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What constitutes homophobia?

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Now hear me out, I understand that this is a topic very close to a lot of people, and something which people can find understandably offensive, but I think that there is a good discussion here so long as everybody remembers that this is just a discussion and nobody intends anything personally.

Is it homophobic or offensive to use the word 'gay' in a non-negative portrayal? if two people of the same sex were to be in a photo in which they were to be in what could be considered a fairly close embrace, smiling away, appearing to be romantically associated, would it be homophobic for one of the people in the picture to make comment and say that they look "like a gay couple"? Would merely the implication that gay couples can be so easily stereotyped be homophobic? would the use of the word 'gay' in that context be homophobic? would it be more homophobic for the other person to read into the use of the word gay as an automatic negative implication, and say that the other person is being homophobic?

I was having this discussion with a few friends recently, and I personally don't think it's a homophobic remark, and that reading into the word gay as an automatic negative is far more homophobic, but I've tried to think up some logical counter-arguments. What do you think?

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I was having this discussion with a few friends recently, and I personally don't think it's a homophobic remark, and that reading into the word gay as an automatic negative is far more homophobic.

^^ This. I think that if you think being gay is some kind of terrible thing, then you'll be offended by this sort of comment where actually if you didn't really care much, you wouldn't worry - unless you thought that somebody had genuinely mistaken you. I assume that everybody wants to be presented as they are: a gay person wouldn't want to be misconstrued for being straight and vice versa. Like obviously if I'm not gay I don't want everybody thinking I am for logical reasons, and not just because I think they'll treat me differently. However, barring genuine mistake, if it's just a comment or a joke, then I think it says a lot about somebody's mentality if they're offended by a joke.

Nobody wants to be mistaken for something they're not. Like I don't want people to think I'm indian (or insert-other-general-characteristic here) if I'm not. Nothing wrong with Indian people but I'm not one and that's a fact. It's part of your identity so you have the right to want to assert the truth about yourself as an individual. I mean, there's nothing wrong with any other characteristics necessarily (obviously neo-Nazi etc. is not a great association...) but you don't want people to misconstrue you. We are all individuals entitled to be perceived as we are, after all. I think that the idea of having your sexuality mistaken and therefore your relationships mistaken can be a tricky issue regardless of homophobia. You don't want people you have no feelings for (that way) thinking that perhaps you do or you might. Equally you want people you do have feelings for you realise that you're that way inclined :P And so on. So I think in some cases it's homophobia if it's clearly not something which is a joke, and sometimes it's just needing to assert an important thing about yourself. I think that often with 'touchy' subjects like homosexuality, people can also go the other way and that's when you get into political correctness and so on. We should be treating things equally; not with prejudice but equally not like it's an untouchable topic and totally inappropriate to fail to associate yourself with it. I mean, if I'm not gay and somebody really seems to be suggesting that I am and really believing it, it's not being homophobic in my opinion to assert the truth, and vice versa. I'm asserting something about myself rather than disdaining somebody else's life, and I guess that's the big distinction. People being uncomfortable about being called gay because they're worried that people are misconstruing them isn't being homophobic, it's being worried that people hold views of you which are misrepresentative of the truth.

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Of course I agree with everything said above but we should also bear in mind that the way you say also plays a role in this. For instance if you comment was something along the lines "wow they look so gay" then I think you would certainly offend some people. On the other hand, if it is a genuine neutral comment then you're fine and nobody is allowed to say you're homophobic. They could have a case if your comment was based on stereotypes of the LGBT community but that's because stereotypes are always annoying and not because you're homophobic.

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Well I personally think it is not homophobic to use that term with my friends. However, if I knew there was a person who was gay around me, I would refrain from using the word, obviously not wanting to offend that person.

However I know some people who do regard it as "rude" and "offensive". One of my teachers, for example, heard one of my classmates making a nonchalant remark on something, joking around and describing it as "Yo mann, that is so gay." Now for us students, we didn't think much of it, it was sort of normal. But the teacher heard him and was very offended by it, asking him if he has a problem with homosexuals and so. Later on we found out that his brother is gay so it was an intimate subject for him.

In all I think it all depends on the people you use that term with. If it were your close friends, perhaps it is considered normal, to joke around using that word. And than maybe for a homosexual, perhaps they consider it offensive if they hear someone use the term "gay" nonchalantly and think you are homophobic.

