Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

That's so gay!

There's a new ad campaign being run by GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Educational Network) aimed at educating kids who use the phrase, "That's so gay," when they mean, "That's so bad or gross, or . . . . whatever, as a pejorative.

You can visit their website here and check out their three new video. I tried to post one here but for some reason, when I embed the url in my blog, there's no way to control the start of it. I had the same problem with the Dolphin Video from yesterday (Anybody know what I may be doing wrong?).

Bottom line: We all have a responsibility, when we hear the phrase being used, is to educate them. Or, as Wanda Sykes would say,

Knock it off!

BTW, the man in the poster above is NOT gay. He's stupid.


Fran said...

Brava! That is so GREAT!

airedale said...

Elizabeth, no one can ever excuse you on mincing words. You go girl!

Erika Baker said...

The strange thing for me is that my children (12 and 14) are prefectly happy with me and my partner, are confident about being brought up by two women, won't allow any criticism or snide comments from their friends, and continuously bring friends home for sleepovers etc.

Yet, like for all their peers, everything bad is "gay".

I've gieven up worrying about it. None of their friends are homophobic and it's almost as though gays has become one of those words that just has several meanings.

We make the connection, they don't.

Fran said...

I am compelled to add on to Erika (and how we love Erika!) Baker's comment...

My 12 yo step daughter and I started having conversations on many topics some time back.

I asked her what she would think if one of her friends who was a girl, had a crush on another girl or if a boy had one on a boy.

Her response..."You mean like if they're gay?"

Me: "Um, yes."

Step-Daughther "Yeah, like whatever." Followed by heaving sigh and big eye roll.

Further conversations have revealed that is is no big thing and she really gets upset when anyone is discriminated against.

However, she has been known to utter the "so gay" phrase. I try not to overreact but to correct.

I think Erika has a point that it has many meanings, but I still am not crazy about her - or anyone - saying it.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Here's what I know to be true for me: The amount of prejudice or oppression or disrespct I experience is in exact proportion to the amount prejudice, oppression or disrespect I allow.

If it's going to be used as a pejorative term, it's not just about me - it's about all LGBT people.

The correction doesn't have to be harsh. Kids know how much they can get away with. No matter the situation, no joke is funny or innocent when made at the expense of another person. That's the lesson we all need to learn - no matter our age.

Nuff said.

Erika Baker said...

"If it's going to be used as a pejorative term, it's not just about me - it's about all LGBT people."

That's true!

And where I believe it to be used as a pejorative term I do tend to be very vocal about it.

But within my own environment and with the people I know well, I also have to admit that sometimes my quickness to take offence is not necessarily born out by their use of words.

If your children hug you and your partner in public while at the same time commenting that the pair of shoes a passer by wears is "so gay", it just doesn't seem to make sense to feel disrespected.

And just as I was about to post this my older daughter came home from school telling me about this boy in her year who is gay. "You know, Mum, gay gay, and he's really cool."

I'm not saying the use of the word is good, or that I haven't spoken to the girls about it. Only that to them, it truly seems to mean something else.

Frair John said...

I work in a High-school.
One of the things I notice is that they don't even notice what they are saying half the time. There is a lack of mindfulness, except for one thing. the repeated refrain of "no homo" out of (presumably) strait boys mouths. Many of these kids are so homophobic that they can't express affection or admiration with out ending the statement with a disclaimer. Its sad really.

Andrew X said...

The first episode of BBBB was about this very topic...

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Okay, I'll bite: