“That’s so gay.”
“We have a pop quiz? Gaaaay.”
“This song is so gay!”
The funny thing is, I truly do believe most people when they tell me that they don’t mean the term in a derogatory manner. I am frequently assured that “well, when I say ‘gay’, I don’t actually mean ‘gay’…I mean stupid.”
Yeah, that’s reassuring. You don’t mean “gay” as in homosexual when you use the term, you simply, innocently mean “gay” as a way of referring to things that you don’t like. Nothing personal.
I will believe you when you tell me that you don’t mean it, but that doesn’t mean that I respect you. (Okay, I don’t respect the way in which you chose to express disdain and disapproval. You are probably a pretty cool bro, we should hang out sometime.)
I don’t believe that any further analysis is required. The overwhelming tendency of today’s (presumably accepting and socially liberal, as homophobic teens are a whole different story) youth to use the word “gay” in reference to that which is unpleasant, unfavorable, or simply completely shitty is not due to lack of knowledge or lack of education.The term’s use is perpetuated, even by those who have gay friends and family and teachers and employers and who consider themselves (and, in their hearts, surely are) caring, non homophobic people, simply because they are too lazy to change their (uncomplicated, unintelligent, unacceptable) ways of expressing themselves.
It is 2011. We all know what “gay” means. We are all aware of why and to whom the term is offensive. Yet, it is still widely used. If you’re anti-gay, you’re anti-gay. I’m not here to try to debate moral values, and in fact, if you are anti-gay, at least your use of “gay” as an insult or critique is consistent with what you believe. Good for you, homophobes for not contradicting yourselves. (But seriously…homophobes?? Who can resist Ellen and Spongebob??)
But to those of you who claim to love everybody, who claim to believe in equality and justice and the fact that love is love and that people of all sexual orientations should enjoy the same rights, I have but one thing to say to you: grow up and act like you care.