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Well I personally think it is not homophobic to use that term with my friends. However, if I knew there was a person who was gay around me, I would refrain from using the word, obviously not wanting to offend that person.

However I know some people who do regard it as "rude" and "offensive". One of my teachers, for example, heard one of my classmates making a nonchalant remark on something, joking around and describing it as "Yo mann, that is so gay." Now for us students, we didn't think much of it, it was sort of normal. But the teacher heard him and was very offended by it, asking him if he has a problem with homosexuals and so. Later on we found out that his brother is gay so it was an intimate subject for him.

In all I think it all depends on the people you use that term with. If it were your close friends, perhaps it is considered normal, to joke around using that word. And than maybe for a homosexual, perhaps they consider it offensive if they hear someone use the term "gay" nonchalantly and think you are homophobic.

You are wrong. It does not depend on who you are with. The phrase "that is so gay" is offensive. Take a minute to think about it. You are equating the word "gay" with "stupid", "funny", or even something worse. Some people just think it's okay to use it. Well, let me tell you something; it's not. You are indirectly saying that everyone in the gay community is worth making fun of. Some people would be offended and let it just slip, some (including me) would gladly debate you on this, and some would even feel embarrassed for themselves. You don't understand that every gay kid that is not "out of the closet" (sometimes even when he/she is) has an internal struggle to fight the homosexual feelings because the world around him/her sends vivid messages that it's not really ok if you're gay. We know that discrimination is unavoidable, but when you're making fun of something being for "so gay" then you're just making matters worse for that kid. Think before you speak and I'm glad to see that there are teachers taking this matter seriously.

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You are wrong. It does not depend on who you are with. The phrase "that is so gay" is offensive. Take a minute to think about it. You are equating the word "gay" with "stupid", "funny", or even something worse. Some people just think it's okay to use it. Well, let me tell you something; it's not. You are indirectly saying that everyone in the gay community is worth making fun of. Some people would be offended and let it just slip, some (including me) would gladly debate you on this, and some would even feel embarrassed for themselves. You don't understand that every gay kid that is not "out of the closet" (sometimes even when he/she is) has an internal struggle to fight the homosexual feelings because the world around him/her sends vivid messages that it's not really ok if you're gay. We know that discrimination is unavoidable, but when you're making fun of something being for "so gay" then you're just making matters worse for that kid. Think before you speak and I'm glad to see that there are teachers taking this matter seriously.

I kind-of disagree with this, to be honest (just to be controversial XD). If something goes wrong for you and you say "that's so gay", the majority of people are just using it in a slang context and paying zero attention to its relevance to gay people. Rather like we say "that's so dumb" and never intend to insult or even refer to those who can't speak, or "that's retarded" without thinking about people with mental disabilities. I think that people can be sensitive about these things as part of their own reaction, but the actual person using the word isn't being homophobic or anti-dumb people or insulting the disabled. Even gay people (round here at least, where the phrase is endemic) use it, because it's simply not referring to gay people in common speech and usage. So I suppose they might be accidentally insulting somebody who's very touchy, but in actual fact they mean nothing by it and the majority of people also understand nothing by it.

Personally I think that overreacting can charge issues sometimes more than underreacting. It's like when "brainstorm" got replaced by "mindmap" in school because somebody decided that "brainstorm" was insulting to epileptic people. At the end of the day if you're constantly aware of a minority of "different" people who must be specially catered for because there's something unusual about them and people who fail to do so will be punished - well that's certainly creating a group of us against them, in my opinion. Surely the point is that we're all just people and it's the intention behind it which matters. It might be tactless but I think that to ostracise people you have only to enforce the differences between them. If you have to watch what you say even with things where you never meant anything judgemental whatsoever by them - well then that is in my opinion starting rather than solving a problem.

To resort to the somewhat irrelevant point now - gay used to mean happy. When it started to mean homosexual it wasn't an insult to lots of happy people, it's just the meaning changed. It doesn't mean that happy people are gay any more than it means that gay people are somehow the same as objects which break or go wrong.

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Well I personally think it is not homophobic to use that term with my friends. However, if I knew there was a person who was gay around me, I would refrain from using the word, obviously not wanting to offend that person.

However I know some people who do regard it as "rude" and "offensive". One of my teachers, for example, heard one of my classmates making a nonchalant remark on something, joking around and describing it as "Yo mann, that is so gay." Now for us students, we didn't think much of it, it was sort of normal. But the teacher heard him and was very offended by it, asking him if he has a problem with homosexuals and so. Later on we found out that his brother is gay so it was an intimate subject for him.

