Moms Talk: Using "Gay" as a Negative Term
A Patch editor's observation of a long-running language trend.
Joe's Question: What do you think about using "gay" as a term to ridicule?
When I was in high school, it was commonplace to hear fellow students call things or other people "gay" when they really meant the subject was unlikable or inconvenient.
"That's so gay."
Then, I thought it was distasteful. Now I think it's offensive.
Maybe it's a generational aberration. Maybe kids growing up now, with same-sex civil unions legalized in Illinois and gay marriage given the OK in states like New York and Iowa, will not attach that negative connotation to the term when they're teens and young adults. Maybe my future kids will grow up in a time when a reference to a certain sexual orientation won't be used to criticize something as unrelated as a homework assignment or the price of a cheeseburger.
But maybe not.
The way classmates said "gay" when I was in school, and the way I still hear it today, it seems the speaker is not thinking about the term they're using. Instead, it seems to simply be a part of the young person's language.
I want to know what the moms think.
Do you hear kids saying "gay" to ridicule? Do you talk to your kids about the term? Will it go away? Is it something to worry about?
Tell us in the comments.