raise your hand if you're absent

adventures and misadventures in the life of a first-year teacher

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

the use of the word "gay"

I've been absent. I know.

With this nice weather and my pent up energy from winter, I've been enjoying any free time I've had outside (I know, I know...what's "free time" to a teacher?). I've been working less and relaxing more. It's been great. AND I don't feel like I'm slipping too far behind with my school stuff.

Now that it's almost the end of the school year, I pretty much know what needs to get done before finals, so planning hasn't taken too long lately. Unfortunately, for the kids, I've been moving at a pretty quick pace. They've been doing a really good job with everything for the most part, though.

The only thing that's really been pissing me off lately is the use of the word "gay." My students throw the word around as insult in a variety of contexts. I've already expressed my hatred of that; they, on the other hand, could care less. I finally took the instigator out in the hall today and let him have it, explaining how I find his "gay" comments to be rude and disrespectful to both me and his classmates. I don't think any of it got through to him, though. I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Off to get some grading done, some supper...then to American Idol (I'm hooked).

13 Comments:

  • At May 2, 2005 at 4:24 PM, Blogger Poppy Cede said…

    My brother taught me the word gay, then my mother explained to me with words that my use of the word was inappropriate. Only through her actions of embracing gay people as I grew up did I understand how to properly use this word. It is unfortunate that parents aren't teaching their children about hate vs. tolerance at home, so that you have to put yourself on the line to try to teach it to them. Probably a losing battle coming from anywhere except home...

     
  • At May 5, 2005 at 7:46 AM, Blogger Rich Bateman said…

    The word "gay" has become so pervasive, that even my boyfriend and I sometimes use it---not because we want to, but it becomes kind of automatic, unfortunately.

    I get very offended when people use the word gay to mean lame, stupid, boring, whatever. If I ever heard one of my students (when I get students!) use that word, I think I'd flip my lid.

     
  • At May 12, 2005 at 8:04 AM, Anonymous fred the fish said…

    Gay and fag and girly get tossed around, especially with my freshmen. I took a line from something I read for BTSA. I substitute their name for gay. If gay is lame, and Joe is lame, then that's so Joe. How does that feel? What if Joe became the new word we used to describe something as stupid? I'm not sure if it works better than my other tactics as I've only used it on two kids.

     
  • At May 22, 2005 at 1:06 PM, Anonymous lawyerchik1@hotmail.com said…

    Of course, you could take the "teacher" road and make them do a paper on the etymology of the word, it's history and usage through different periods in literature, and then have them end with a literary piece that uses the word in the historical sense (complete with appropriate references).... :)

     
  • At July 2, 2005 at 1:52 AM, Anonymous frederick arlington said…

    u r gay

     
  • At August 7, 2006 at 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I thought you were talking about happy, carefree and other synonyms to the expression of happiness. How gay does that make me?

     
  • At March 6, 2007 at 4:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

  • At January 25, 2008 at 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    when kids say something like "thats so gay" or "youre such a fag" to one another it is not a referance what so ever to gay people, in no way are they saying this word inferring that gay people are lame or dumb or anything like this. It's simply just another word like dork or nerd or stupid, that some how just began to be used in this way. Most people have the up most respect for gay people, and mean no harm when this word is said in this context. It's not worth getting worked up over

     
  • At August 30, 2008 at 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I use the word gay as a derogatory word all the time. If I offend someone, I simply state that I meant it in a pejorative non-sexualized form. If that doesn't work, I just use the word fag because I really don't care that much.

     
  • At September 3, 2008 at 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Whether or not the term "gay" or "faggot" is meant as insulting, it creates a subconcious association with gay, as in homosexual, and negativity. I'm burdened by being stuck with everyone in all my classes using "gay", "fag", and "queer" constantly, and knowing that there's nothing that I can do about it.

     
  • At March 4, 2009 at 8:52 PM, Blogger Joe said…

    I'm giving a persuasive speech in my Public Speaking class on why use of the word 'gay' to mean anything other than same-gender attraction is negative and detrimental in our society.

    Nice to come across this. Any linguistic or sociological related references you might have?

    PS to all you nay-sayers out there:
    Do you also say, "That's black," "Quit acting like an Asian," or "That's so f*cking Jewish?"

    That's a question for you to think about, not one to post back on why you disagree with it.

     
  • At September 27, 2009 at 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    im 21 and i use words such as fag, gay, poof and homo all the time like EVERYBODY else i know. As proof that these are words of our generation to use in normal conversation, I have a friend who came out (announced his homosexuality) and he actually refers to stupid things as "gay" sometimes which makes us laugh so hard... we love him, we dont hate gays, we love the words.

     
  • At December 13, 2009 at 3:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I quit doing and saying things that "most" people do and say at about the same time I realized that "most" people are dumb as dirt.

     

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