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120x90 4th July

 

 

Homophobic Nation

July 5th 2005

The Gay Debate

The simple evolutions of man are more evident than many think and apparent in more than the fossils pictured in glossy, tangible pages of the National Geographic. Our species changes its own cultural trends about every ten years, thus coining that phrase we cherish so much, “That is so (insert decade here)!” T

As dutiful slaves to pop culture, we change everything about our way of life to compromise this new era and what it will hold dear to its population’s commercially-driven heart for 10-15 years. Primarily, one thing has seen more alteration throughout the decades than simple trends: words.

Slang. We all use it, or at the very least know it.  A prime example of this is the word “gay.” Blissfully residing in almost every Judy Garland movie and/or song known to existence, “gay” had no negative connotations and simply meant “happy and lighthearted.”  Of course, it’s also that noun meaning “homosexual” or “attracted to the same sex.” Though, I’m sure you all knew that.

 

Through the course of the century, humanity has had the uncanny ability to morph this simple term, among others, to mean something completely different, and, predictably, negative. Thus, the phrase “That’s gay”, synonymous with “That’s stupid” was created.  Most likely born of the mouths of homophobic teenagers, the phrase spread quickly to everyday use. In an age where so many young people attempt to justify themselves as logical and respectful citizens, the almost hilarious, rampant use of the word “gay” does not aid their case; everything from SAT scores to clothes are described as “gay.” Apparently, inanimate objects are capable of sexuality.

Aside to simply attesting to a generations’ ignorance, this new definition also degrades an entire cultures’ lifestyle. The word “bad” at some point began to mean “good,” and “awesome” somewhat lost its religious appeal with its cameo in every generic teen film and as a reply to a self-conscious teen girl’s new hairstyle. Poor girl.

Though these words may have lowered the intellect of a generation and spawned scoffs and mocking condescension, they did not add to the prejudice of a people.  What also sets this callous term apart from previous ethnic-insensitive jargon is that it is used completely nonchalantly and without a moment’s hesitation. Most of us are guilty of having told a bigoted joke or uttered a racial slur at some point in our lives, though when we do, we at least lower our voices and nervously glance around for the particular group we are offending. See, it’s only funny if they don’t hear.

The difference in this case is there is not an ounce of shame in the bellowing voice of that kid in the hall proclaiming the homosexuality of his current frustration, and he feels no embarrassment when the gay kid walks by.  How this term took its place in our culture and won its way into daily vocabulary is beyond me.

Hopefully, it is a part of those passing trends and possibly in the future, it will take its place dutifully beside other archaic expressions such as “rad” and “gee, golly.” Until then, society will be faced with the stupidity or, “gayness” of a homophobic nation taking out its opinions on a vocabulary that did not need the addition.
 


By Molly McHugh
Molly is a freelance writer

 

Keywords and misspellings:  Homosexual gay rights homo


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2010 01:18 AM