The city that brought you drive-through marriages, legalized prostitution, and Shannel would like you to know that Las Vegas is also the perfect filming location for a The L Word reunion special or gay cruise ads. Or so it appears in a slick new ad campaign targeting very good looking gays and lesbians.
But don’t be scared 60+ year-old Ohioans and Harley bike weekers, Sin City still caters to you too. In fact, they cater to everyone.
“Everyone’s Welcome,” read the ads, “even straight people.”
Reminiscent of tamed-down David LaChapelle shoots, the ads juxtapose hypersexed, hyper gay, hyper airbrushed model types hob knobbing in style with frump-a-dump straight folks who look totally out of place but also completely at ease.
But this isn’t an outrage post.
The gay stereotypes are there, for sure. And gay people have been targeted as the “two disposable incomes, childless” advertisers’ dream demographic since well before Kyan the Grooming Guru started shamelessly hawking Kiehl’s facial spooge at us in 2003.
Yeah, that might annoy some people. But no more so than the barrage of ads for incontinence drugs during Judge Judy (but don’t tell Ru we said that). It’s just advertising. You don’t complain about it when it allows you hours of free listening to Kylie Minogue on Pandora. Or, you know, whatever music you’re in to…
No, more so than annoyed, we’re just a little confused. Hasn’t Las Vegas always been for everyone? Where else but a Las Vegas casino can people feel appropriately dressed in both a Tweety Bird sweatshirt and a floor-length sequined evening gown? At the poker table, tuxedoed elbows rub up against canvas Carhartt jackets every single day and nobody cares. It’s Vegas! It goes without saying its for everyone.
And the same is true for the gays and the straights.
Sure, maybe the city’s travel board has decided that not enough gay dollars are being funneled into the tourist town. Maybe they want to siphon off some of that abundant, nearby Palm Springs cash. So be it.
It’s the assertion that we didn’t already know Vegas was for the gays that seems so odd.
“What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas?”
Come to think of it, maybe these ad are meant to be taken at face value. Maybe the awkward straighties in the ads are scared that a flamboyant town where bars never close and there are pools everywhere is only for the gays.
Maybe they’re the ones being told Vegas is for everyone.
Even straight people.