Just as 2009 was coming to a close, Canadian gay magazine NOW made a small note about Toronto City Councilor Adam Giambrone, who took office at age 26 in 2003 and became the Council’s youngest member. The magazine called him gay. That was sort of a big deal, given Giambrone announced he’s going to run for Toronto mayor. Only problem? NOW got it wrong.
Not that Giambrone was put off by the claim.
It all started when NOW‘s Enzo Di Matteo published the listicle “Five Fearless Predictions for 2010,” which originally read:
(It’s since been updated to read “gay-positive.”)
But in the aftermath of the wrong call, Di Matteo is now using his mistake to discuss the whole “Should being called gay even be a bad thing?” angle. We all know the answer to that one! He writes in a follow-up:
For the record, Giambrone’s not gay. He has a female partner. Her name is Sarah and she works for the provincial government. Full stop. End of story.
On a slow news day it should have been a footnote. But it wasn’t. Yes, news that Giambrone’s not gay made it clear across the country, thanks to CTV, Canwest and Sun Media.
Why did certain elements of the (predominantly conservative) media decide to turn it into fodder for the day, helping to put Giambrone, who’s never felt the need to define himself, in the awkward position of having to?
I have to ask: gay, bi, straight – why should we care?
But when the person in question happens to be setting up a run for mayor that is freaking out the powers that be just a little, all the spilled ink in the mainstream makes more sense. What better way to undermine his chances?
Let’s face it. We may be a decade into the 21st century, but the G-word still carries a fair bit of negative baggage – maybe not in the city core, but certainly anywhere east of Vic Park and north of the 401.