Not only is a boycott of Stolichnaya misplaced, if we're to view this fight for gay rights as a battle, then this is friendly fire! SPI, the producers of Stoli, are actually based in Latvia, and that's where their vodka is actually distilled. Their claim to being "Russian Vodka" until 2007 was largely a marketing decision, and since then they've labeled their product "Premium Vodka" instead of Russian. Latvia is a small country, with a population of just over two million people. TWO million. That's less than the population of B.C. Hell, it's unquestionably millions and millions less than the LGBT population of the United States. When you think of it that way picking on poor Latvia almost seems like bullying - something the Dan Savage who pioneered the great "It gets better" campaign would hardly seem likely to get behind.
At 15, being called Fagboy on the football field happened. Ironically enough, it was a straight kid with immaculate gaydar who gave me that name in high school. I was thankful that the moniker never lasted more than that year, but those words 'Fagboy' have stuck with me ever since. It would take a few handfuls of girlfriends, over two decades of denial and seven full years of hiding on the other side of the planet -- in China -- before I learned to let go of my fear, my shame and the idea that being gay was wrong.
Before we have another case like Jamie Hubley's on our hands, it's time for Canada to stand up loud and proud and say, "It gets better." Where is Prime Minister Harper's message that it gets better? I don't believe that Harper, his cabinet, the Conservative Party or other Members of Parliament are anti-gay. But I think their silence is deafening.