By Ari Karpel
Originally published on Advocate.com September 10 2010 4:00 AM ET
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has inspired widespread anger, fear, and despair. It also prompted one outraged gay couple to produce a viral video that drops f bombs at a rate of more than 30 a minute in a bold expression of our collective hopelessness.
Luke Montgomery and Nate Guidas’s “Unf - - k the Gulf” is an attempt take back the power. By spreading the f word, they’re raising awareness and money: Each $13 “Unf - - k the Gulf” T-shirt sold sends $5 to a Gulf charity; so far, they’ve amassed 30K, which will go to a charity voted on by visitors to www.unf--kthegulf.com.
“The inception of it was, my boyfriend, Nate, and I were sitting in front of the television screaming ‘fuck’ every 20 seconds about something that BP was doing, about seeing birds covered in oil,” says Montgomery, 36. “And we knew there were other people screaming ‘fuck’ at the television 24/7. So let’s take all of this anger and harness it and do something good with it.”
The couple, who live in Redondo Beach, Calif., have a history of agitation. Their group Cause Commandos raised more than $10,000 for medicine and food that they flew to Haiti after January’s devastating earthquake. Montgomery, who used to live in Haiti and founded an orphanage there for HIV-positive children, is also a passionate animal rights activist and safer-sex champion. At 19 he ruffled President Bill Clinton’s feathers — and got lots of media attention — by posing as his alter ego “Luke Sissyfag” and interrupting the president’s 1993 World AIDS Day speech to declare he was not taking enough action on the disease.
Clearly, he’s no shrinking violet. For those rubbed the wrong way by kids saying the f word in Montgomery and Guidas’s “Unf - - k the Gulf” video, Montgomery says, “It’s patriotic to use the f word in defense of our shorelines.”
Next up for the duo: A video in support of marriage equality that takes a page from the same potentially offensive playbook. “We’ll have old ladies saying things like, ‘Are you one of those fuckwads who doesn’t want my son to get married?’” Montgomery reports gleefully.