New art installations in Montreal’s Gay Village have been met with a lot of criticism since their appearance on Monday.
Quirky slogans, posted on 147 colourful cylinders, can be seen hanging from light poles on Ste-Catherine Street, between Berri Street and Papineau Avenue.
The decorations will be on display for the winter months.
Several people, however, took to social media, calling out the slogans for what they described as “inappropriate,” “disgusting” or “vulgar” language.
The installations with sexual connotations were quickly taken down following the online uproar.
The Village’s merchants association told Global News they chose to remove three slogans after numerous complaints.
A fetish store employee in the area, Matthia Raimundo, said he understands the public’s reaction, but believes the slogans were very representative of the community.
“We have a very sketchy kind of humour so we talk about sex, gender and more,” he said. “These are jokes we all say to each other in private, and I think that’s what they tried to do and reach that demographic.”
“But I mean, it’s on the street and everyone can see it,” he said. “You cannot speak the way you would to your friends.”
Community member Johnny Roberts, however, said they should have never listened to the complaints and never removed the eyebrow-raising slogans.
“It’s 100 per cent censorship,” he said.
“As someone who’s been one million per cent censored… that’s wrong.”
Aside from the language considered to be vulgar for some, Raimundo said he is pleased to see faces of important LGBTQ2 community members on the installations.
The cylinders are meant to highlight the queer community’s diversity, according to the Village’s merchants association.
“Village Montreal wanted to shine the different personalities and facets of the community, enhancing the diversity of gender,” said the merchants association in a Facebook post.
“Some of the slogans, which generated strong reactions on social networks, wanted to be [humourous], to bring authenticity, lightness, humour and joy in the village.”
The controversial tubulars were removed on Wednesday morning and replaced with others.
The slogans removed were “I like it when you come,” “Drag me wherever you want” and “F*ck the labels.”
The slogans that are being preserved are, “Open forever,” “Beautiful by day, beautiful by night,” “Stay poly please,” “Walking, naked or glitter,” “The future will be pink” and “Hard to queer.”
The new summer installation that will replace the Gay Village’s iconic colourful balls will be revealed in January 2020.
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