On Your Mark, Get Set, Gay: Canada’s Hilarious Pro-LGBT PSA Wins Gold

A creative agency's response to Russia's anti-gay propaganda law believes the Olympics have always been 'a little gay, and they're fighting to keep them that way.
Feb 6, 2014·
Environment and wildlife intern Adam Andrus has written for Mongabay.com and recently graduated from San Diego State.

Just in time for the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games, civil rights advocates are hoping to save an important Olympic tradition by keeping the games as they've always been: a little gay.

The hilariously controversial LGBT public service announcement responds to the Russian government's anti-gay policies and was released Thursday by the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion, an equal rights organization.

Created by the Toronto-based ad agency Rethink, the PSA begins at the top of an ice luge track, where two high-performance, fleshy athletes clothed in regulation skintight Spandex prepare themselves for the ride of a lifetime by performing seated pelvic thrusts just before holding each other ever so gently as they luge their way to a gold medal.

As the Human League’s 1981 hit “Don’t You Want Me” plays throughout the ad, we can only assume that the song is a musical representation of the Olympian’s insatiable desire for national pride and recognition.

Or maybe, as the ad says, “the games have always been a little gay.”

The PSA, of course, is Canada’s humorous response to Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda law.

“The discrimination in Russia is unacceptable,” says Michael Bach, founder and CEO of the CIDI. “As an organization, we want to show our support, especially for the athletes competing at the Olympics in Sochi.”

Other recent displays of gay-rights advocacy by athletes and creative agencies prior to the Olympic Games have shined a light on the Russian government's position of homophobia.

The CIDI has also launched a Facebook campaign to show support for the equality of all athletes. Capitalizing on the red-and-pink equal sign that went viral during the U.S. Supreme Court's deliberation over California's Proposition 8, this human rights campaign tweaked the symbol by changing it to the silhouette of two pink lugers forming an equal sign.

Canada's advertisement declares that win or lose, gay or straight, the fight for equal rights outweighs the fight for a gold medal.