Misuse of the word “gay” offensive

They’re displayed expansively and you’ve seen them a billion times. “Eliminate the R word” posters can be found in nearly every classroom.

The posters attempt to make students aware of the disrespect conveyed when using the word “retarded” as a synonym for stupid or inferior. While I think it’s wonderful that the posters promote awareness of the misuse of the word, another similar issue is left basically unaddressed.

“Gay” is a word that is used fairly habitually by many high school students with intentional negative connotation. If you think about it, you probably hear it on a nearly daily basis just at school.

It’s become almost second-nature for many to use it as a derogatory term. When a student is discontented with a current situation, a common reaction is something along the lines of, “That’s soo gay.”

I wouldn’t have a problem with this word frequenting a student’s vocabulary if they used it correctly. “Gay” was originally a word associated with joy or happiness, and evolved into a word meaning homosexual.

However, the context in which the word is typically used by young people is completely inaccurate.  For example, students sometimes call objects “gay” when they malfunction.

Common household objects are definitely not gay. They’re not happy. They’re not homosexual. Why? It’s simply because they’re inanimate objects with no thoughts or feelings. Whether you’re homophobic or not, it’s a valid point.

Just for argument’s sake, let’s say I’m homophobic. It’s still somewhat ridiculous for me to use the word “gay” as a synonym for inferior.

It’s not just obnoxious because it’s derogatory, but also because people sound ignorant when they use it in incorrect context. You just sound uneducated and are abusing the English language simultaneously when you misuse any word. “Gay” is no different. Homophobic or not, you don’t sound intelligent using words out of context.

Secondly, using the word in a disparaging manner implies that the homosexual community is subservient to the heterosexual one. It’s somewhat disgusting that anyone would be classified as inferior based on who they choose to have a romantic relationship with. Don’t hate on other people’s love. That isn’t your job.

When you use the word “gay” as a degrading term, you never know who you may be offending. Gay Rights is just another civil rights movement beginning to blossom.

We’re all human with thoughts, aspirations and emotions. Degrading others seems foolish and unnecessary. Not to mention, judgment of others just makes people seem imprudent and insensitive.

As both a gay rights advocate and an English nerd, I have very low tolerance for the misuse of the word. There are so many words that translate to inferior, so why use “gay”? It would take little effort to obliterate the word from your vocabulary, so why not? Why is it necessary? When there are so many legitimate synonyms for inferior, why use a word that means something entirely different?

Pick up a thesaurus, gain some respect, and think before you speak. You don’t have to support diversity; you should just be aware and tolerant of it.

It all comes down to a single word- Respect.  Look that one up in your thesaurus.

Source: http://hayshighguidon.com/opinion/2012/04/11/misuse-of-the-word-gay-offensive/