"That's Gay"

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I’ve been noticing that the usage of this word has become increasingly acceptable. Last time I gauged the situation, it seemed that people understood it reflected a bigotry that they didn’t want to express. Now everyone is a ‘faggot’ or ‘homo’ and game comments on the site are riddled with “this is gay”. Never mind the lack of useful information that imparts for the moment…

Anyone care to explain or justify the use of this term? Do you find gay people to be so horrendous that you must compare EVERYTHING that you dislike with them? Does this reflect an actual prejudice or is it just another case of intellectual and/or linguistic laziness?

 
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Honestly, I think kids in this world are becoming more and more stupid in intellect and wiser and wiser in the cough wrong areas if you know what I mean. I think this sort of behavior spores from the fact that gay sexuality is frowned upon in culture now. No one decides to stop them when they say it either. If people are never told that it is wrong they will keep using it. Although, that theory works oppositely too.

 
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I’m glad someone decided to make a topic about this because I am becoming sick and tired of people using it in such a derogatory way. As a GLBT Ally I feel the need to speak out whenever people use the term gay out of its proper place. Unfortunately most people don’t listen, and not enough people (here on kong and in life) recognize it as a offensive term when used improperly like that. And so it’s very hard to make people see the error of their ways. Do not use those words offensively in front of me. And no I’m not gay, I’m an ally.

 
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As another Ally, I can only echo what PhatCat has said. I’ve made it my mission to try to educate those who think using the name of a group of people as an insult is acceptable. This is tremendously offensive and people really should think about what they’re saying before they say it. How would people react if we said “That’s so negro” as an insult, or “This level is incredibly Jewish”. Yeah, it sounds silly to us, but that’s exactly what you’re saying.

On a slightly lighter note, one of my favorite quotes from the Simpsons (both for humor and the tremendous irony and stupidity that it points out):

[Jimbo to Martin] “You kissed a girl? That’s SO gay!”

 
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Heh, that’s great. I could see that exchange happening, too…. Well I’m glad I started the topic as well now. Maybe those reading these comments about the improper use of the word will start to think about their own usage. [Although I have to admit I was hoping to be able to be able to debate someone on this issue :D ]

 
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I’ll try and answer Para’s question about “Anyone care to explain or justify the use of this term?” (while trying not to get outraged by Nerd’s sweeping generalization).

Take this scenario: A person in school (I use the in school example as it’s the one I hear used personally most often) wants to be “manly” and look good in front of his friends. “Girly” things he doesn’t do, as that would look unmanly. When there is something he doesn’t like (whether it be a video game, song, etc.), obviously it’s not manly and must be girly. Gay men are seen as effeminate and fashionable (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality#Prejudice_against_gay_and_lesbian_people), so calling something “gay” would indicate that it’s something only girls and effeminate men do. I hope that made sense >_>

Now, I think the term is branching out (sadly), almost like the word “fuck”, where it’s been used so many times no one knows what it means =/

See also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay#Pejorative_non-sexualized_usage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality#Prejudice_against_gay_and_lesbian_people

NOTE: I am NOT for the calling of things “gay” or saying “That’s gay”, I’m just trying to explain the thought process of someone who might use it.

 
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I hadn’t considered gender-typing to be a factor, Tesfan. Probably because I don’t consider gay men effeminate. Maybe more portrayals of gay men as strong (or complex, god forbid) in the media would help alleviate the situation, then.

 
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“This level is incredibly Jewish”

My friend uses that sometimes as a joke to take the piss. It’s funny to see people’s faces when someone goes “You’re gay!” and he replies “Yeah, you’re so Jewish it’s unbelievable!”… funny as hell, because they can’t make sense of what’s been said, even though their phrase makes just as much sense.

NOTE: He’s not racist.

 
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Ha – that’s excellent. My hat’s off your friend. :)

And Tesfan – what you describe is absolutely fine. If I see man wearing a feather boa and rose-tinted sunglasses, prancing around and speaking in a camp voice, I’ll happily say “That’s so gay!” (and in fact I have seen such an individual on campus). I have no problem when it is used correctly, though unfortunately it is sometimes even used correctly with a negative connotation. But you are correct that it has gone far beyond meaning “happy” or “homosexual” to simply meaning anything remotely difficult, strange, bad, stupid, or in almost any other way negative.

As a side note, I do know of one other word that has entered the English language in this fashion: gyp. There are still some debates about the actual origins, but much evidence suggests that it is in one way or another related to gypsies, in which case we have another example of the name of a group of people being used to describe something negative (i.e. the verb “gyp” meaning “to cheat or swindle”). I think it’s far to late to try to remedy this, especially since there is some debate as to the etymology. I just thought it was interesting and relevant.

