Gay is not an insult

My true thoughts on homosexuals and using gay as an insult.

Link to the Macklemore song I mentioned - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQngzapK5dM

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1. Gay is not an insult

Most teenagers have done it, right? “That’s so gay!” “You’re so gay!” Did they ever really think about the meaning though? Why do they say ‘gay’? The meaning of gay used to be -light-hearted and carefree, so that’s not what they’re saying. The meaning now a days is - (of a person, especially a man) homosexual. That sounds a lot more plausible. But then we have to make a large assumption, that every person who has ever said ‘gay’ as an insult is homophobic.

 

I believe to start with that a lot of it goes back to being ‘cool’. Everyone wants to be in that group of friends in their year group that are considered the ‘cool people’. What makes them cool though? Do they all look stunning and beautiful? Nope, they’re the same spotty teens as everyone else. Do they act cool? If you call having a boyfriend at 14 and rebelling in lessons cool, then sure. What about that there’s just so many of them that if you called them anything else but cool you’d end up being beaten up or without friends at all? Yeah, that sounds better. So know we know that being cool doesn’t really exist, why do people say ‘gay’ to be seen as cool or to be part of a gang? Well that is one of the reasons right there. People are born social and even with teens spending more and more time on the internet and gaming they still want a sense of security while growing up, being in a group helps a lot.

 

Another reason people say it is because they don’t really think. One of your friends are annoying you, something’s got you angry, you don’t spend five minutes thinking of an insult, you just say what comes to mind. This will be something that you have heard said a lot and in schools that is ‘gay’.  The BBC did a survey on teachers and 78% said that ‘gay’ was the most common insult they had heard. Personally I find this horrible, why isn’t more action being taken? Teacher responded saying that it’s hard to sort out homosexual insults because they can’t be sure whether they are being homophobic intentionally. I think that at our age (primary-secondary school) you don’t think about what it means, it’s just another word.

 

Most young people while growing up will have times where they believe they are homosexual. This may be true, but most of the time they just think that because of stereo types. If you like a certain colour, item of clothing or even a TV show it can lead you to believe you aren’t heterosexual (commonly known as straight). One of Mackelmore’s songs highlights things like this. He talks about how if he was gay he would think that hip hop hates him. I think this is very powerful because many hip hop songs these days are subtly against homophobic people. He mentions how we have become numb to what we are saying and that behind a keyboard we will say what we like. This is very harsh towards our society, but unfortunately it is true. Many teens won’t bully people face to face but they will happily say whatever they like while on the computer. Another point he makes is religion. Many religions these days are still against people who are Homophobic. They work off of old documents, written so long ago, yet they are so faithful that even parents will go against their children to stick to them. This can make children feel alone.

This leads me on to another point, suicide and depression. While children are growing up, it can be hard when they come to the realisation they are homosexual. They think their parents won’t accept them or they know that they will get bullied by people. But one of the biggest things is the simple word gay that people use as an insult. Teens may say it without thinking to offend the person they are annoyed with, but who are they actually offending? The people who are actually gay. There is nothing wrong with being gay, it’s who you are. But when people use it as an insult all they are doing is devaluating the people who are being who they are. It takes strength and courage to ‘come out’ but in our society today it’s tough whether you do or not. Teens that are homosexual will be scared and very worried of other people’s views. It is hard enough for teens today; low self esteem is a very common thing. As Makelmore said very clearly “Some would rather die than be who they are”. This line backs up evidence from LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people) who say that LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexuals. It can be hard for teens trying finding who they are, to be in an environment where being who you are isn’t accepted.

I think the worst out of all of this is when people don’t realise their fault and they keep being homophobic through adulthood. At this age they understand what they are saying and often joke about homosexual people. When I was researching figures I found that there were sites full of jokes aimed at homosexual people and then come-backs as if being attracted to the same sex (or both) is some kind of joke.

The main message of this is stop using words like faggot, homo, queer or gay. I didn’t want to write those words, but I don’t want to hear them either. Stop being rude to people who have the gut to be themselves, you are insulting them, not your annoying friend. Just remember that. Help change our society so that one day we can all be ourselves and not who someone else forces us to be.

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