By NUSRAT ZEBA
May 16, 2017
“Support for the gay community thrives in New York City but why is it that so many people still use the terms ‘that’s gay’ or ‘you’re gay’ as insults?”
In a country that is has a large number of liberal people, there are still a lot of ‘liberal’ folks here in America
who do and say things that are offensive to others.
There are various derogatory terms used that are indirect insults to the LGBTQ community, some more often used
Support for the gay community thrives in New York City but why is it that so many people still use the terms ‘that’s gay’ or ‘you’re gay’ as insults?
Using those terms in everyday conversation is almost similar to saying ‘nigga’ when you’re clearly not black.
Why do we still use the word ‘dyke’ to describe a woman who chooses to dress in masculine clothing? The terms are used in a negative context and thus, insult homosexuals and lesbians, especially among young people (who are considered
the most liberal out of all the generations).
Using those terms in everyday conversation is almost similar to saying ‘nigga’ when you’re clearly not black. The words have connotatiosn that are associated with oppression towards specific marginalized communities. To normalize the words and use them as insults is a mockery of the struggles these communities endure, even still.
Why is it so normal to say something so offensive? When did it become okay?
In Latino culture for example (out of many cultures), it is considered really bad if you come out as gay or homosexual. In fact, there’s even a curse word based off of homophobia:
maricon which translates to faggot which is a derogatory term for a male homosexual. The word faggot refers to a bundle of sticks. Historically, women were known to gather wooden sticks for fuel, and so the term faggot is an effeminate one.
In high school, I found out about the word from a fellow
student who explained the intensity and meaning of the word to me and I found it really absurd because homosexuals in the Latino community just might feel unwelcome at times when the word is used (feel free to disagree).
Various other countries also have derogatory terms for the LGBTQ such as buzna meaning faggot (Czech), flikker which is a derogatory term for penis (Dutch),
ricchione meaning faggot (Italian), and more.
We should stop using these words. Though it may not affect you (especially if you’re heterosexual), be mindful of the people who are offended by the words. No, they can’t be and should not be used in jokes. It only normalizes the terms. And yes, you might argue that the word only has power if you give it power, however, the historically offensive connotations associated with the words and the oppression attached to it will never go away. It should never be normal to anyone that there was a time in history when marginalized communities were disgustingly abused (although this trend never seems to stop).
For all the LGBTQ people out there, how do you feel when you hear these derogatory terms and what do you do to stand up for yourself?
For all the heterosexual people, what do you do to stand up for your fellow LGBTQ people?
Here are some terms we can use to substitute for ‘that’s gay’?
- That’s wack
- That’s lame
- That’s ain’t cool
- That’s trash
- That’s pathetic
The list goes on… be creative, there are a lot of words in the dictionary,many can be substituted for ‘that’s gay’.
If your name is Sally and when someone wants to insult another person who is doing something dumb, they say “You’re sally,” I’m sure you wouldn’t be okay with anyone associated your identity with something negative.