In all I think it all depends on the people you use that term with. If it were your close friends, perhaps it is considered normal, to joke around using that word. And than maybe for a homosexual, perhaps they consider it offensive if they hear someone use the term "gay" nonchalantly and think you are homophobic.

You are wrong. It does not who you are with. The phrase "that is so gay" is offensive. Take a minute to think about it. You are equating the word "gay" with "stupid", "funny", or even something worse. Some people just think it's okay to use it. Well, let me tell you something; it's not. You are indirectly saying that everyone in the gay community is worth making fun of. Some people would be offended and let it just slip, some (including me) would gladly debate you on this, and some would even feel embarrassed for themselves. You don't understand that every gay kid that is not "out of the closet" (sometimes even when he/she is) has an internal struggle to fight the homosexual feelings because the world around him/her sends vivid messages that it's not really ok if you're gay. We know that discrimination is unavoidable, but when you're making fun of something being for "so gay" then you're just making matters worse for that kid. Think before you speak and I'm glad to see that there are teachers taking this matter seriously.

I'm sorry if I have offended you with my previous comment, that was not my intention to ridicule anyone. Personally I do not use the word "gay" to describe something funny or a thing in general. It just causes so many unwanted situations or occurences (like the ones you have mentioned). I see homosexuals as human beings too and they deserve the same amount of respect as any other person. But let us look at the origin of the word "gay."

Studying the etymology of the term, the word "gay" derives from the french word "gai" which meant happy. And I know this because I fluently speak french and it still posses the same definition. Back then, the definition of the word "gay" was "having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music. Synonyms: cheerful, gleeful, happy, glad, cheery." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gay?s=ts

This shows us that this term does not exactly always apply to describing homosexuals. And I believe this is where the question applies "how ‘gay’ came to mean ‘homosexual'?" Unfortunately, society has evolved and now the word gay has recieved a negative connotation if used inaccordingly. To the American youth, something gay could either mean a homosexual or something that is “lame” or “stupid”. This new definition now is considered an insulting term amongst others, like for you.

BUT what I stated above is a very common opinion amongst many teenagers. The word "gay" is a general statement used by many adolescents, and this is what I have realized throughout my years of highschool. And despite its new definition, many people still use it because it is considered as a "slang" word. So do not tell me that what I am saying is wrong because it is in fact a truth. Some people will be offended and others won't.

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Well I personally think it is not homophobic to use that term with my friends. However, if I knew there was a person who was gay around me, I would refrain from using the word, obviously not wanting to offend that person.

However I know some people who do regard it as "rude" and "offensive". One of my teachers, for example, heard one of my classmates making a nonchalant remark on something, joking around and describing it as "Yo mann, that is so gay." Now for us students, we didn't think much of it, it was sort of normal. But the teacher heard him and was very offended by it, asking him if he has a problem with homosexuals and so. Later on we found out that his brother is gay so it was an intimate subject for him.

In all I think it all depends on the people you use that term with. If it were your close friends, perhaps it is considered normal, to joke around using that word. And than maybe for a homosexual, perhaps they consider it offensive if they hear someone use the term "gay" nonchalantly and think you are homophobic.

You are wrong. It does not who you are with. The phrase "that is so gay" is offensive. Take a minute to think about it. You are equating the word "gay" with "stupid", "funny", or even something worse. Some people just think it's okay to use it. Well, let me tell you something; it's not. You are indirectly saying that everyone in the gay community is worth making fun of. Some people would be offended and let it just slip, some (including me) would gladly debate you on this, and some would even feel embarrassed for themselves. You don't understand that every gay kid that is not "out of the closet" (sometimes even when he/she is) has an internal struggle to fight the homosexual feelings because the world around him/her sends vivid messages that it's not really ok if you're gay. We know that discrimination is unavoidable, but when you're making fun of something being for "so gay" then you're just making matters worse for that kid. Think before you speak and I'm glad to see that there are teachers taking this matter seriously.

I'm sorry if I have offended you with my previous comment, that was not my intention to ridicule anyone. Personally I do not use the word "gay" to describe something funny or a thing in general. It just causes so many unwanted situations or occurences (like the ones you have mentioned). I see homosexuals as human beings too and they deserve the same amount of respect as any other person. But let us look at the origin of the word "gay."

