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Calling things gay: What the... I don't even...

I'll just start this off by saying that this blog won't be too gaming related. No, I'm not going to be bashing the uber macho ten year olds who pervade Xbox Live, although my train of thought did begin with them. No, this essay has more to do with everyday observation.

What does it mean to call something gay? When I was in high school, I called things gay all the time. If I thought that a test was hard, it was gay. If a teacher was being unfair then he would be gay. If the vending machine took my money but failed to give me what I wanted it would be gay. Anything or situation that was detrimental to me in anyway would immediately be labeled as gay. But what was I saying? That the test that I failed liked to have sex with other tests of the same sex? How does that even make any sense? These thoughts occurred to me in my highschool days but I never payed them too much heed because calling things gay was just so easy, the word fit so many situations and with this ready made adjective that fit any and all bad situations, I could turn off my brain and just say "That's really gay." I didn't need to analyze the situation, to find the root of what was bothering me, nope, just call the whole thing gay and continue on without any sense of hindsight. A group counseling session held in PE changed my mind.

At this session, the counselor asked us all a question: "How would you feel if everybody in the school, instead of calling things "gay", called them whatever race or ethnicity you are?". My first reaction was at how ridiculous that would be. Why would be people call things Asian (in my case). How is calling something Asian a good descriptor of the situation of thing being bad? Not only that, it would be offensive to all Asian people because then you would be insinuating that simply being Asian was a horrible thing and thus calling something Asian would fit perfectly since horrible things deserve horrible names.That was my immediate reaction. Then came the inevitable wave of realization. "My God..." I thought. How horrible would it be to be if you where walking around school and constantly hear things like:

"Seriously? That teacher is so fucking Caucasian."

"That test I took back there was so Black."

"I've never heard of anything that Asian."

"Fucking Hispanic."

If people were constantly using my race was a derogatory term for anything and everything they find repulsive or otherwise unacceptable, I would be mortified. My life would be one big reminder that I am a horrible person for simply being the way I am and I would not be able to say anything against the status quo because I am few and the few are always victimized. I think I finally understood just a little bit about how stupid it was for me to call things gay. I had never thought about the damage I would be doing to the secretly gay guy or girl beside me by bashing them indirectly.

I decided to stop using gay as a term of hatred after high school. Sometimes, when I am talking, I stop in my speech as I search for words that would describe a situation where I would have used "gay". It's actually harder than it sounds, using words when you are so used to using "gay" as a one size fits all insult. I think it's worth it, though, if not for those around me then for myself.
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About Jomonoeone of us since 9:40 AM on 03.04.2010