I’ve thought about writing this for a long time. Waiting for the right words to magically appear in my mind, hesitating because I didn’t want to post something so sensitive without the eloquence required. I realized, however, that there are many ways to spin something like why the phrase “That’s So Gay” is so, so wrong.
I hear the word gay misused on a daily basis. Here is the definition, taken from dictionary.com…
Gay (adjective): 1) having or showing a merry, lively mood… 2) bright or showy… 3) given to or abounding in social or other pleasures… 4) homosexual… 5) of indicating, or supporting homosexual interests or issues.
Here are some times I have heard the saying “that’s so gay”:
- Someone hits a tennis ball long, resulting in that person losing the point. “That’s so gay!”
- Someone receives a poor score on a test. “That’s so gay!”
- Someone loses their keys. “That’s so gay!”
- Someone is teased and in an attempt to recover, replies, “You’re so gay!”
None of the examples listed above actually pertains to the definition of the word gay – in fact, it is slander to those of the gay community. Gay people don’t make you lose your keys or mess up your tennis shot, that’s your own fault.
As a teenager who is enrolled in a public high school, I tend to hear words like “gay” and “retarded” thrown around a lot. Something one of my teachers said really struck a chord with me in this regard – he said that people who curse and use foul language only do so because they lack the intellect and knowledge to properly express their emotions.
It’s not like I have a huge grudge against those who use the word gay incorrectly. I even have acquaintances that do so. It just pains me that people say the word “gay” when what they really mean is “annoying” or “wrong”.
And I don’t think that people who say the phrase “that’s so gay” hate gays – maybe a few – but the majority probably just lack the compassion to say something less cruel, or have become so accustomed to saying it just because their friends and family do.
What I’m trying to say is this: how would you feel if someone targeted your sexuality or ethnicity in a negative way, even if it made no sense at all? What if someone said “that’s so heterosexual” after breaking their headphones, or “that’s so straight” because of an unfair grounding? What about “that’s so Asian”, “that’s so African-American”, “that’s so Caucasian”?
What about “that’s so human?”