I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I'm looking at it in light of this article of TheJournal.ie.
Does the use of 'fag' or 'that's so gay' (gay as a negative adjective) bother you? Is it socially acceptable for straight people to use these phrases casually? Or should gay people use them?
It really bothers me when people -- especially straight people -- use them. My sister did it when she was home for Christmas ("these pictures are so gay") and I found it upsetting, if I'm honest. I spent the majority of my school-going days (from ages 11 to 17) getting called a fag, queer, bent, etc. on a daily basis and I'd be happy never to hear those words again.
The comments in that article are interesting (and depressing), too, especially the ones by straight people. The negative ones can be classified as:
- Political Correctness gone mad!!! (the stock Daily Mail Response). I'm not sure why people see the fact that it's not socially acceptable to say "fag" as an attack on their liberty
- My personal favorite: Freedom of Speech. Quite possibly the most misunderstood concept of all time. The difference between real freedom of speech (the freedom to express ideas) and incitement of hatred or hate speech.
- The gays need to stop complaining. Blondes, red-heads, everyone faces discrimination. Why do LGBTs want special treatment?
I see no harm in it provided, obviously, there's no bad intent, which there usually isn't. My friend is gay and even he uses phrases like that, to be honest.
I thought queer was a slur, not something I'd ever say
Then I read in this forum about organizing a meetup, queer beers
Now I don't know what to think
Context is everything I suppose
Your sister didn't mean anything by it. My banger of a car is gay. Man Utd are gay. As for the colour of the paint in my flat, totally gay.
Words change over time and nobody can claim ownership, gay was something else in times past.
Look at the context, not what the sister said
It's like nails on a black board for me when I hear anyone say either of the above to express themselves.
I will judge you for their usage.
The English language is broad and expressive, it's seems utterly lazy to me that you cannot find another word to express how you feel about something.
Words change over time, but not by a huge amount. I don't know where to stand by this. It's still not OK for non-black to use ni***r because only a black person truly knows how much that word hurts. Only a black person knows the history of that word fully, so they can decide in which context they'd like to use it (if at all). Why isn't it the same with fag or gay as an adjective?
The English language is so varied. If something's bad, there are hundreds, thousands of adjectives. Why do people need to use gay?
I find it upsetting only when used in a negative way like towards someone, other than that I don't really mind.
'fag' used in the sense of talking about cigarettes is grand but when used in a way such as "He is a total fag" I would find that off putting.
When people remark things as being gay, I would think they really mean 'cheesy' 'camp' 'feminine' I have never see any viciousness in a saying like that unless being directed at someone "He is so gay"
It's really down to how people use these words and phrases then the actual words and phrases themselves.
When I grew up I used to use queer alot but I meant queer as in strange and not as in a homosexual person. "That picture is really queer" meaning that the picture was strange.
These posts sum my feelings on "that's so gay"
Fag is derogative and offensive to me.
"That's so gay" or "that's a bit gay" is not offensive to me in particular but I am still a little concerned about how it has become a mainstream term among younger folks to criticise or knock something. For young closeted LGBT people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality, hearing gay being bandied around in such a negative context cannot be a good thing for them. Maybe I'm showing my age but it is not a phrase used by my peers but it seems to be widespread among teens (possibly 20somethings too) and no doubt preteens who copy everything their older peers say.
Then again, it might hopefully go out of vogue like naff - haven't heard that word in ages!
I can't stand queer or dyke, but it doesn't stop people from using them. And I don't think it should either.
I use them all the time. Our forebears reclaimed the word "queer" which used to be a derogatory word. I've reclaimed these phrases for myself and everyone else did it then they won't get offended.
I don't mind if people I know well use it, as ironic... but in general, I find it lazy.
OK. But what about if someone used them in reference to you?
Also, I don't wanna get caught up in etymology, but for me there's a difference between offensive and upsetting. I described my sister using the phrase as upsetting (emotional upset).
Couldn't care less if those words are used. Word meanings change over time. When I or any of my friends say "ah that's so gay" we don't mean "ah that's so crap it's as bad as being homosexual"
That said, I do try and avoid saying it around people if it offends them.
I don't like it at all to be honest. I think everyone can agree that "Fag" / "Fagg*t" are purely derogatory -- personally I don't think using "gay" as a stand-in for something that's detested and unwanted is any better at all.
Among friends you can give leeway for context -- "that pink shirt is so gay".. well, yeah, pink shirt is pretty (stereotypically) gay alright.
"That TV show / referee's decision / random thing I hate is f*cking gay"... no. Coming out is still difficult enough without the word being a catch-all substitute for anything sh*t / crap / hated / unwanted.