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"Catching the gay"

(102 Posts)
FarelyKnuts Sat 06-Apr-13 21:13:34

This is slightly Fred about a Fred but also about general usage of the term.

While I realise it is all a bit tongue in cheek to reply to the many many posters who ask about their DS' wanting nailpolish/hairclips/pink/barbies/kitchens/dolls etc that its fine and they won't "catch the gay" by having and/or playing with traditionally girl gendered things..

AIBU to still feel a teenchy bit narked as a gay person that that would be seen as a problem (even if it were possible). Why is it still seen as such a negative to have a gay child/ be gay?

FarelyKnuts Sat 06-Apr-13 21:14:42

Oh and to not like the term being chucked around so casually?

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 06-Apr-13 21:16:31

I don't think that's what it means, that it's in any way a problem.

It's taking the mick out of people who would say such a stupid thing, surely?

In that, patently, you cannot actually catch homosexuality.

redwallday Sat 06-Apr-13 21:17:46

It's beyond me! My son is very into 'girly' things. I once bought him a pink ballet skirt as he was desperate to dress up like his best friend and dance. Wearing pink and playing with dollys won't make him gay, being gay will make him gay!! Gay or not he is a totally awesome little person so his sexuality would make no difference how I feel about him.

TWinklyLittleStar Sat 06-Apr-13 21:17:53

I think the people who are using it do so to take the piss out of cavedwellers who would have an issue with a gay child, to highlight how ludicrous their objection to hairclips/pink tutus/whatever is. It is not intended to say or imply there is anything bad or wrong with having a gay child. That's my view as a bisexual person, for what difference.poster sexuality makes.

TidyDancer Sat 06-Apr-13 21:18:49

My gay friend and I often react in mock horror at any "gay" stories in the press.

"Oh no, the gay disease! We must fight it!"
"Avert your eyes, you mustn't catch the gay!" (Whenever gayness is on TV)

Personally I don't get it. Being gay does not change a person. What still mystifies me now if how different people react to a person when they find out they are gay....did that person miraculously change with the utterance of the three words "I am gay"? No, didn't think so! So why the fuck do people treat them differently post-conversation?!

It disturbs me that being gay is still seen by some people as a bad thing. I really do not see the justification behind that perspective at all.

Bridgetbidet Sat 06-Apr-13 21:18:53

The only thing that would worry me about my child being gay is that their life would be much, much harder as a result.

I think that over the last 10 years this has changed a great deal but it would worry me purely from that point of view. You still get gay bashing and discrimination.

Movingtimes Sat 06-Apr-13 21:19:03

I understand what you are saying but I don't think people the people who use the expression do mean it that they perceive being gay as a negative so much as they are saying that they are poking fun at the fact that the subtext of the original poster's concern is that they worry their child might be gay. I've used it myself and I am the parent of a gay child and very happy to be so.

FarelyKnuts Sat 06-Apr-13 21:19:58

Yeah I get that, I do, and I understand that it is not said seriously.. I guess it just makes me a bit sad that it would be seen as a problem even if you could (if that makes ANY sense).

Shelly32 Sat 06-Apr-13 21:20:18

'catch the gay'?? I have never heard that term and would totally call out whoever used it! My two DDs' happiness is all that matters to me and if that meant one or both of them choosing to spend their lives with someone of the same sex then I'd be happy for them.

TidyDancer Sat 06-Apr-13 21:20:30

Fwiw, we speak like that to highlight the absurdity of homophobia, not to actually take the piss. Except out of the homophobic bigots among us.

TheBigJessie Sat 06-Apr-13 21:21:28

I think the people who say "he won't catch the gay" are using it ironically, and are unfailingly either gay/supporters of gay rights, or both. I was actually taught the comeback "he won't catch the gay" by a gay friend!

Movingtimes Sat 06-Apr-13 21:21:51

But I don't think it is. The expression is used to poke fun at people who think being gay is a problem, not to agree with them.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 06-Apr-13 21:22:06

Yes, I hadn't seen the expression before tonight but it seems to me to be a shorthand way of saying that being gay is (a) fine and (b) not something that can be 'caused' by nail varnish and hairclips.

Sunnywithshowers Sat 06-Apr-13 21:22:55

I've got a lovely friend at uni who find it difficult to accept he is gay. If he was my son (I'm old enough to be his mum smile) I'd be massively proud of him - he's a wonderful young man.

It is very, very sad that people see it as a problem.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 06-Apr-13 21:23:48

It's like "are you that thick that you think it's contagious?"

TheBigJessie Sat 06-Apr-13 21:24:22

If you think someone won't understand, I understand that protocol is to say/type "he won't catch the gheeeay".

BenjaminButton172 Sat 06-Apr-13 21:27:15

Saying 'he wont catch the gay' to me doesnt mean that i think being gay is a problem. its the opposite really.

Its pointing out how stupid the other person is in thinking that just because ur son likes the colour pink or have his nails painted will 'turn' gay. Its saying that you cant turn gay because if you are gay you are born gay.

FarelyKnuts Sat 06-Apr-13 21:27:41

Maybe I am just overanalysing it.
I don't think people are using it in a negative way. I do see that it is used to point out the stupidity of the idea that traditionally girl things will make boys gay.

But I do feel it still has a slight negative feeling to it, you wouldn't get the opposite where someone was posting about could they make their son gay by doing A or B please please could they because that would be wonderful etc etc.

SatsukiKusukabe Sat 06-Apr-13 21:27:42

I have said it.

my point in saying it is that I'm trying to call out what I perceive to be homophobia. I'm also a feminist and I think expecting a 2year old to adhere to a rigid idea of gender is fucking stupid.

however if you find it offensive ill think again about using it in the future

Pozzled Sat 06-Apr-13 21:28:29

I've only ever seen it on here, but always assumed it was used in a positive way, to show how ridiculous the other person's opinion is. I have never thought that a person using the phrase actually thought there was any kind of problem with being gay.

MrsBombastic Sat 06-Apr-13 21:28:34

Yes, I do think you are overreacting, it was meant as a tongue in cheek response to a hetrosexual males idea that you can "turn" someone into a homosexual simply by allowing their(young) male child to wear nail polish.

I'm happy to use this phrase because it's a well used phrase some of my gay friends have used in much amusement in response to similar situations.

The question is, why are you so touchy about it?

No one on that thread (that I saw) made any such remark that it was a bad thing to have a gay child? Quite the opposite in fact.

Sadly there are people out there who think it is a bad thing to have a gay child. I'm certainly not one of them.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 06-Apr-13 21:31:13

I would assume that the phrase means that he won't turn out gay because he likes pink/dolls/hairclips. there is no implication that being gay is wrong/bad/inferior in the sentence. just that it can't be made to happen by dressing them in pink.

mrsjay Sat 06-Apr-13 21:31:28

I think the old fashioned belief if you let your son do 'girly' things they will turn gay people really do not mean any harm and it just means gay isn't catyching you can't 'turn' somebody gay My dad said to me on DDs 3rd christmas do you want to turn her (she got cars for christmas) nobody on these threads mean anything like that imo

FarelyKnuts Sat 06-Apr-13 21:32:59

I don't think I am being particularly "touchy" about it MrsBombastic.
I did say it bothered me a "teenchy" ie: very small bit and was curious what others thought.

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