One of the most annoying things about being me is persistently feeling let down. I’m an optimist, and not only that, I expect a lot of people. I want them to be creative, to break free from what’s expected from them, to challenge the status quo, even in their everyday actions and attitudes. A way to challenge norms and convention is through one’s use of language. Too often I hear my friends use the word ‘gay’ in a sense that makes me uncomfortable. Not like, “OMG DON’T TALK TO ME ANYMORE,” but it just makes me less interested.
Not saying I haven’t done this before. I’m no saint. I’m not trying to be hypocritical. However, I understand that my own use of that word is a direct violation of my own deeply held principles. I feel guilty when I use it improperly. I didn’t always feel this way, but it took someone else to show me how anti-intellectual the use of that word is. It’s a pejorative. It’s meant to demean an entire group of people.
I’m not trying to get people to change the way they talk. This is just an expression of how I feel. I don’t want people to come to me ranting about how it’s really nothing and it doesn’t hurt anyone, but the truth is we all have people in our lives that are gay, lesbian, transgendered. You wouldn’t like someone using the word ‘nigger’, ‘retard’, or ‘spic’ to describe someone in your family. Also, it’s just not funny. Comedy can be intellectually stimulating, but this isn’t. It’s cheap. ANYWAY
Maybe the trick to end this sort of behavior is convince yourself to act like you want to be seen. Do I really want to be considered a bigot? In the end you can tell yourself it’s someone else’s loss if they can’t handle your language, but is it really? Is it really their loss?
I try to be a better person everyday (how successful I am is a different story), and this has been bugging me for a few months now. I don’t think that your language is necessarily a direct representation of the type of person you are, but it definitely sends out a message, and it’s not a message that I want to convey to other people.