Students need to stop using gay as a derogatory term

Talia Cain, Editor-in-Chief

The English language is estimated to have over one million words, but for some reason students still decide to use the word “gay” to describe undesirable situations. We have become numb to the words actual meaning. Gay can only mean two things depending on the context, homosexual or happy. While the various motivations to use slang are valid, gay isn’t slang, people need to stop pretending it is.

Whether it is a teacher assigning extra homework or the pop quiz you are completely unprepared for, we understand life has a way of not always going the way you wanted. Complaining is understandable to a certain extent, but using the phrase “that’s gay” to substitute for “that’s lame” or “that sucks” gives the word ‘gay’ a negative connotation. This has to stop.

First of all, in an attempt to “be cool” with your incorrect slang, you are only making yourself look less intelligent. Gay is in no way an acceptable exchange for an adjective or phrase expressing displeasure and a pop quiz or extra homework is neither homosexual nor happy.

Although slang is a credible way of speech, it is not okay when it begins to offend certain groups. From denying women the right to vote one hundred years ago, to forcing African Americans to drink out of separate water fountains, to today’s world of using gay as a derogatory term, discrimination unfortunately lingers among society and it is up to us to get rid of it. People need to realize how small, simple, easy adjustments in their own lives can transform the world of others.

Another aspect commonly overlooked is the way friends, family, or classmates could be harmed by your insensitive word choices and without even intending to, you destroy the relationships you find most important in your life.

Discrimination is described as the unjust or prejudice treatment towards a category of people and singling out gay as something negative is no exception. It is the equivalent as singling out someone’s sex, race, or even gender and defining it as substandard, because one is born with their sexuality along with other uncontrollable traits that no one has the right to diminish.

The influential media of today’s society continues to drive youth away from having the courage to be themselves as it provides unrealistic expectations of the “perfect teenager.” The last thing we need as struggling teenagers is another barrier preventing individual freedom and expression. If a student who is unsure or insecure of their sexuality hears another student call something they don’t like gay, they are influenced to hide from their true selves.

If people are able to understand the importance in banning the inappropriate use of the word retarded, they shouldn’t have a problem comprehending the importance in stopping the derogatory use of the word “gay”.  It is unfair to those who are gay to have to call themselves something others use to describe things they don’t like. If students say they agree with the idea that everybody is equal, then it is time they start to show it.