It’s not OK to call stuff gay.
Has anyone ever stopped to think about how ridiculous it is when you say stuff is “gay”? It’s completely moronic, says Josh Kaplan
We’re all guilty of this, there’s no denying it. From a key sticking in a lock to someone being annoying in a lecture, we’ve all whacked out the casual homophobia to describe something that pisses us off.
It can have many meanings and, as I’m sure you’ll have noticed, using the word like that is incredibly widespread. Type in “so gay” into Twitter search and you are bombarded with hundreds of ignoramuses throwing around the word to describe literally every aspect of their mundane lives:
But does anyone ever stop to think about how ridiculous this actually is? English is constantly changing the meaning of words, literally doesn’t even mean literally any more, but this is just silly. Take the example above from the charming @P_Brooking, student at the University of Hertfordshire, he is calling something gay that is exactly the opposite of homosexuality. It’s completely moronic.
But it’s about more than just stupid syntax and students from sub-par unis. Using gay as a catch-all throwaway word for anything negative is homophobic. In a world where being gay is still being linked to bestiality, using the word in such a negative light spreads the idea that it’s somehow wrong.
It’s a problem that’s unique to the homosexual community. It’s not common to say, for example, “econ is so asian haha” or “omg that tweet just rhymed, it’s so Jewish”, because it sounds stupid. You’re not saying that economics is sexually attracted to other subjects of the same sex, you’re saying that you think for whatever reason, gay is a word with negative connotations. No other minority is subjected to this normalised slander.
The general social attitude to homosexuality is changing. Gay marriage is slowly becoming more widely accepted and it’s a huge leap from say, 40 years ago. But it’s still pretty far from being accepted. According to a recent BBC report, 99% of school children surveyed said that they heard homophobic language used regularly at school and 55% of LGBT students said they had experienced direct bullying. By your seemingly innocuous use of the word to slag off your key for not opening your front door, or your best mate for not calling a cab, you are only going to show how far the gay community still has to come.
But there’s also another reason why I personally object to the use of the word gay, it’s lazy. As university students, we have taken an active step in bettering ourselves and furthering our intellect. Calling stuff gay flies in the face of that. In a world where there are infinite combinations of potent burns, why lower yourself to calling someone gay? If you find yourself needing to express yourself with an expletive, there’s a world of possibilities. So take a moment to go outside the box. From the humble “dicksplash” to the somewhat elegant “you’re about as useful as a marzipan dildo”, be better than the word gay. Unless you are literally describing someone being homosexual, take a leaf out of the Malcolm Tucker book of swears and rise above the masses. Challenge yourself to swear more creatively and using more violent imagery.
You’re better than “gay”.