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Gay's the (insulting) word

Mon 6 Jun 2005 In: Ask Our Expert View at Wayback View at NDHA

Since when did "gay" become a bad word? Kids are using it all the time and now adults are using it too. Some say its just language evolving, but is it any coincidence that the new meaning of "gay" just happens to be a negative one? I'm getting really sick of it! What do we do about it? - Kerry, Christchurch Jacquie comments: Kerry, you had better get used to it. There is a virulent strain of homophobia out there fuelled in the main by self-serving so-called right wing politicians and equally self serving politically active Christian politicians and I use the word Christian only because that is how they self-identify. What is happening now is Mc McCarthyism and the analogy of Hitler's rise to power is not too strong, find a group that is vunerable (us), give your own people a uniform with a slogan ("Enough is enough" or somesuch), teach your kids it's okay to hate and soon gays and Iraqi's will be the same - and fair game. Fortunately in New Zealand these bigots are still in the minority and the majority are fair minded folks who live and let live. We must never let it get to us and most of all we must be active in our communities, both gay and straight. Our greatest support network is our gay brothers and sisters, we must also be pro-active in the wider community to demonstrate we are constructive and productive and lastly we must support our gay Members of Parliament and the party they represent as they are our only hope of stemming this tide of intolerance. - Jacquie Guest advisor Carol Bartlett comments: Since homosexuals adopted the word "gay" to describe themselves the word has had negative connotations when used by homophobes. As a secondary school teacher I hear a great deal of teenage language. I, too, am sick and tired of the word "gay" being used to describe anything that kids find negative. It is, however, absolutely useless to try and change their colloquial terms. There is however hope. Teenage jargon is often used because it excludes adult understanding. Now that adults are accepting the term teens are likely to replace it with another. We can only hope that it quickly becomes yesterday's fashion and its use on teen radio stations, their listeners and on South Park disappears. - Carol     - 6th June 2005

Credit: GayNZ.com

First published: Monday, 6th June 2005 - 12:00pm

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