Feb. 20th, 2017

stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
When I was growing up, a standard insult for anything bad was to call it gay.  "That's so gay" was applied to anything from a bad TV show to stupid behavior to an ugly outfit.

This continued my entire life, really.  When I was a child and a teenager, I didn't feel able to say anything about it, so I stayed silent and aborbed the hits like a quiet punching bag.  As an adult, I gained more confidence and told people I found the phrase offensive and not to use it in my presence. I flatly forbade it in my classroom, and collared students who used it in the hallway.  Still, the awful phrase continued.

But in the last two or three years, something changed.

You don't hear that phrase among teenagers much.  Actually, you don't hear it at all.  I haven't had to say anything about it in months and months, in fact.

I brought this fact up to my media literacy students and asked if they had noticed the same thing.  They had.

"No one says that anymore," one student said.

"It's . . . immature," said another.  "Something a six-year-old would say."

Interesting, no?  I think the LGBT community becoming more visible and accepted has killed "gay" as an all-purpose insult.  Make no mistake--young people still call boys "gay" in a derogatory way if he isn't seen as masculine enough--but "gay" as a synonym for "stupid" or "crappy" is rapidly fading away.

An interesting step forward.

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