Studying the etymology of the term, the word "gay" derives from the french word "gai" which meant happy. And I know this because I fluently speak french and it still posses the same definition. Back then, the definition of the word "gay" was "having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music. Synonyms: cheerful, gleeful, happy, glad, cheery." http://dictionary.re...browse/gay?s=ts

This shows us that this term does not exactly always apply to describing homosexuals. And I believe this is where the question applies "how ‘gay’ came to mean ‘homosexual'?" Unfortunately, society has evolved and now the word gay has recieved a negative connotation if used inaccordingly. To the American youth, something gay could either mean a homosexual or something that is “lame” or “stupid”. This new definition now is considered an insulting term amongst others, like for you.

BUT what I stated above is a very common opinion amongst many teenagers. The word "gay" is a general statement used by many adolescents, and this is what I have realized throughout my years of highschool. And despite its new definition, many people still use it because it is considered as a "slang" word. So do not tell me that what I am saying is wrong because it is in fact a truth. Some people will be offended and others won't.

I'm sorry but don't try to "sell" the idea that just because gay also means happy and cheerful that's the context you are using it in. I find it insulting because the word that millions of people use to describe their sexual orientation is also used by some to describe a lame and/or stupid situation. I tell you that it is wrong because I find it wrong and so do others. Just because EVERYONE does it is doesn't make it any less wrong. Just saying.

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You are wrong. It does not depend on who you are with. The phrase "that is so gay" is offensive. Take a minute to think about it. You are equating the word "gay" with "stupid", "funny", or even something worse. Some people just think it's okay to use it. Well, let me tell you something; it's not. You are indirectly saying that everyone in the gay community is worth making fun of. Some people would be offended and let it just slip, some (including me) would gladly debate you on this, and some would even feel embarrassed for themselves. You don't understand that every gay kid that is not "out of the closet" (sometimes even when he/she is) has an internal struggle to fight the homosexual feelings because the world around him/her sends vivid messages that it's not really ok if you're gay. We know that discrimination is unavoidable, but when you're making fun of something being for "so gay" then you're just making matters worse for that kid. Think before you speak and I'm glad to see that there are teachers taking this matter seriously.

I kind-of disagree with this, to be honest (just to be controversial XD). If something goes wrong for you and you say "that's so gay", the majority of people are just using it in a slang context and paying zero attention to its relevance to gay people. Rather like we say "that's so dumb" and never intend to insult or even refer to those who can't speak, or "that's retarded" without thinking about people with mental disabilities. I think that people can be sensitive about these things as part of their own reaction, but the actual person using the word isn't being homophobic or anti-dumb people or insulting the disabled. Even gay people (round here at least, where the phrase is endemic) use it, because it's simply not referring to gay people in common speech and usage. So I suppose they might be accidentally insulting somebody who's very touchy, but in actual fact they mean nothing by it and the majority of people also understand nothing by it.

Personally I think that overreacting can charge issues sometimes more than underreacting. It's like when "brainstorm" got replaced by "mindmap" in school because somebody decided that "brainstorm" was insulting to epileptic people. At the end of the day if you're constantly aware of a minority of "different" people who must be specially catered for because there's something unusual about them and people who fail to do so will be punished - well that's certainly creating a group of us against them, in my opinion. Surely the point is that we're all just people and it's the intention behind it which matters. It might be tactless but I think that to ostracise people you have only to enforce the differences between them. If you have to watch what you say even with things where you never meant anything judgemental whatsoever by them - well then that is in my opinion starting rather than solving a problem.

To resort to the somewhat irrelevant point now - gay used to mean happy. When it started to mean homosexual it wasn't an insult to lots of happy people, it's just the meaning changed. It doesn't mean that happy people are gay any more than it means that gay people are somehow the same as objects which break or go wrong.

Alice I do get your point and I may be exaggerating but however you see it, I still find it offensive. Maybe it's because of the culture I grew up in. To my mind it is equivalent to the n-word for black people. Offensive and insulting. Not the word itself but the context it is used in. When you use someone's sexual orientation to describe something stupid, how can you then expect me to be ok with it? I don't accept the "well that's the way it is. Just deal with it" solution. If that was the attitude we kept every time something bothered us then we wouldn't make any progress in different social issues.

