So, I read this whole blog about how people should no longer use the word gay to describe something odd or funny or off the mark. Or homosexual.
Here’s the thing about that: People can’t just hijack a word and assign it to a group or event and then be offended because the rest of us use the word as it was meant to be used, or for that matter, in any way we choose to use it. That’s just bullshit. And gay.
If somebody says, ‘I hate you because you are homosexual and ugly and have creepy blue eyes,” well, that is offensive. I guess. Although, it would not offend me if I were homosexual, ugly and had creepy eyes. I wouldn’t care.
I am tempted to do the whole disclaimer thing where I say I know and love a bunch of ‘gay’ people but really that’s not necessary. All the gay and straight people I know and love – know I love them whether I call something gay or call it something else. So I won’t bother with the disclaimer.
I refuse to allow a word to be removed from my posse of words because somebody has changed the meaning of it and decided to own it for themselves.
Of all the things I am sick and tired of – offended people top the list.
This made me smile. Seriously. =)
I love your view on the topic because I feel the same way.
Thanks for the comment! I think we are not alone on this one- but everybody is afraid to say anything for fear of offending.
Subscribed to your blog- it looks great.
No problem & thanks!
I subscribed to yours as well. I like your thoughts, partially because you aren’t afraid to piss someone off. Haha, I like that quality in a blogger. =)
LikeLiked by 1 person
If you don’t mind offending people, nothing I say is going to change that. But it does offend me, because you’re using a word that describes me and applying it to something you consider lame. You’re certainly free to use the word as you will, and to offend people as you will. But don’t expect not to hear back from people when you do. Fair’s fair, my friend.
LikeLiked by 1 person
It is never my intention to offend people — even people I don’t particularly like. If you are saying that you are homosexual, that’s how I would refer to you–if the occasion were ever presented where I had to define your sexuality. I can’t imagine that occasion.
I rarely think of people in terms of who they sleep with or which gender they are attracted to or how they define their sexual orientation. If I were to introduce you to my other friends, I would never say, this is my homosexual friend Ellen. I would say, this is my friend, Ellen. If one of them said, I am attracted to your friend, Ellen, I might say, no dice, pally, she’s homosexual.* Otherwise, I can’t imagine an occasion where I would need to define your orientation.
That said, since the word gay has morphed into a euphemism for homosexuality, I take your point on using the word to describe something lame. My point, as you know, is that the word should have been left alone. And I choose to leave it as it was. It’s a lovely word. It conjures a quaint, sweeter time in the world where gay people wore flowered hats and were happier and not so easily offended. Maybe because they assumed the best about everyone– even the clumsy ogres who use awkward phrasing and goofy labels.
The point being, gay means happy. Deciding it means something else invites all manner of insult and injury. It’s like me saying ‘table’ now means ‘car,’ as in, I’m driving my table to the store. It just doesn’t make any sense but if you don’t go along with my new meaning I will not give you a ride to the store in my table. And, I happen to know you are out of milk and eggs and your own table is out of gas so…I guess you’ll go along with my new word if you want some milk and eggs. And, I’d be pretty offended if you didn’t go along. We are, after all, friends. You should go along with whatever I want.
Anyway, I wrote this five years ago and it was a rant against a woman I loathe to call an in-law. The truth is, since starting this whole rambling response to your comment, I’ve looked up the definition and history of the word gay. Five years older now, I can, if I let myself, see how the word could apply to some homosexual men.**
Another truth is that five years ago I routinely had a house full of teenagers who used the word gay as if they coined the word themselves. More than one of them is gay. They weren’t offended in using or hearing the word used. I am not in the habit of using the word gay at all, although every time I think about it I resolve to start using it in my daily chatter and in the original connotation of the word, as in, “I woke up feeling very gay today.” And then I forget. Because I’m gay. Just kidding. I would almost never offend you on purpose and certainly not about being gay, lesbian or homosexual. No offense, but I have little interest in your orientation, unless you bring it up and wish to discuss it with me. I’d give you my rapt attention and if encouraged, ask you all kinds of stupid questions and share my own, albeit straight, perspective. And as for being straight, I also find that label somewhat annoying. I never signed up for that. Even in the 70’s when straight meant people who didn’t get high. I wasn’t straight back then either.
I doubt you’ve read this far but if you have, please know that I would not offend you. I do not call lame things gay. I hardly use the word, but I’m going to start using it tomorrow. If I remember. In it’s original definition. I intend to wake up feeling very gay and say so.
*I would actually say, “Forget about it pally, she’s gay.” And then I’d do a mental eye roll and silently curse myself for going along with the “new” definition.
**Per the dictionary, gay can mean showy and brilliant, which sometimes describes gay men. Not the ones I’m friends with but some others: “Gay meaning ‘homosexual,’ dating back to the 1930s (if not earlier), became established in the 1960s as the term preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves.” ~Oxford online dictionary.
**I personally don’t like the word lesbian either. While gay is pretty and lighthearted, lesbian is a little scientific for my taste. I think we should change it.
****I intend to go directly from here to Amazon and buy your book,
That link didn’t work out like I intended. https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00LEU4QX2&asin=B00LEU4QX2&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_tFbKxbA5HSH0A