Comments by police recruiters about a scarf at a Christchurch, New Zealand career expo have made headlines after a man was told his scarf was “too gay.”
Simon Calcinai reportedly approached the booth where the police officers were seated, wearing the “dull orange” scarf (actually it looks closer to saffron or maybe pumpkin, and if that’s not a gay observation I don’t know what is) and inquired about joining the police force.
Calcinai: “I was at the police table having a chat and the woman (officer) said, ‘You might want to lose that scarf’. The other guy then said, ‘Yeah, it’s a bit too gay’. I was pretty shocked and didn’t know what to say. I don’t think this is appropriate behaviour and I think that people should be made aware of these negative attitudes. He should think twice about (saying) that sort of thing. I guess he was joking, but it hushed me up a bit. Someone else could have been deeply upset. He is the only person who has ever commented on the scarf.”
The senior recruitment officer for the force made the comment, and sent an email apology to Calcinai, who was with his girlfriend at the expo: “Unfortunately, you have taken the comments personally and it certainly wasn’t intended to offend. Yes, we do recruit lesbian and gay male officers.”
Police ran “inclusiveness training” last year to try and eliminate homophobia. Guess they better run that class again.
Kudos to Mr. Calcinai for reporting it, and for proudly flaunting his scarf, whatever its sexuality.