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That's So Gay. Except Not Really.
That's so gay? More like: "That's so unintelligent."
Every day I hear "That's so gay." echoing throughout the halls and I find it interesting. What is gay? Stupid? Dumb? Gross? Weird? Bad? If that's the case, why can't we just use the respective synonym instead of "gay"? I understand homophobia, I really do. Why on earth should we respect people different than ourselves? It's stupid. It's gay. Right? Wrong.
The term "that's so gay" clearly stems from homophobia. Breaking the word down you have "homo" which means "same" and "phobia" which means "irrational fear", and when you add them together it is equivalent to "irrational fear of homosexuals and homosexuality". And it is irrational. But that's not really the point here. The point is this: Saying "That's so gay." is obviously a testament to one's bigotry.
Firstly, do you even know what "gay" means? I'll give you a hint: it doesn't mean "stupid". Not even close. "Gay" has a variety of different meanings, such as:
having or showing a merry, lively mood,
bright or showy,
given to or abounding in social or other pleasures, or the slang form,
Really? That's what "gay" is? You mean it doesn't mean "stupid" or "dumb"? It actually doesn't, crazy, right? So, if it doesn't mean "stupid", why use it as a substitute? That's what synonyms are for, not words that don't even have similar meanings.
Let's use a real world example to help with the understanding that "gay" does not mean "stupid" in a sense where "gay" is being used as derogatory (which it often is).
Ex. "We have homework? That's so freaking gay!"
Let's break this down, shall we? Why don't we substitute the dictionary definitions for the word "gay" and see how it works out?
"We have homework? That's so freaking having or showing a merry, lively mood!"-- That makes no sense.
"We have homework? That's so freaking bright or showy!"--Well, at least this one reads sensibly, but it has nothing to the fact that you don't want homework, does it? No? Well, let's see if another one works.
"We have homework? That's so freaking given to or abounding in social or other pleasures!"--That one just doesn't even come close to making sense. It almost sounds like you have no idea what you're talking about.
"We have homework? That's so freaking homosexual!"--I can see where the average homophobe would think this makes sense. It kind of does, if you think about it, but what does homosexual mean? Let's break that down.
"Homosexual" has a dictionary definition of "a person who is sexually attracted to members of the same sex". Let's put that into the previous example and see how much sense it makes.
"We have homework? That's so freaking a person who is sexually attracted to members of the same sex!"--Is it? Is your homework a person who is sexually attracted to a member of the same sex? That's what your homework is?
The bottom line is that when you say "that's so gay" you're not only offending a group of people no different from yourself aside from sexual preference, you're also offending intelligent people. Since I have to live with the ignorance, I at least want to try and do something about it.
Next time you go to say that something is "gay", stop to think about what you're actually saying. It doesn't make sense in real-world context. It doesn't even make sense in fictional context. Unless you are literally talking about a person who is homosexual, calling someone or something "gay" is just a testament to your lack of knowledge. Besides, taking a minute to think about what you're saying doesn't only help ease the minds of others, it also makes you better off in this world. Ignorance is only bliss to the ignorant ones, for everyone else it's a form of torture. Remember that.