Is it wrong to use the word "gay" as a derogatory adjective?

  • Wrong term to use...

    If people are using the word gay as stupid, that means they are basically calling gay people stupid. This is not acceptable in a nation where we are all supposed to be seen as equals. This needs to stop! This is verbal abuse and bullying when you call someone gay, especially since most of the time it is not even true! It doesn't matter if language evolves! If it is evolving towards this, it is going the wrong direction...

  • It's totally wrong

    It's wrong because there are people out there who find it offensive when people use it the wrong way. People should definitely use a different adjective or just say "lame" or "stupid." you never know who you're hurting. Besides, shouldn't people be smart enough to know its being used wring anyways?

  • It's got nothing to do with context

    There are a few arguments on here that suggest that the word gay being used as a derogatory adjective does not immediately relate to sexuality. How do people think this came about? It's not just a random development of language, it developed because people held feelings that being gay is something that people should be ashamed of, has no worth or is weak or inferior. That's why people started describing lame things as being gay.

    Every time I now hear the word gay being used as a derogatory adjective, it reminds me that people hold these views. Whether or not you personally hold them, using the word in that way reinforces the stereotypes that gay means worthless or inferior, and that therefore gay people are worthless and inferior.

    It's got nothing to do with context. It's got everything to do with respect.

  • It's turning it into a negative

    Using 'gay' as a derogatory adjective is putting a negative spin on it. As a teenager myself I hear people say things like 'That's so gay' all the time at school meaning "that's so lame." So if we start saying "that's so gay" meaning "lame" then we are putting negative connotations to the word.

  • Of Course It's Wrong!

    This is a no-brainer. I would respond to this question even if the word "table" replaced the word "gay" in this question. Using ANY word in ANY derogatory way is definitely wrong. Unfortunately, it is a mechanism for individuals with low self-esteem to bring others down to make them feel better, and is also a standard for insult comedians to make their living, so this behavior is around to stay.

  • Using gay is not ok

    Yes, I do think that using the word "gay" as a derogatory adjective is wrong. I think that is making fun of people who are different and it is bullying. Just because someone has a different lifestyle than others, the word used to describe it shouldn't be used to describe other things.

  • Absolutely!

    It's practically impossible to grow up as a gay teen without some sort of internalized hate when the word that separates you from your peers is a word also used to define being weaker, inferior, emasculated and all the other connotations. If you can't see the problem then I don't think you've thought it through entirely.

  • Right now yes it is

    People said that language evolves so, now it's used as a derogatory adjective with not relation to homosexuals. I think we're at a time right now where it's going through that process.
    I personally think it's offensive to homosexuals and not nice. But, I can understand the language evolving such as the example given by Anonymous " originally started out as an insulting term against homosexuals, pretty much every word started off this way: calling something "lame" offends the physically disabled, "moron" insults the mentally disabled, and so on."

  • Yes.. But it now refers less to homosexuals

    It is by default wrong to use the word 'gay' as something negative. That would be the same as using 'straight', 'black', 'white', or even 'short' to mean something derogatory. Its bigoted, false, and yes, wrong. However, in the present day, many people who use 'gay' as a derogatory adjective, use it as a substitute for 'lame', and do not necessarily associate its meaning with 'homosexual'. So their intention is not necessarily as wrong as using that expression may make it seem.

  • It's not an insult, it's descriptive

    Saying that someone or something is gay can’t be an insult. If anything, it shows that you are a homophobe, which is one of these bad character traits you’re trying to paint somebody else with.
    I thought this was pretty widely known, but I guess I have to explain what gay means. Being gay means that you feel sexual attraction to people of the same gender. That’s it. This means a haircut, a sweater or a youtube video can’t be gay because it lacks a gender. Saying that to a person however means nothing since what you’re describing is a person, the only difference is the sexuality, which doesn’t play a role when it comes to character traits.

    I get it, some people aren’t for homosexuality, but that doesn’t make gay an insult. So what does? Well, now there’s supposedly a different definition of the word; now it can also be defined as something having or showing a lively or merry mode (http://dictionary.Reference.Com/browse/gay). That doesn’t seem so bad, does it really? I’m quite happy and lively myself, but I still don’t hear people telling me I’m gay. So what can it possibly be that people are thinking of when insulting someone with the word ‘gay’. Can it be stupid? Ridiculous? Foolish? Atrocious? Corrupt? Childish? Uncool? If so, say that instead.

    Exchanging ‘gay’ into something else doesn’t only give more effect to the insult, but also contributes to creating a less judgemental environment regarding sexuality. Because ‘gay’ is a word mostly used among the young generation it’s a reason for children not being able to feel safe with their own sexuality. It might be obvious, but using ‘gay’ as derogatory is homophobic and gives the impression that gay = bad.

  • Shouldn't be an issue

    If you seriously have a problem with the word "gay" being used. You have major insecurities, It wasn't even a word to describe homosexuals originally. If i made up a word..Lets say "ley" and lets say its definition meant heterosexual, if i said "wow man, that movie was so ley, it was full of plot holes and had terrible acting" Did that offend you? No, "gay" just flows off the tongue and is a fun word to use maybe because of the "ay" part regardless its just a word. People to grow up and understand the world doesn't cater to your snowflake feelings. Oh by the way, i'm homosexual.

