Why is everything "gay"

(35 Posts)
Orchidlady Tue 08-Oct-13 14:14:56

This is a bit light hearted. But why is DS response to most things these day, "oh that is gay", "don't be so gay" even told yesterday I was gay. He does not say it in a nasty just seem teen speak

cory Wed 16-Oct-13 17:57:15

"Not in my house or car it isn't. It's up to you to explain why this is wrong and stop it when you hear it."


QueenoftheSarf Tue 15-Oct-13 23:37:26

Unfortunately it's a fact that being gay means being in a minority and all minorities have, historically, been marginalised and persecuted to a greater or lesser extent and still continue to be today - either overtly or covertly. It's a social phenomenon that crosses all cultures and creeds. Being too fat, being too thin, considered to be too ugly, having wonky teeth, being disabled in some way, being of a minority race within a dominant racial group or even having ginger hair. All these things mark people out as being different, simply because they are in the minority.

Education and social conditioning is the only thing that will stamp out picking on minority groups but, unfortunately, years worth of telling people that it is wrong, trying to educate, re-educate and inform them and even passing legislation to make it a criminal offence to perpetrate discrimination/abuse and causing offence to some minority groups seems not to have made that much difference.

I'm not saying that people should stop trying, just that it seems to be a constant battle for many minority groups. It's quite right that they should not have to put up with it, or be prepared to put up with it.

For what it's worth, I think that over the last 30 years or so, huge leaps have been made in homosexuality being accepted and "normalised" in a society where it was hitherto seen as unacceptable and abnormal. Many gay people are now totally mainstream in the entertainment world and in the media. Most people know people in their work or social circles who are "out" and it's no big deal at all. As I said in my previous post, people will always counter that argument with anecdotes about people they know who have suffered homophobic abuse but I truly believe that most teenagers nowadays do not have the same view of homosexuality that they might have done 30 or even 20 years ago.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that as minority groups go, gay people have made far greater strides in gaining societal acceptance than many other minority groups have over recent years.

chocoluvva Tue 15-Oct-13 21:15:34

Goodness. I only know of one lesbian girl in the two secondary schools my DC go to, and one bisexual boy.

It seems such a step backwards to use 'gay' as a term of abuse after the civil partnership legislation and generally more liberal attitudes. Back in my schooldays nobody dared come out as gay.

flow4 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:25:03

I don't think it's class, choco: it's a socially mixed school; the word is used universally to mean 'pathetic' or 'crap', and there are no 'out' gay boys of any class. sad

Curiously, there is nothing like the same stigma attached to lesbians and bisexual young people, especially girls. There are quite a few 'out' lesbian and bisexual girls and one bisexual boy. confused

flow4 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:19:51

I d

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Tue 15-Oct-13 13:41:09

My DC use it as well, some things are deemed to be gay. I don't much like it and they know it.

chocoluvva Tue 15-Oct-13 12:24:23

Not a class element then perhaps?

Preciousbane Tue 15-Oct-13 12:03:32

DS said fruit in lunch boxes is deemed gay at school and people take the P. We have had a chat about not using the term like this and how 3 of mine and DH mates who DS have met are gay so would not like it. It was the only time he has said it and not heard since.

A boy in his year, year 8 has come out as gay and it seems to not have caused much of a kerfuffle at all.

The boy that has two Mums gets a bit of stick but it is because he is not allowed to play rugby and nothing to do with his two Mums.

We live in quite a deprived ex mill town, its quite rough and pretty grim in parts really but people are more tolerant here than when I lived in a very nice village down South in an affluent area. I know it was years ago but my dsis still lives there and it is still the same.

PeterParkerSays Tue 15-Oct-13 11:44:17

On a more serious note, he'll get himself into trouble with this once he starts work (one of my younger staff members did as colleagues took offence). Just tell him you look forward to him growing out of this childish phase because it's not language that adults use.

fieldfare Tue 15-Oct-13 11:41:41

It's horrible and not really light hearted at all.
My dd returned from her Father's house copying this from the older children there. She's 10 and I have clearly explained why I find it unacceptable. Our next door neighbours are gay, my cousin is gay, I asked her to imagine how they would feel if they heard her describing things negatively in that way. They would assume that she also felt negatively about gay people too.

ashleysilver Tue 15-Oct-13 11:35:09

Here is the link to the article by Will Young, for those who are interested Note to society: We're not G*Y ? we're GAY!.

I am gay myself. My dd has a stock response for school homophobes: she goes all deadpan, says "My parents are lesbians," and then stares at the person until they either apologise or go away. It doesn't happen to her often, but she has experienced it enough to want to develop a strategy against it.