 
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I am pretty sure that kids use it most and I know why it is synonymous with bad. If you are a gay child in my school you will be abused (I’ve seen it) verbally (more so) and physically. Where I live in it’s pretty gay (the population).

On another note: Is an ally as in Friend, like in wars, or is that term? I do say I can never keep up with you children!

 
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Ally- works with and supports.

 
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I do say I can never keep up with you children!

The ironic thing is your 13, I lol’d

The “Thats gay” deragatory realy doesn’t have much to do with homosexualty anymore. It has lost its meaning. Besides because that is applied to events and usualy inanimate objects it doesn’t realy make much sense if you take it seriously.

 
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I don’t understand why people use it in the first place, the word “gay” has gone far past it’s meaning. So sad, it’s such a normal insult these days. Makes me wonder what it’s like to be gay; how hard it must be.

 
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I find this topic kind of convienent for be because at school we are doing a filter project where we look for stereotypical and offensive things said about certain groups of people. I got assigned gay, and over the past month and a half, i have noticed it soo much, but the problem is its in most peoples subconceous, when someone says “thats gay” they dont think about it actually, they say it as if you say something is stupid. So stopping it now is near impossible, but the solution is prevention of the people who don’t do talk like that yet.

 
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I really don’t think stopping it is that hard. All it takes is for others to speak up and say that’s not acceptable. Or things like “That’s so Jewish” are a non-confrontational way of pointing out the stupidity of the phrase. Sometimes a little confrontation isn’t bad thing, though. It makes them think about their language and the effect it has on people.

If you’d like to see a possible effect, gay youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to commit suicide. Having one aspect of yourself constantly compared to everything bad about the world can’t be helpful with regard to gay teen suicide.

DarthNader: I don’t think we can really say it doesn’t have anything to do with homosexuality when the words are the same.

 
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I think it has something to do with people hating gay people so much. They dislike something else, and they put the words together. I find it completely acceptable though. Gay people can be really annoying. Those guys who wear Uggs and scarves and carry Coach purses really piss me off. I think they are mostly worthless for women to have, but when men do it drives me crazy. Gay being a derogatory remark is correct in my opinion. I use it almost every day.

 
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I personally see no problem with the term, among other reason… it can actually desensitize “homophones” even if it doesn’t seem like it, it does do that in some cases.

Now, we could go on and on about various spiritual terms have undergone pejoration from their original meaning, but obviously this isn’t the case.

I will admit to saying “this is pretty gay” freely and not even give it a second thought, and honestly, I have never heard anyone be offended by it. Or at least not that they told me. I personally however do not know any homosexuals IRL, and I only have limited exposure on the internet. Its not that I choose not to be near them, its just there are none here, and where I go.

I do however prefer not to see a guy walking down the road in skin tight pants, as this does sort of make me sick, I wouldn’t say I’m a homophobe, but its like my ADDHD friend, I prefer not to be around him when he’s forgotten to take his daily meds, however I tolerate him.

Now, you may go on and flame me for my opinion, as I’m sure this will happen by a couple of people… but meh, think what you want of me.

Personally, I will continue saying something is gay in place of stupid, sorry.

To save someone the words, I will bet a bunch of you see me as ignorant ^^ oh well, know I do not say these things in chat, because I really don’t want to offend someone.

And on an edit…

I do find gay people like Ross on Leno hilariously funny =)

 
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" Gay people can be really annoying. Those guys who wear Uggs and scarves and carry Coach purses really piss me off. I think they are mostly worthless for women to have, but when men do it drives me crazy. Gay being a derogatory remark is correct in my opinion. I use it almost every day."
At a way to be stereotypical of every gay person. Not all gays are like that.

 
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Notice he wasn’t being entirely stereotypical because he said

Those guys who wear Uggs and scarves and carry Coach purses really piss me off.

Because he was singling out the type of gay person who wheres uggs, scarves etc.

So, that wasn’t really stereotypical.

 
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Well, I know gays who are exactly like hetrosexual people.

 
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Speaking of which, why is it only limited to “gay” and not “lesbian”?

 
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I use lebian. (shame on me) Exept I prefer to say “Lezzbean”

 
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OMG DN, that is so lesbian…

 
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take in his first statment tho “Gay people can be really annoying” Thus meaning most, and Gerreffi, if you dont mean most try to word so, it can cause confussion.

 
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crazycruiser: I personally however do not know any homosexuals IRL

Actually, I sincerely doubt this. Much more likely, you don’t know any who are out, and considering your attitude this is not even remotely surprising. And for the record, you have now heard of someone offended by your use of gay as an insult. Actually, in this thread alone you’ve heard numerous people.