Last night, a trending topic on twitter* really annoyed me.
The offending tag was #stopthatthatsgay, and people (who may or may not realize how public and permanent their tweets are) were making inane comments like:
Recently, the media has reported on a string of suicides by gay youth and youth perceived to be gay. Many of these kids were routinely mocked or beaten up at school, and these tragedies have prompted a very public conversation about ending homophobic bullying. When I saw the trending topic last night, I thought about the banality of torment.
This morning I woke up to see that my words were being re-tweeted by many other concerned twitter users:
I also received a link to a petition to stop the tag and a link to a more general awareness-raising site “Think Before You Speak” that is trying to discourage the derogatory use of phrases like “that’s so gay.”
I also saw counter-tags like #loveislouder, #itgetsbetter, and #carryonthatscute. I hope that anyone struggling with bullying sees the support, and not just the insensitivity.
And, if you really want to use the word “gay” as an adjective, at least use it correctly.
Again, thanks to everyone who re-tweeted my response — you’ve made today much more bright and gay than yesterday! And, since I started with a little humour, I’ll end with a musical number created back when proposition 8 sought to restrict the definition of marriage in California to opposite-sex couples — a situation that got better.
(By the way, I should say that many religious groups opposed proposition 8. For instance, the California Council of Churches stated that Proposition 8 would infringe on the freedom of religion for churches who wish to bless same-sex unions.)
*In case you don’t use twitter: trending topics (or TT) come up on the sidebar to list what people are tweeting about. Often times, these topics are preceded by a “#” (or hash tag) to make it easier to mark the phrase off as a topic of conversation.)