The Gay Insult

Describing things as gay has become the latest all-encompassing insult.

“That’s so gay!”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard those words or a variation of them. Kids, in particular, are using it a lot and it is starting to cross over into regular media as well.

I read a blog post this week over at Daily Writing Tips where the author was dumbfounded by the new definition of “gay.” She did some research and presented how this word has changed meaning several times over the past 700 years. It’s a fascinating read and I had just had to share it on Twitter.

I then thought that I should probably add an explanation to that tweet so I sent this one out right after it.

I find it offensive to use gay as an insult and wanted to make my position known.

Of course, Adam One made a great point that I just had to acknowledge.

The word gay is branded now so that the past definitions really don’t even apply any more in this day and age.

It seems that a lot of people don’t think describing something in negative terms as “gay” is a problem. It reminds me of when I was a kid and we would say that things were “retarded”

After a while we woke up to that as being an offensive term. The message got through. I must say that I rarely hear people using “retarded” in that context these days.

I think we need to stand up and let people know that this is an offensive thing to do now.

It really is all about respect, isn’t it?

I love that you can have a healthy debate on Twitter. Maybe we’ve raised some awareness on this issue. Let’s stop using “gay” as an insult and if we hear it, let’s stand-up and say something about it.

Stop the hate!

6 thoughts on “The Gay Insult

  1. It's rare for an hour to go by at high school without hearing it.

    SO OBNOXIOUS.

    And typically I wouldn't say anything about it, because literally /so many/ people say it that it feels useless to say anything otherwise.

    But I girl I watch on YouTube once said, "If you're not a part of the solution, then you're part of the problem." And I think this applies to this situation extremely well. We have no right to complain about these sayings if we're not actively trying to change what's being said.

    So thanks for bringing this up, Chase. I wholeheartedly agree.

  2. There is a wonderful campaign called "Think B4 You Speak" (http://www.thinkb4youspeak.com/) that outlines the way in which words are in fact hurtful. Given the recent suicides of young men in the US over gay-related bullying, this is a topic that NEEDS to be addressed more in schools. Think B4 You Speak has education packages for educators to use in schools, check it out.

    Here is a video they produced with Wanda Sykes:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrJrw5ZZfRU

    Also, and still related, the "It Get's Better" campaign that is circulating now to tell gay youth that it does indeed get better is quite fabulous….check out some of the video's on YouTube; here is my favorite….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UACK93xF-FE

    Dana.

  3. Hi Dana,

    Thanks a lot for those videos and links. I think I should show those to my class.

    I actually shared this blog post with them this morning. I told them that I spent two hours writing last night. They didn't believe me so I showed them what I did.

    We discussed this term and how we need to stop saying it, and how it is disrespectful. I think they got the message.

  4. THEREALWEAGLE SAYS: I recently stopped using the word gay as slang and replaced it with lame. Works everytime

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