“Gay” is not an insult

Still today, in 2017, teenagers use the term “gay” as an insult. In the hallways and during class, teenagers proclaim random items to be “so gay.” This needs to stop immediately. Not only does it make other people who actually are gay feel uncomfortable, but it also makes you look immature and ignorant. Of the 171,476 words in the English dictionary alone (not including the 47,156 obsolete words), using “gay” to describe your school lunch is a terrible word choice.

The definition of “gay,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “homosexual or lighthearted and carefree.” Thus, unless the thing you are describing accurately meets this description, you’re just being ignorant. A 2012 study held by the Journal of American College Health showed that LGBT+ college students who often heard the word “gay” being used as an insult showed an increased risk of headaches, poor appetites, and the feeling of isolation. Even with a resurgence in LGBT+ rights, homophobia is still alive and well.

Even if you are not homophobic, using “gay” as a derogatory term still negatively affects the gay community as a whole by suggesting that being gay is wrong and inferior to heterosexuality.

Next time you are not happy with something, try using words like “aggravating,” “inferior” or “disagreeable” instead of “gay.” Not only will the LGBT+ community appreciate it, but also anyone else who owns a dictionary.

Isabel Chamberlain
One Page Editor

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