Thursday, April 19, 2007

That's so gay

I was reading a blog today and in the comments was this back and forth about the blogger's new car. Someone referred to it as gay. The blogger responded back in a way that made me assume that they're long-standing friends. There were a couple of other comments, too, that made me cringe.

It really bugged me. I said so in the comments. I almost didn't, though, and then I thought "Wait a minute, if I don't say something, I'm condoning the talk, aren't I?" So, I commented. Maybe the blogger and the other commenter are rolling their eyes or calling me the PC police, but I don't care. Not standing up when I feel strongly about something is definitely not my style.

My son's dad is gay. My sister is gay. One of my best friends is gay. I think I know just as many gay people as I do straight. And it really pisses me off when people use the word gay as a sign of something inferior, something to be laughed at and mocked.

I don't mean to come across as Miss Prim & Proper. I'm hardly an example of ladylike behaviour. I swear a blue streak. I drink beer out of the bottle. I burp. Loudly, sometimes. I can laugh at a lot of things. But not that.

There. Can is wide, wide open. Have at it.


LJ said...

when you feel strongly about something, you should say something. who cares if it goes over thier heads. at least you said something. that's what's important!
here in the french culture thier sayings are much different. they refer to children with Downs syndrome as mongoloids. Excuse me?? I do my best to correct when I can. Aaron has an aide, she's very french and the stuff that comes out of her mouth makes her look like a backwards idiot. not her fault, it's her culture.
she told her daughter today Aaron was "special". I had to say no, Aaron is not any more special than anyone else. I don't want him growing up thinking he's "different" or even supperior because he's *gag* special. that shit don't fly by me!
So you stand up for you need to! I'll stand up for what I need to!!
And maybe we'll change the world together!!

Lili said...

I kind of thought they were talking about this, but I dunno:

Zazzy said...

I read an article about this last week in a Seattle paper (byline is from the NY Times but I can't find it there).

It was interesting in a sad kind of way. It talked about people's perceptions about what cars are gay and what cars are straight and said that the auto manufacturers are specifically marketing toward the gay population.

"Frank Markus, who is gay and the technical director of Motor Trend magazine, said auto companies tend to associate gay consumers with higher disposable incomes since fewer have children (a reason many are free to opt for less-practical cars, such as two-seaters or convertibles)."

That made me roll my eyes. The conclusion was that research does not in fact support the idea that there are gay cars and straight cars. To which, one must say, "D'uh."

n.b., I see lili snuck in while I was typing and referenced the same article. Lucky that the word verification NEVER goes through on the first try for me.

Anonymous said...

Some anonymous fuck called my blog gay once. Now. That is where it all stemmed from. That day we were all confused on how some inatimate object can be "gay". It is literally impossible. A car doesnt have any sexual orentation. It just can't. We were exploiting the fact that some dumb shit would comment something so stupid.
I have MANY gay friends. Some that frequently read my blog. I figured i would get the benifet of the doubt here, but wrong again rubbing is. We have a friggin' rainbow on our front door for crisssake.
Oh my. This wasnt my intent this morning.

Major Bedhead said...

Chris - This can be the drawback to blogging - people don't know the back story and sometimes the tone isn't easily decipherable. I didn't mean to upset you and didn't link to you on purpose.

Lara said...

we had a long talk about this in my teaching preparation program, for the purposes of discussing how to prevent this kind of language in our classrooms. a lot of people wondered why it was such a big deal, but then we had a group of LGBTQ youth come and speak, and they all said that when teachers allow that stuff to happen, it makes them feel unsafe in the classroom.

it's a hard issue, for sure. i admire you for standing up and speaking your mind.

If not a mother... said...

I strongly dislike when it's used that way or when people call each other "retards" or when the "n" word is used. I just dislike all of it (and anything remotely related).

SUEB0B said...

I will never get over my appalledness from when I used the word "normal" to connote heterosexuality...with a lesbian friend of mine. A close friend. We can all be dopes at times.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for saying something! I would have too, but I'm kinda mouthy that way :P

Penny Ratzlaff said...


I totally understand where you are coming from. I am one that says when someone tells an off-color or racist joke and you stand there and don't call them on it, then it's like you're agreeing with what they said.

But, I read Chris' blog regularly and it all started with an anonymous commenter leaving something on another post calling his blog gay. So, that's where it all got started.

No one was making fun of anyone who is gay, but rather the anon commenter who said it in the first place.

I know that you didn't know all of this, but I'm just trying to let you know how it all started. (And, you couldn't link to the post if you wanted to, it's been deleted.)

Anonymous said...

*comment not made for fear of possibly offending someone*

Anonymous said...

Lets start the lovin' again.!!:)

OhTheJoys said...

I totally agree with you all across the board.

I do, however, totally lament the loss of the original meaning of the word where Gay = a kind of happy or joyous. I love that use of the word. Then a gay car is a really jolly ride. Oh well.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

I think that you made the right decision by saying something. Good for you!

Jess said...

I'm amazed how fast the word connotations changed - I first remember hearing (and using*) the term gay as in :'That's so gay!' and meaning stupid or childish. It was years before I heard it as a rude term towards homosexuals amazing that a word meaning could change so much in such a short time!
My grandmother still uses it to mean happy.

That said, I'm really surprised people are still pulling that. C has two little boys in his class that have same-sex parents - and he's not phased by it at all!

Hopefully I and C (and my C) will be more aware of this then their parents' generation.

*Stupid teenager. I also said 'like' and 'puke my guts out.'

Anonymous said...

In the UK, amongst teenagers, the word has stopped meaning homosexual and it's one of those generic terms meaning that something's stupid or bad. It's fairly ridiculous, but it's not as though we didn't have some ridiculous words when we were kids. 'Phat', anyone?

OhTheJoys said...

Oh, my friend, my friend. Click here. You will always be invited to any party I'm attending.

Anonymous said...

I work at a college and I do not allow people to use the R word or gay in that type of conext. I have literally kicked students out of my classroom and office for doing it (I have obviously explained my policy to them previously).
I ask them to think of the word they are replacing it for are those two terms equal. No.

It is offensive and unacceptable!