The Wyoming Department of Tourism is responding to a surge in interest in gay cowboys brought on by the upcoming release of Brokeback Mountain by creating an alternate logo based upon its well-known cowboy icon. The upcoming film (though shot in Canada) is set there.
Wyoming website Planet Jackson Hole describes the image: “[The new logo] resembles the old logo of a cowboy and bucking horse. The new twist on the old emblem depicts a the rider with an arched back, tossing his devil-may-care buck-riding enthusiasm and sequined glove to the heavens. The new logo is very colorful and sparkly. The cowboy atop the bucking horse grasps a magic wand with rainbow swooshes shooting out its end, as his leonine hair flounces dashingly in the wind.”
It’s hard to decide what’s gayer, the image or PJH’s description of it. But perhaps Focus Features should give the folks at Wyoming tourism a screening of Brokeback, so they’ll see that gay cowboys are just as butch as their straight counterparts.
It’s not surprising, however, that the new image appears to take the fruitier stereotype of gay men and run with it, given what an alleged press release issued by the tourism board states as its goals: “The state will invest some of its $1.86 billion in state surplus in small business grants that will attract more martini bars, athletic clubs and interior designers to Wyoming.”
The elements here point to a joke (martini bars have rarely been on the docket of state tourism agencies, though it’s not something we’d discourage), given that the campaign may be the product of a tourism director who went to the Kate Moss school of public relations:
Earnest Phalencks, director of the Wyoming Department of Tourism, said “This is the most comprehensive, unique, gay and coked-up marketing plan this state has ever invested in, and the tie-in and tie-up potential with Humpback Mountain’s runaway success is absolutely fabulous!”
It will be interesting to see, however, whether Wyoming does plan to cash in on the gay dollar or whether they’ll just pray the whole thing blows over.
Flipside: Mascot Gets a New Ascot [planet jackson hole]
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