Gay and Not Gay

This video is floating around the internet hardcore right now and I LOVE it. So I wanted to make sure to spread that love. Plus, words have power and we should rock that power, and acknowledge that power.

16 thoughts on “Gay and Not Gay”

  1. Thanks for sharing. I should have a flashcard made up that reads ‘Don’t use gay as a pejorative’. It would save some serious breath. This woman is so engaging and eloquent – I should aim for that over my usual shrieking.

  2. I love that video so much… and I can think of a number of ppl/populations that I’d like to email it to. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy it over and over again.

  3. This is awesome. I like that her talk was on the cusp of being spoken word – which had a nice flow. And I really like her name!

    Words are so powerful!

    ps: I totally called out one of the teenagers last weekend on my Ghana group retreat for using it that way (in a non-embarassing way). It was hard to do that, since I literally jumped into the group knowing no one and was supposed to magically be a cool/honest/firm chaperone. It felt really really really good.

      1. When I worked summer camp I used to call the kids (and my coworkers) on this all of the time. I did it by playing dumb – especially about calling people “gay”.

        “Oh… he’s gay? I didn’t know that. Is he seeing anyone?”
        “Like really homosexual? Or…?”

        It always made them backtrack and explain. “No, I mean… not REALLY gay. Like…” etc etc. πŸ™‚ Winner.

      2. I think the trick is to mention it one on one and say something like “hey, that word is really not cool and is actually super hurtful. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t use it and I bet there are a bunch of people here too who would agree.”

      3. I used to call out the boys from our brother school in high school. I’d just tell them it was hurtful and ignorant and made them sound homophobic. And that I didn’t want to hear it, and if they kept using the word I’d leave. That was probably one of their favorite insults, and it was awful.

        1. It is all I could think about while watching this. Fucking high school boys. Sometimes I really can’t stand that bullshit. Even if they are moron young people. Can’t handle the homophobic crap.

      4. It definitely depends on the audience. In my situation, as someone who views the group of teens as surprisingly mature, respectful, fun, and smart – and knowing that I am in the process of earning their trust for a two week trip to Ghana, that they are heavily influenced by their peers language/media, and that their brains are still very young – I mentioned it to the kid seperately from the group – but not very long after he had said it (like maybe a minute or two). I didnt whisper or try to hide my question to him. I said something along the lines of “when you mentioned that that was gay, did you mean it was dumb or stupid?” and he said “yeah” and he immediately knew where I was going. I said “I can see how that can slip out easily, since so many people are saying it these days, but you seem awesome and I know you probably didn’t meant to hurt anyone’s feeling – but it can be very hurtful. Please don’t say that anymore”. He definitely felt embarassed and apologized.

        In other situations – I’ve called out adults (which still blows my mind) and younger family members. I have done so loudly and without hesitation in a myriad of ways – because I will NOT put up with it. I have definitely gotten some “oh stop being so sensitive, I don’t care, I’m going to still say it” and “people know I dont mean that gay people are dumb or wrong or weird. I have tons of gay friends” – which really made me sad at the time – but I continue to bother them about it – bc in the end it only makes them more uncomfortable and embarassed – and me, laugh πŸ™‚ Sometimes quiet one on one stuff is appropriate, and sometimes people learn more when there is group accountability and mentioning it in a group, right away, and the flustered/excuses/embarassment can be the natural consequence that will help them think and learn and change.

        ps: Lauren – I LOVE the playing dumb approach. It’s so awesome!

        pps: teenage boys – losers in this way, for sure.

  4. I remember someone calling me a Muslim when I was in primary school and feeling thoroughly confused – pretty sure the kid had no idea what it actually meant (I sure didn’t then, way back in *cough* 1988, in Catholic School) but maybe he’d heard it somewhere and thought it sounded like an awesome insult for some reason.

    My much younger brothers went through a ‘that’s so gay’ phase a few years ago. I called them out on it quite a few times until they moved on to another pejorative, although I’m not certain why they need one at all. Apparently they’re now calling things and people “shunts” and “munts” – both of which I’m sure are made-up words but probably a combination of the c-bomb and something else.

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