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Alice I do get your point and I may be exaggerating but however you see it, I still find it offensive. Maybe it's because of the culture I grew up in. To my mind it is equivalent to the n-word for black people. Offensive and insulting. Not the word itself but the context it is used in. When you use someone's sexual orientation to describe something stupid, how can you then expect me to be ok with it? I don't accept the "well that's the way it is. Just deal with it" solution. If that was the attitude we kept every time something bothered us then we wouldn't make any progress in different social issues.

But that's the point, that nobody actually thinks in their mind "oh sexual orientation" when gay is used in that context. So they're not using somebody's sexual orientation to describe something stupid - as I said before, any more than people who say something is dumb are using another person's disability to describe something stupid. I imagine a lot of people would actually be shocked if they realised that actually to say "dumb" is to discriminate against disabled people because honestly, nobody wants to do that or ever imagines that actually they do so pretty frequently. But at that point you have to say - well if nobody actually even remembers that dumb has a second meaning (despite the fact that the disability doubtless spawned the idea of stupidity, I mean it's no coincidence that it's a word with both of those meanings) - can you really say that they're being judgemental?

I agree with you when you say "I don't accept the "well that's the way it is. Just deal with it" solution. If that was the attitude we kept every time something bothered us then we wouldn't make any progress in different social issues" - but I don't think it IS a social issue. Simply in the sense that the vast majority (I generalise, but everybody around me uses the phrase regardless of their own sexual orientation, so this is based on my own experiences) are not exercising homophobia, do not relate the phrase to actual gay people any more than they relate the word dumb to actual dumb people, are not homophobic themselves (in fact for many this would require self-hatred) and would be frankly shocked if you suggested it. So I can see where you're coming from, but I also think that you have to exercise some common sense and say "can a word used in one context by one person be banned because another person decides it's being used in a different context?". I just think that if you're going to tackle homophobia and issues like that in society, you should go after people who genuinely do have something against gay people rather than a load of teenagers using slang without really thinking anything about the possible alternative interpretations of it by a brigade of people for whom the word still implies an older meaning.

Ideally the phrase would never have come into existence because it certainly was designed to be offensive. However, now that it is here, if it has acquired yet another different meaning, I think it's being regressive to take it back to its old meaning and drag ourselves back into the days when it was intended to offend gay people. If people now think nothing of it and it's normalised and not associated with gay people - well if anything that's a win for equality in some respects. Kind-of a backwards win if you still find it offensive, but the fact that it's no longer meant to be offensive speaks volumes for changing attitudes in society. In my opinion.

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I do think it's slightly homophobic (passively rather than actively) to say "that's so gay" in a negative context. Not saying that the people saying it mean it badly, but it is still expressing 'gay' as a negative. the actual comment was along the lines of "we look like two gays" so it expressed no negativity in my opinion. If I were gay (judging by the reaction of a lot of my gay friends with similar views on this) I'm sure it wouldn't offend me to hear something described as 'gay', because it seems to have taken on a new meaning, but I can see how some people may take it negatively because essentially the 'new meaning' came etymologically from 'homosexual'.

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This is I suppose a very cultural issue and to do with our understanding of the meaning of the word "gay". For me, when I hear the word "gay" to describe something negative, it almost makes me wince. I immediately notice, and honestly I think that at least where I live, everyone equates the word "gay" with the sexual orientation, not only a word that means stupid or something. People might not necessarily mean to actively insult gay people with it, but the original meaning of "gay" is far from forgotten and in the back of their mind, when something is called "gay", the sexual orientation is probably at the forfront, at least here. The first definition people learn for gay is homosexual, at least it was for me, and I did not hear it used as an insult until I was somewhat older. This is why when someone uses "gay" to mean stupid, I immediately assume they are equating stupidity with homosexuality. I am however willing to accept that where Sandwich grew up "gay" was used quite commonly meaning stupid with no reference to the sexual orientation. Still, when I hear someone calling something gay with gay equating to "bad", my opinion of that person immediatly lowers. For me, it is strongly associated with homophobia, and as I oppose homophobia very strongly, I could not be friends with someone who used the word "gay" in such a way.

However, I do not think you should be offended if gay is used neutrally, since it is an adjective after all. People who are offended if gay is used neutrally are trying to be overtly politically correct, but that seems rather silly to me. I agree with the statement "reading into the word gay as an automatic negative is far more homophobic."

