Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A word about a word.

Wikipedia defines Gay as the following:

Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term was originally used to refer to feelings of being "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy". The term's use as a reference to homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the 20th century.[1] In modern English, gay has come to be used as an adjective, and as a noun, referring to the people, especially to gay males, and the practices and cultures associated with homosexuality.

Seems simple enough right? However, more and more I am hearing it used to describe everything but what it is supposed to. For instance, if something doesn't go the way we'd like it to we say "Oh that is so gay!" or if some one does something stupid we hear "Dude, you are so gay!"  What gives us the right to say such things? NOTHING!

The next time something doesn't go your way would you like to hear someone say "Dude, that was so black!" or perhaps "Wow! That was so 38 year old man!" No, I don't think you would, as a matter of fact I think you might find it insulting, I know I would.  So how to you think it makes the LGBT community feel when someone makes a reference like that? I find it insulting, because several of my dear friends are Gay and I support the LGBT  community every way I can. Columbus, OH has been voted on of the most LGBT friendly cities in the country! Yet, people are still so close minded they continue to misuse the word Gay.

It astounds me that people are this way. Let me regale you of a story that happened to me several years ago at the Ohio State Fair.  My wife and I were volunteering at the Stonewall Union booth, Stonewall Union being for lack of a better term the LGBT HQ in Columbus.  I was standing infront of the booth when an older gentlemen approached me. I greeted him with a friendly smile and Hello and we began small talk.  The gentlemen then looked at me and said "Young man, I have a question for you." I replied to him that I might have an answer for him.  The gentlemen posed the question, "Young man, do you know the average lifespan of a homosexual male with AIDS?" I replied I did not. He answered "35 years of age, now knowing this what makes you think they choose that lifestyle?"

I was taken aback at first, "choose" I thought. What the Hell? Then my brain kicked in and stiffled my impulse to knock this old boy on his butt, and my brain replied "Well Sir, let me answer your question with another question?"  The Gentlemen got a smug look on his face and said "Alright." I asked the older gentlemen I said "Sir, do you know the average lifespan of a United States Marine in a combat situation once he hits the beach?" The old boy took a step back and thought a moment, he replied he did not know. I informed him, "Well Sir, the average lifespan of a United States Marine in a combat situation once he hits the beach is approximately 30 seconds, now, knowing that statistic what makes you think they choose that lifestyle?"  

The old boy looked at me a second, stepped forward and his mouth started to form the answer and then his brain kicked in and realized I had bested him and he promptly turned away with a dejected look on his face. I smiled and turned around to see the top two people of Stonewall Union applauding me and congratulating me on how I handled the gentlemen.

In closing I ask you, the next time something doesn't go your way or you see something that is totally messed up or silly. Imagine someone saying something about it but using you to describe it.  Jedism teaches acceptance, why cannot we accept the LGBT community with open arms? Haven't they been through enough?   

May the Force be with you all.

1 comment:

  1. Here is the my good old point of view on this. I hate double standards and will gladly point them out to 'haters' as it were. In this country, people just want to live as they want to, without being snubbed or thought of as second class citizens. My example steams during our high schools all class picnic.

    Our alumni board made the comment to me that none of the newer classes (1980 and newer) want to come to the all class picnic. I said because there are no activities that the newer generation would like and it is focused primarily on the class of 1964. He said that wasn't true. I said, "Well, does the DJ play any music from the newer time periods?" This person said "No, he is told he is not allowed to." I then said. "Exactly. If you single out people, they are not going to want to 'play' with you."

    Just because someone holds a different lifestyle, belief, or way of living, does not make them any less than you. (or better for that matter). People need to stop with this 'You have to conform to this way of living' This standard is causing more deaths among people, suicide and otherwise, because people feel they are not good enough to socialize with the mainstream.

    The solution: Simple. Worry about your own life and perception. Stop thinking everyone has to be like you. One of the many things that make life interesting is meeting people who might do things different than you. Like if you cant draw and you meet someone who is an accomplished artist. Or, you cant act on stage and you meet someone who is an accomplished actor. Let the mixing pot have a little bit of spice.

    (Off soapbox) :)