I am writing about my disappointment at a recent Star Observer, issue number 117, dated January 13.
In particular, I write about my disgust at one of the depictions used on page 15 to promote Midsumma 2011. Midsumma used to be promoted as a fun day, great for young and old, families and the general community. The picture under the sub-heading of ‘We like to party’ shows what can only be described as a (posed) male gang rape scene, probably taken from a pornography still shot.
Either way, not what I would think is the best image for a popular event like Midsumma.
This year, I decided not to get involved in the event as a personal protest of my disgust and shame as a gay man in Melbourne. This image is the reason much of the gay community is stigmatised as promiscuous, sex-driven and insensitive.
My biggest concern is not my prudish stand, but the fact that your newspaper is free-to-street and therefore, unlike pornography in which a buyer knows to expect such depictions, is a community newspaper readily available in cafes, restaurants etc. The reader of this issue can reasonably be embarrassed and offended to open to page 15. I was!
I am most curious to know how either the event organisers or your production team related male gang rape to Midsumma.
I feel you have breached a duty of care. An apology to Star Observer readers wouldn’t be out of line either.
One man’s pathology is another’s liberation (‘Grumpy Old Poof’, SSO 123). The labels you use, “indulgence, narcissism, promiscuity, rampant consumerism” are a celebration of our humanity.
Further, we are not the only ones who partake in this lifestyle. It’s not a symptom of being gay or lesbian, it’s the boon of affluence. To ascribe negative connotation to this behaviour is little more than internalised homophobia.
Now excuse me while I light a few scented candles, paint on a face pack, slip into a bath of bubbles, nibble on a slice of dark Belgian chocolate, nurse a glass of vintage red and plan my next erotic adventure.
— Kaye Sera