I searched around for a discussion on this topic, but I haven't found any. If this topic has already been started or if it's in the wrong category, feel free to delete this and refer me to the other one.

Being a teenager, I hear a lot of my peers and friends saying things such as "That's Gay" and "Don't be a Fag". I try not to comment when they say that, but I really do think that saying something like that should be on the same level as "That's so Black."

I think of it as them replacing the word "stupid" with "gay", so obviously when put in that light, it's a pretty bigoted and judgmental thing to say.

So what do you think, fellow Atheists? Especially the younger ones like me, who probably hear this stuff at school all the time. I just simply don't know what to think about it.

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Not exactly the subject, but it kinda reminds me of the Louis CK standup about the label "faggot":

He's my hero!
That's moderately funny. I'd need to see more of his work to form a good opinion about him.
I'm on the fence about this one. Mind you I support the full pantheon of gay rights. However, I use the term "that's so gay" as an expression of stupidity even with my gay friends who then use the term "thats so black". Mind you we jib eachother all the time, and there is a comfort level and trust there that has built up over the years so it's not like there is the direct immediate misunderstanding that can happen with people you do not know. I say on the fence because I don't like the idea of language being controlled by anyone. I think if we start telling people what words they can and cannot use this can become a slippery slope and words that were not once offensive now are and we lose that ability to express how we really feel.

I do think the CONTEXT is far more important than the word itself. Technically you can say any word you wish but it is the context that gives it it's meaning and conveys what you really mean to say. If someone were to use the term "thats so gay" as a reference to "thats so hot" no one would have a problem.

So again in my view it boils down to context. I'm not going to lie and sit here and say I'm MR. PC. I'm not, and don't think that will ever happen. Nor do I want the language police after me coz I say things that rub some folks the wrong way. Now "fag" on the other hand I think is completely deragatory. I also look at the intent...how was it said, and why was it said also to me comes into play.
What about "Don't be such a fairy"?
That's so hetero :oP
When my kids started using this phrase, I'd always say, "Are you sure? Looks to be hetero to me. Could be Bi, what do you think?" and other stupid things. It annoyed them all so much.. They asked me to stop and I said "when you stop insulting people"... anyway, they ended up getting sick of me calling them on it and eventually quit saying that in front of me. I heard my granddaughter say that once. I told her that was very very mean. She was horrified. I told her "there are people who are gay and you just insulted them. I know you would never do that on purpose." She had no idea (she's 7) but promised now that she knew it is hurtful she won't say that again.

When I hear another adult say that, I just say, Oh, I'm Gay too! and it shuts them up.

I hate that phrase. Letting it go will simply keep it going as if it's innocuous. We do need to call people out when they say that.
Could be Bi, what do you think?

When I hear another adult say that, I just say, Oh, I'm Gay too! and it shuts them up.

More than likely, lately I have not mentioned how much you rock.
I must say that i am guilty of of saying "thats gay" in conversations when referring to something that seemed stupid. I have never really thought about it before until i was with a group and one of the guys was gay and i said it and found myself immediately akward and embarassed so evidently i knew all along that it was wrong and just accepted it at some point. It slips out from time to time but i am actively trying to stop using it. The same goes with "thats retarded".
If people can't use the term "that's so gay" are we going to ban all offensive speech? To me this is a dangerous proposition in the long run. We start marking things out that become taboo for people to say and the next thing you know people can't be truly blunt with how they feel, which is bad because until people open their mouths on their views you really dont "KNOW" that person at all. I think people should be free to say whatever they please so long as it's short of violence actually being carried out.
Perhaps we don't need to be as concerned about "banning" certain words or phrases, as we do about teaching or encouraging people to 1.) think before they speak, 2.) consider the feelings of others, 3.) not make broad sweeping generalizations, and 4.) not be condescending about other people.

If we concentrated on those four points, for example, the idea of banning any language would probably be moot.
It's always been about context. Banning words or phrases just strengthens the harshness. I'm not a fan of a person being judged because of one joke in bad taste or one phrase taken out of context, because it really gives those things more power.



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