This Pet Store Tried to Sell a ‘Gay Turtle’ and Here’s How Shoppers Reacted

Amnesty campaign tackles homophobia in Turkey

Reminding us that people are judgmental jerks regardless of nationality, creed or religion, Amnesty International and TBWA Istanbul created the #GayTurtle project, which mocks the absurdity of homophobic attitudes. 

Homophobic violence is a big problem in Turkey, and this campaign tries using humor—and hidden cameras—as a leveling mechanism of sorts. 

In the video, an aquarium employee tells shoppers that a turtle they've chosen to buy is gay, and their reactions are what you'd expect: Some think it's a contagious illness, one guy drops a Turkish F-bomb, and many customers think that merely entertaining the idea of a gay turtle is indecent. 

The quick transition between admiring something cute and feeling uncomfortable—perhaps threatened—by the idea that it could be gay is what this project is spotlighting. 

We hope that #GayTurtle hits people where they live, if only because the dialogue surrounding this situation is ridiculous. The line "Give me a normal, non-gay, standard turtle" sounds like a quote from a Judd Apatow film.