Okay, to continue with my LGBTQIA+ themed post on Monday I decided to talk about using the word gay as an insult. You may have used the word this way or you may have heard it said by someone else. Maybe you thought it was funny and then you didn't even think about it.
The thing is, when you use the word gay as an insult you an essentially saying someone else's sexuality is so disgusting, so revolting, that it's enough to insult someone else.
You probably didn't mean it this way, but from the point of view a LGBTQIA+ person, that's what it sounds like. Hearing, "ewww, that's so gay!" can translate to, "ewww, you're sexuality is so horrible and wrong as this other thing, which is also equally disgusting."
Hearing this enough can bring shame and pain to a LGBTQIA+ person on top of anything else they may be feeling. It also reinforces the idea that being anything other than straight is wrong in some way, when it definitely isn't. You're giving other people permission to think that gay = wrong, as well.
So, next time you think about using the word "gay" as an insult just don't. Please. Don't. You really have no idea who might be listening and what kind of ideas you are reinforcing upon yourself and those around you.
Anjulie Te Pohe
Founder of Koru Mag | Mookychick contributor | Avid reader and writer of YA | Takatapui (Maori & bi/queer) | She/Them | Contact: email@example.com