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Free Speech Sometimes Means Elephant Man, Too

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Toronto Diary

Free Speech Sometimes Means Elephant Man, Too

He's ba-ack. Remember Caribana weekend when homophobic dancehall artist Elephant Man was supposed to perform at Circa and the queer community rose up in righteous anger and got him pulled from the lineup? It turns out Elephant Man is coming back to Toronto to perform in the Champions of Action concert at Downsview Park on October 10.

Ok, sure, it's in bloody Downsview Park and you'll have to take the Spadina subway all the way to the end and then walk a few clicks to be offended, but this should be causing all kinds of outrage, no?

Well, only sort of. The Twitter/Facebook-o-sphere has been noticeably quieter than it was over last summer's performance -- but then, no one's organising a boycott just yet. And just how would you boycott a National Park anyway?

NDP MP Olivia Chow tweeted the following last night: "Just called Downsview Park to complain about hateful Elephant Man performance 416-952-2222". So, you can call and complain, and know that at least someone in the government cares.

While containing free speech is probably not a good long-term plan, the government should know how the community feels about this.

Meanwhile, there's a metric tonne of stuff to do in Toronto this weekend, all without venturing north of Bloor. Tonight is the one-year anniversary of Ian '8-Inch' Lynch's filthy comedy show at Fire on the East Side. Doors at 8pm, show at 9pm. I think cover is $5, but it doesn't say so on the Facebook page.

Tonight is also the opening night bash of Buddies in Bad Times' 2009/10 season. The Scandelle's Neon Nightz explores the world of Montreal strip clubs in the 90s, just like my many high school Model UN Club field trips. After the show, there'll be a party where Buddies' new Artistic Director gets introduced to the audience.

Fuck, how will I do both? 

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Comments

Does free speech sometimes
Does free speech sometimes mean outing people, too?

I believe in free speech, except when that right is being abused to deny the human rights of others. Having read Elephant Man's lyrics, I'm convinced that he's inciting hatred - violence and murder - against an identifiable group - me and my faggot, lezzie and trannie friends.

I'm also very perplexed that Xtra's championing of Free Speech doesn't apply to its own website. I had my comments deleted for referring to a semi-closety gay cabinet minister, which contravenes Xtra's policy. So, where's the consistency there? His right to stay in the closet is sacrosanct, but my right not to have rappers narrating my gay murder is just freedom of expression?
I saw Matt Mills comment
I saw Matt Mills comment about free speech etc at CP24, I wonder why he doesn't share his free speech BS with Jamaican queers who are being chased down the street with a knife whilst hearing the crowd chant Elephant Man's lyrics. Might I add that he sits in Canada where he can afford to use his dollars to fight such hate. Queers in Jamaica and the Caribbean are using their lives.
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