Spectacular Values: Should Quebec be More Gay?

Spectacular Values: Should Quebec be More Gay?

LiQ_Mag_Cover_July2014This Ross Murray column first appeared in the March 2014 issue of Life in Québec Magazine.

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Ross Murray asks the question…

For fun, let’s give the Parti Québécois the benefit of the doubt that there’s no nefarious agenda behind its charter of secular values. If that’s the case, then the PQ has truly overthought the problem of religious ostentation in the public sector, because it’s really not a problem at all. Sure, there were those times I would walk into the SAQ and the clerk would say, “Jesus, you again?” but did I feel proselytised? No, he never stood that close to me.

So much time and hand-wringing have gone into this non-problem, and meanwhile Quebec isn’t dealing with its genuine problems, including one in particular that this charter squabble is a symptom of. It can be summed up quite simply: Quebec, my friends, is dreary.

Quebec is an uptight, over-regulated, clench-jawed pseudo-nation of malcontents who haven’t had fun since smoking and the Expos left the building. Quebec was once the heart of cool, the land of laissez-faire and Leonard Cohen, Bonhomme Carnival and Ben’s Smoked Meat. Contemporary Quebec, on the other hand, can be summarized in two words: Bernard Drainville.

LiQ_Mag_Abonnez-vousStraight-laced, drab, depressing, imagine how much happier Quebecers would be if we were all a little more… fabulous.

Instead of pushing a secular charter, Quebec should adopt a gay agenda.

While this may seem at odds with Quebec’s traditional, folksy exterior upholstered in plaid and cheese curds, the province has always been a bit gold lamé on the fringes. Any culture that can produce Céline Dion has got to be more than a little gay.

And say what you will about Céline (“Please, God, make it stop,” for example), she knows how to put on a show. And that’s what Quebec needs: some day-to-day dazzle. Less stiff, more swish. Fewer jerks, more cirques. Less fretting about teachers wearing hijabs and more about making those hijabs look phenomenal!

Going gay should be a natural for Quebec. Like the French, gays and lesbians know a thing or two about oppression. But do they go around steeping their children in a litany of defeat after defeat, harbouring deep grudges against the straight folk, insisting we all be gay in the workplace? Heck, no! They celebrate the progress they’ve made. Sure, they continue to fight for dignity and respect and equal rights, but they do it while clubbing. They have parades, and not over-earnest dirges tinged with nationalism, but a rainbow-sequined sea of waxed chests and feather boas and more ostentation than you can shake a G-string at.

Not that I’m saying Quebecers need to become gay, because that certainly won’t help the birthrate, which I know is dear to our copulating little hearts. Just be gayer.

I’m sure we have it in us. For example, when Pauline Marois wore that red square on her lapel in support of striking students, she clearly demonstrated a flair for accessorizing. She also demonstrated that she could cast off fashion as soon as it became passé. Or expedient.

If the premier could harness that and become more flamboyant – not Rob Ford flamboyant; let’s not talk crazy town – she would lighten up, her caucus would lighten up, everybody would be making lewd jokes about “caucus,” the policies would lighten up, and pretty soon the entire province would be simply to die for. And not in a Plains of Abraham kind of way.

And you, Philippe Couillard, we could do something absolutely sensational with that beard!

So how about it, Quebec? No more bickering about identity and religion and other cultural buzz-kills.

Let’s dance!

Categories: News

About Author

Ross Murray

Ross Murray is an award-winning humorist and radio contributor and the author of two books ‘You’re Not Going to Eat That, Are You?’ and ‘Don’t Everyone Jump at Once’. Raised in Nova Scotia, Ross has lived in the Eastern Townships of Quebec since the early 1990’s with his wife Debbie, four children and far too many pets. After all this time, Ross feels comfortable calling himself a Townshipper; his neighbours call him something else.

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