Thursday, March 01, 2007

That's So Gay!

Very interesting article about a high school girl responding with "That's so gay!" after other kids teased her for Mormon stereotypes, so she got a warning and notation in her record, and in turn her parents sued to defend her First Ammendment rights... I'm totally torn on the main basis of topic! (Let me state right now that I think the parents are idiots for suing anyone on this subject. So what if their kid got a note in her record over's high school!)

I TOTALLY feel the "It's so gay" line is wrong and overused in all the wrong ways. I'm tired of hearing it to slam someone else, or describe something negatively. I'm in no way a gay rights activist, but this one really offends me. I've heard our student workers use it on rare occassion, and then called them on it (but not in an offensive way - just bringing it to their attention). I hear it used in the Hub on campus. And I actually left a guild/server in World of Warcraft and joined a gay-friendly one because too much of that type of stuff was going on between the players...

Sure, I'm a grown adult and know that they usually don't even think of "homosexual people" when they say that's just a generic insult. But considering how it originated, then yes, I take offense to it.

But in this particular case, the girl's defending herself because other kids were making fun of her for being Mormon. Are those other kids in any sort of trouble?? I sure hope so. What she did isn't right, and yet I realize it's going on all around her, so why SHOULD she be any different. And those other kids were intentionally attacking something about her specifically - while she was responding in general to their comments.

The article also mentions how the year before two boys were hired to beat up a gay kid...and that in some ways that resulted in the school taking such a strict stance on this particular situation.

I dunno. I'm torn. What she's saying isn't nice at all. But was she calling those other kids gay, or just discounting what they were saying about her in a way? The latter. I'm not defending what she did...but I think this is being taken to extremes.



Peter said...

I don't have a lot of sympathy, Jeph. Let's look at it as if she had used a label for any other disadvantaged or minority group:

"That's so black."

"That's so handicapped"

"That's so Jewish."

Sounds stupid, but can you imagine the outcry if she had said one of those things.

Gays and lesbians somehow remain the last group that it is socially acceptable to denigrate. That has to change. A heavy hand applied in this situation, to be sure, but her use of "gay" as a slur is equally as abhorrent as kids teasing her for her religion.

the ginger tabby said...

I agree with Peter's last point - "using 'gay' as a slur is equally as abhorrent as kids teasing her for her religion."

On another, more idealistic note, I feel like yelling to the people in the article, "Why can't everyone just get along and stop all the name-calling?!"

cindy k. said...

One that I've heard since first grade, and it's pretty sad, is "that's so retarded." Then, at Ohio State I met someone who had a baby sister with Down's Syndrome. You can imagine how that insult was for her to hear.


We will never have world peace until we can get past this stuff, ya know?

not cindy said...

jeph, you state 'Are those other kids in any sort of trouble?? I sure hope so.' and peter says it 'is equally as abhorrent as kids teasing her for her religion.'
i agree with you both.
i didn't see anything in the article about whether action was being taken against the other students.

along a slightly different line, is anyone else amazed that 3 in 10 of those polled would be less likely to vote for a mormon?

i would relish the opportunity to vote for a gay mormon whose political views were in line with my own.
hell, i'll go further and say an older gay, black, divorced, female mormon who smokes, whose political views are in line with my own. :)

not cindy said...

that previous link is

if you are interested. you'll have to paste them together.

Alison said...

Shall I put my two cents in? Or shant I?
I am not gay, but I am mormon. I am offended when someone asks me if I am my husbands only wife. It is offensive because it is a stereotype and is untrue. I also take offense for the girl who said that is so gay. For the same reason, the mean does not justify the end. The parents suing is ridiculous. I have never been in your shoes, but living here in the Deep South where I AM THE DEVIL, I encounter crazy, rude and non compassionate people all the time, I don't know how you do it, because you get it not just down here but all over.

I second Can't we all just get along.?

So here I stand and ask you all No flaming because I am Mormon..

not cindy said...

i am a non-believer. when cindy, a catholic, and i got married, we had to jump through hoops. i made no secret of my beliefs, but i didn't flaunt it, either.
i remember at one point, the priest asks me if i would have a problem if we have children and cindy raises them catholic. my response was close to 'why would i care?"
at another point, the priest expressed concern about the child/ren being confused that mom goes to church and dad doesn't. my response was close to 'if that is the worst my kid has to deal with, i will consider myself lucky.'
the priest was a nice enough guy and he was just doing what he does, but i walked away from it thinking that i am supposedly the heathen and i was more accepting of his beliefs than he of mine.
i just don't get the rancor over differing religious beliefs or sexual preferences. or lots of other things, too, i guess.

but i suppose i have my own peccadillos (nice word!), too, which others could point to and ask "what's up with him?"