Friday, January 19, 2007

That is so Gay

I copy this post from Sodomy Creek. Its a great blog. I'd love to hear your responses to this, as I agree with the author.
Last week a friend of mine (Amber) did a short post about using the term “retarded” as an insult. I whole heartedly agree with her, although I too have been guilty of using the term when I was younger, but do not use it currently. I really don’t hear the term used as much as I used to. Maybe it is because I am older and most of the people that I hang out with have the common sense not to the use the word retarded in a derogatory manner. It might also just be an internal censoring mechanism of sorts where I just tune out anyone who uses the word in such a way. After all they don’t deserve to be listened to anyway if they talk in such a manner.

However there is one term that I just cannot tune out, when someone says something is “gay”, and it grates on my nerves every time I hear it. I am sure you all know what I am talking about. Very rarely is the person actually saying something is “happy”, nor do they actually mean something is “homosexual” (As in, “Look at that guy in the pink assless chaps, that is so GAY!”). Although the underlying meaning of the word “gay” is meant to be homosexual, the inferred meaning is “stupid”. In essence making Homosexual = Stupid. I suppose the main reason I can’t seem tune it out is, as a gay man, it is offensive to me personally.

I can sometimes hear this phrase echoing through my ears coming from conversations that I am not even a part of, such as several tables away in a crowded restaurant, behind me in a movie theater, across the room at a party, etc. It is usually coming out of the mouth of some teenage boy. If it is a group of young people, then it is often used repeatedly, as if it were the only phrase they knew. However, it is also not that uncommon to hear this phrase coming from someone who you would think should know better.

I bring this up because while I was at lunch the other day with some co-workers. At a table near to us was what appeared to be a mother and her teenage son. During the conversation I heard the boy refer to the person he was talking about as a “retard”. The mother quickly leaned in a whispered what I assume to be a reprimand because the boy said “Yes ma’am, I’m sorry”. There was a brief, uncomfortable pause in the conversation between the two as a result and the boy looked around the restaurant at the big screen TVs which were showing various sporting events. Apparently something about the restaurant’s choice of games was unsatisfactory and less than minute after being admonished the first thing the boy says was “That is so gay! (quite loudly) Why aren’t they showing…?” The boy went on for several minutes, uninterrupted, about how they should be showing such and such game. However, there was no reprimand this time. I was annoyed. Apparently “retarded” was unacceptable but “gay” was perfectly OK.

1 comment:

Morela said...

Good words.