’t be put off by the vandal.
“The whole idea of pride is to be out there, to be sexual, to be a bit sinful,” says Troster.
She adds that the queer community in Hintonburg is diverse. The defaced posters were put up near two churches, but Ottawa’s gays have been able to co-exist with religious groups without mishaps.
“When I was putting up the posters, it felt really great to have some visibility in my community,” she says.
“The actions of one jerk who defaced the posters will not keep us down.”
This follows news earlier in the week that Capital Pride filed a police report after dozens of their posters were ripped down in Westboro. After being replaced, they were ripped down a second time within hours, leading Pride chair Gordon Boissonneault and other volunteers steaming.
Capital Xtra reported last year that gay-themed posters are regularly defaced, torn down or plastered over. The lack of sufficient space for postering is an ongoing issue with the local arts community and bylaw officers selectively enforce the laws on postering, targeting especially queer and punk-themed notices.
In 1993, The Supreme Court Of Canada ruled in Ramsden V Peterborough that postering is a protected form of expression. Given its long history in Canada and Europe as a method of political and social communication, postering is important and remains an inexpensive way to get unfiltered messages to a wide audience, the decision said.