“Did you hear we got homework in math class today? That’s so gay.” “I’m leaving, this party is gay.” These are just a few of the things I hear regularly from other students, and it’s clear that it is not right. Using the word gay in this sense is very offensive and just plain mean. Students need to realize that the word gay isn’t meant to be used as a derogatory term, and they need to stop using it as if it does.
With all of the social advances toward the acceptance of homosexuality in the past few years, gay has become a more common term. Are we really using it the right way though? The answer is no. A person who is gay has a sexual attraction towards people of their same sex. However, this isn’t how many students use it. The word has taken on a definition of stupid, dumb or just anything that someone doesn’t like. There are many other words out there to express how you feel about something, and frankly, resorting to using the word gay makes you sound stupid and dumb.
When the word gay is used in such a negative way, it can be offensive as well. Most of us know at least one person who is LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender). Would you say things like that around them? I know that I wouldn’t. When a word that someone uses to identify themselves is turned into a general term for anything someone else dislikes, it doesn’t make them feel too good.
However, you don’t have to agree with homosexuality to stop using the word gay as a derogatory term. Homosexuality is a touchy subject, about which many people have different opinions. I’m not saying that you need to completely change your ideas on whether or not it’s right. I’m just saying that you need to be kind, because kindness is something that everyone should be able to agree on. While you may not agree on the issue of homosexuality itself, you should still do the right thing and treat others how you would like to be treated.
So the next time you’re talking with your friends about something you don’t like, choose your words more carefully. Remember that there are many ways to express negative feelings toward something, and using the word gay is not one of them. Above all else, just keep the golden rule in mind: treat others the way you would want to be treated.