The Dangers of the Canadian “Right to Not Be Offended”

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Just like Americans, British Columbians have the right to free speech. Barring the oft-repeated “Don’t yell fire in a crowded auditorium” and other actively destructive examples, we may say whatever we like. Well, unless it offends someone. But not if it offends a transit official or “the man.” Put simply, the Canadian right to free speech is often superseded by the Canadian “Right to Not Be Offended,” but perhaps it can be even more accurately described as, “Free Speech for Underdogs Only.”

I mean, just a couple of weeks ago, many journalists were outraged that BC Translink officials would dare ask poor Jean Wharf, whose only crime was theft, to take off a button on public transit that had the “F” word on it. Well, you know — and pay her fare.

But here’s where it gets complicated. Because while many news outlets were outraged that …

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Sir Ian McKellen Questions the Lack of Gays in Hollywood

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Recently, Sir Ian McKellen (forever a heartthrob in my eyes), weighed in on the positioning is homosexuality in Hollywood.  From McKellen:

“I don’t think any gay person is going to be happy and bring joy to themselves and other people unless they can be honest about their sexuality, and if other people don’t like that honestly, that’s a comment on them and not on the person who is being honest…That might seem a harsh thing to say to a young actor who is being advised by an agent to stay in the closet. There are no openly gay stars in Hollywood, so someone is telling them to shut up.”

Although there are now more openly gay people in the entertainment industry than ever before, I would argue that many of them are still restricted on how they can be gay. In …

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