The use of this type of language in schools is not just bad for gay teens.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 15-Oct-13 09:39:32

It used to be retarded, now it's gaysadangry

I hate it, it is homophobic and the sooner it is seen for what it is and stops being used, the better.

curlew Tue 15-Oct-13 09:35:32

All you had to do is imagine what it would be like if teenagers started to use "black" to mean lame, useless, pathetic........

Then you will, I hope, start talking to your kids about how unacceptable using "gay" is.

chocoluvva Tue 15-Oct-13 09:35:17

How depressing that Flow's boys' peers are so old fashioned. sad I'm surprised by that.

A class element to homophobia??

NotCitrus Tue 15-Oct-13 09:22:27

Will Young wrote a very good piece in the Indy on Sunday this week on why calling crap things 'gay' really does matter.

It's not OK.

curlew Tue 15-Oct-13 09:04:11

"My son's 9 yr old friend says everything is 'ugh, so gay' when it's something he thinks is a bit lame, then runs around the garden begging DS to smack his bum for laughs "

And these two facts are connected exactly how?

curlew Tue 15-Oct-13 09:03:15

"This is a bit light hearted. But why is DS response to most things these day, "oh that is gay", "don't be so gay" even told yesterday I was gay. He does not say it in a nasty just seem teen speak"

Not in my house or car it isn't. It's up to you to explain why this is wrong and stop it when you hear it.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 15-Oct-13 09:03:05

My son's 9 yr old friend says everything is 'ugh, so gay' when it's something he thinks is a bit lame, then runs around the garden begging DS to smack his bum for laughs confused. I'd rather they said crap tbh.

flow4 Tue 15-Oct-13 08:56:13

"On the whole I refuse to believe that if you did a straw poll at an average secondary school many teenagers would turn a hair"... You're obviously not in Yorkshire then Queen. Homophobia is rife here. It's not usually the old-fashioned aggressive gay-bashing homophobia; it's a more insidious form that tells boys it's pathetic and 'lame' to be gay. Presumably it doesn't stop them from being gay, but it certainly stops them from telling people they are. sad

QueenoftheSarf Mon 14-Oct-13 20:16:33

So what about when the word "gay" was assigned a different meaning and went from not only meaning happy and carefree but meaning homosexual too?

Language is constantly changing and evolving. It happens all the time.

Actually, I think that most kids don't see the word "gay", as they liberally use it to mean "lame", as a term of homophobic abuse. In my experience with the teenagers in my own family and the many I come into contact with as a result of knowing their friends etc, they are all extremely unconcerned about the fact that people around them may be openly gay, bisexual or whatever. They all say they know openly gay people at school and it seems to be no issue at all. They learn about it in PSHE and there are posters all over their school saying "Some People are Gay, Get over it", there are also loads of people in the media, on TV and on the music scene who are openly gay and have very positive images and are very positively received.

I think that most teenagers these days have been born into and grown up in an age where it's no big deal whatsoever to be gay and whilst those who have to come to terms with "coming out" as gay to their families etc will no doubt go through their own personal struggles, I certainly don't think that your average teenager these days would turn a hair at someone being openly gay.

Of course there will always be examples of homophobic bullying that buck this trend but on the whole I refuse to believe that if you did a straw poll at an average secondary school many teenagers would turn a hair. In fact, in my experience many kids I know think it's quite cool to be gay and to have gay friends - particularly teenage girls.

chocoluvva Mon 14-Oct-13 16:06:11

"not one single openly gay young man in the whole school" - shock sad.

If it's any consolation my 17YO DD (in scotland) has two close teenage friends who are openly gay. She's friendly with a couple of other lads who are openly gay. However I very rarely hear about young girls who are lesbians.

Some of DD's friends describe themselves as being gay when they mean that they have cheesy tastes in films, music etc and are overly demonstrative with each other.

I still don't like it either though. Imagine if they used 'left-handed,' or 'oriental' as a term of disapproval! hmm

englishteacher78 Sun 13-Oct-13 07:46:47

It is one of my pet hates at school. I was once told that it was 'gay' that I was setting homework.
I replied with, 'how strange, I was unaware of any studies proving homosexual teachers set more homework!'

flow4 Sun 13-Oct-13 06:28:48

Medusa, I'm glad your daughter is ok with it, but I can tell you that young men in this part of Yorkshire are not. At my sons' school, which has 1500 kids, 'gay' is the second most commonly used mild term of abuse (after 'deng') and there is not one single openly gay young man in the whole school. sad

timidviper Sun 13-Oct-13 00:58:36

My DCs are now in their 20s but still laugh about the talk at school that said "If your computer does not work, it is broken, IT IS NOT GAY",

cooeeyonlyme Sun 13-Oct-13 00:54:56

My nan says gay all the time but she uses it as happy. So do all her friends.

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