Boston: So Gay?

As anyone who’s hung around a group of high schoolers recently can testify, “so gay” is usually a term to describe something lame. As in, “that human interest piece about RVs on A1 of the Globe was so gay.”

Many groups don’t like the phrase, while some gay people have reclaimed the taunt and use it as a positive expression.

1216136162Now, even advertisers are hopping on the bandwagon. WBZ reported this morning that a British gay tourism company has dubbed Boston “so gay.”

Armo Worldwide has put up posters that celebrate several American destinations as “so gay” on London’s Underground, but as the poster points out, we’re the only place that gay couples can get married.

According to Armo’s Web site, it floated the so gay campaign to “several US Tourism Boards” late last year and that the company “received a very positive response.” Cities then paid a fee to be featured on the posters at a cost Armo says is much less expensive than launching a campaign on their own.

In Massachusetts, where tourism officials and politicians are salivating over the estimated $111 million non-resident gay couples may bring into the local economy if they’re allowed to marry, this is a good thing. But in conservative South Carolina, the ad campaign that celebrates the state’s rich history and “gay beaches” has sparked a furor.

Joel Sawyer, spokesman for Gov. Mark Sanford, said using tax money to support a social or political agenda is inappropriate.“Our state tourism dollars should be talking about the beaches and attractions of South Carolina,” Sawyer said.

The campaign does celebrate the beaches and attractions. In fact, one could describe the Palmetto State’s reaction to their inadvertent ad campaign as so gay.