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Alice I do get your point and I may be exaggerating but however you see it, I still find it offensive. Maybe it's because of the culture I grew up in. To my mind it is equivalent to the n-word for black people. Offensive and insulting. Not the word itself but the context it is used in. When you use someone's sexual orientation to describe something stupid, how can you then expect me to be ok with it? I don't accept the "well that's the way it is. Just deal with it" solution. If that was the attitude we kept every time something bothered us then we wouldn't make any progress in different social issues.

But that's the point, that nobody actually thinks in their mind "oh sexual orientation" when gay is used in that context. So they're not using somebody's sexual orientation to describe something stupid - as I said before, any more than people who say something is dumb are using another person's disability to describe something stupid. I imagine a lot of people would actually be shocked if they realised that actually to say "dumb" is to discriminate against disabled people because honestly, nobody wants to do that or ever imagines that actually they do so pretty frequently. But at that point you have to say - well if nobody actually even remembers that dumb has a second meaning (despite the fact that the disability doubtless spawned the idea of stupidity, I mean it's no coincidence that it's a word with both of those meanings) - can you really say that they're being judgemental?

I agree with you when you say "I don't accept the "well that's the way it is. Just deal with it" solution. If that was the attitude we kept every time something bothered us then we wouldn't make any progress in different social issues" - but I don't think it IS a social issue. Simply in the sense that the vast majority (I generalise, but everybody around me uses the phrase regardless of their own sexual orientation, so this is based on my own experiences) are not exercising homophobia, do not relate the phrase to actual gay people any more than they relate the word dumb to actual dumb people, are not homophobic themselves (in fact for many this would require self-hatred) and would be frankly shocked if you suggested it. So I can see where you're coming from, but I also think that you have to exercise some common sense and say "can a word used in one context by one person be banned because another person decides it's being used in a different context?". I just think that if you're going to tackle homophobia and issues like that in society, you should go after people who genuinely do have something against gay people rather than a load of teenagers using slang without really thinking anything about the possible alternative interpretations of it by a brigade of people for whom the word still implies an older meaning.

Ideally the phrase would never have come into existence because it certainly was designed to be offensive. However, now that it is here, if it has acquired yet another different meaning, I think it's being regressive to take it back to its old meaning and drag ourselves back into the days when it was intended to offend gay people. If people now think nothing of it and it's normalised and not associated with gay people - well if anything that's a win for equality in some respects. Kind-of a backwards win if you still find it offensive, but the fact that it's no longer meant to be offensive speaks volumes for changing attitudes in society. In my opinion.

Ah I guess we'll have to agree to disagree :P

I do understand the point you're making but I still find it degrading - not your point but the phrase!. Probably not in the sense that you should be extremely offended when a person uses the phrase "oh that's so gay". However it is, by default, insulting. Even if someone is not homophobic, when you are using this phrase you are equating the word gay with something negative. In what sense is that not perpetuating a negative attitude and stereotypes about gay people? Take the case of a 12-year-old boy struggling with his sexuality. When he hears this phrase used in a negative manner by friends and family, his minds can easily conclude that this is a label you have to avoid. Believe me this does happen and I know first hand since even I, an 18-year-old, still cannot say the word gay. I do understand that when most people use the phrase "that's gay" are not homophobic but some people may actually believe that you have a negative attitude towards gay people.

I think I was reading an article last month and it said that in order to understand the sense in which this phrase is offensive, try using it in a different case scenario. Let's say for example that instead of sexuality you use religion. So while you are talking with a group of people someone comes up and says "oh that's so Jewish" or "that's so Muslim". You really think people wouldn't be offended by that? I'm pretty sure they would.

Why isn't this phrase associated with something cool but with something negative? Because it started in the sense that gay is something bad, stupid, dumb, etc. By using this phrase, we are preserving that mean attitude even though the feelings towards gay people have started to change. I accept that saying "that's gay" is not as harmful as saying "fag". Not always though. An adult or a teenager with a degree of maturity and self-confidence will just ignore it and the phrase will seem of absolutely no importance. How about kids at elementary school though? I only know for the US but bullying is a severe issue with suicide rates rising exponentially. When 10-year-old bullies hear this phrase from their parents, they make a logical connection that gay is something you're allowed to make fun of. And I don't believe this is an extreme example. When we use this phrase, we are endorsing negative feelings towards the LGBT community and whether we like it or not, it has effect on some people. Maybe not of our age, but young kids are impressionable.

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