  • A bit hypocritical

    Everyone in the yes column is throwing around the word "lame" as an acceptable word to use negatively and at the same time saying "gay" is not an acceptable word to use negatively. The definition of lame is "A person that is unable to walk normally because of an injury or illness affecting the leg or foot." Ok, so you are saying it is fine to put this negative spin the handicapped, but not on homosexuals? That's a bit hypocritical. So, you really have 2 choices:
    1) Stop using the word "lame" (and any other word that might also refer to a group of people) in a negative context or
    2) Lighten up a bit and be more accepting of colloquialisms and figures of speech that others use.
    Judge not lest ye be judged folks.

  • Not wrong at all

    If gay once meant happy and now means homo, then why can't it also mean lame? When someone calls something gay, they aren't calling it homosexual, they are just calling it stupid. There's going to be an obvious difference when someone says gay to mean homo sexual, and when they say it to insult.

  • It makes being "gay" seem bad

    If you punish society for calling someone gay, or for saying something is gay, when it actually comes to a gay person, then the younger more easily influenced shall see the previous punishment and then will try to punish those who are actually gay. This is very wrong, if we were just to accept that it really is not derogatory as there is nothing wrong with being gay, then it would disappear from slang. Also there would be a lot more acceptance of gay people.

  • It is not bad.

    First of all, in order for the term "gay" to have been used as in insult in the first place it must already have some negative connotations. Secondly, the only way you could view it as an insult is if you think it's bad already. How do you know when somebody says "thats so gay" that they are not using the term "gay" in a positive light such as the terms "rad" or "boss". Is using the term "gay" improper when describing someone who is happy or homosexual? No, it is not so why should it be in this sense? If people started saying "thats so straight" whenever something bad happened nobody would be getting upset because they already view being straight as something good. I have many gay friends and the use the term "that's so gay" freely, meaning they do not view it as offensive. Therefore, all you straight, self-righteous people need to shut up and stick your noses out of gay peoples' biz.

  • Depends on the context and the way it is used.

    As mentioned my numerous others, the context is a very significant factor in the interpretations of what someone said. For example if someone says "That song sounds gay", in terms of context, there is no reference to homosexuality and therefore, here, the term "gay" is not being used as a derogatory term towards homosexuals. However, if you say something like "you swing like a gay", here the term gay is derogatorily referencing homosexuals.

  • Depends on the situation

    Calling somone 'gay' for acting or saying something lame is alright in my opinion. Using to ridicule a homosexual person is wrong. The term 'gay' has evolved into a word with multiple meanings in our society and I don't believe it is going to stop being used. Using it to slander the homosexual community is what should be campaigned against

  • No it isn't

    Because we need to stop whining and pandering to everyones special snowflake feelings all the time and deliver justice to those who deserve it regardless of method of doing so. I don't care if you call someone gay, being gay isnt bad so why would you take it in a bad way, surely that would make you bad for taking 'gay' badly?

  • I choose whatever words I like to describe something that is lame

    In my opinion the word gay has more layers than just referring to people in terms of sexuality. I personally would never refer to a lame person as a gay person, but I most certainly do it to objects (buildings, movies, music etc.) without implying something about sexuality. Nobody owns words and as long as one sees and treats gay people 100% equal to straight people there is nothing wrong with using the word gay to describe a totally lame object.

  • Context context context.

    The biggest problem is ownership. Of course language changes and words take up new meanings (such as BAD meaning GOOD and SICK meaning AWESOME) so for the LGBT community to get bent out of shape over context is something that grinds my gears.

    By calling something "gay," doesn't necessarily imply homophobia or discrimination.

    If one fails spectacularly in an attempt to achieve a difficult feat or does something INCREDIBLY lame? ...GAY
    If a movie fails to live up to media hype...That movie was so GAY...

    I know in music and television huge strides have been made to correctly shift attitudes and be more inclusive of all lifestyles. Macklemore's recent "Same Love" track identifies the issue of using "gay" as an insult...And as much as I agree with the sentiment expressed in the song, I still think that context and language defeat the argument of banning the word in playgrounds etc.

    Yes, it's not a positive endorsement for youngsters who are growing up in the knowledge that they are already homosexual, but the world isn't the same in 2013 as it was 40 years ago...Kids have "coming out" parties now for pity's sake so to think that it's a word based purely on hate is ridiculous and surely some distinction should be made.

    So a word that used to mean "HAPPY" that then changed to "homosexual" now has the added connotation of meaning "LAME."

    Can common sense not prevail in this debate?
    If you are calling someone "gay" as an insult,and they are actually gay and are adding "gay" to make it more hurtful to suggest there is something inherently WRONG being homosexual, then clearly that is wrong.

    If you call your buddy's attempt at a baseball swing "gay" I don't see in that context how that is insulting to homosexuals or wider population.

    There are other words or racist slurs that DON'T have any ambiguity or other meanings that should never be used. I don't think they even need to be mentioned in this debate.

    Or comparisons made.

    They aren't even similar.

    Context is the argument here. Not the "G" word.

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Jay-Pee says2013-06-13T16:26:45.040
I'm homosexual and I'm used to saying that I'm "gay" rather than "homosexual". It's for me a gracious and tender word the expresses not only my sexual orientation, but my usual state of humor as well, that is "happy". When I simply say I'm "gay", I save words, otherwise I would have to say: I'm a "happy" "homosexual". '-)
Jay-Pee says2013-06-13T16:55:53.530
Thanks! "In a certain way we are all the same. Our defects and our qualities are what make us different from one another, and the prejudices and preconceptions are what distance us from the perception of this obvious and undeniable reality." ~Jean-Paul Malfatti