UHS may appear to be a welcoming school, but the hurtful language used in the halls says the opposite. People use hurtful language all the time if they think nobody is listening. Walking through the halls it’s not hard to hear what others are saying. If you knew a gay person was listening would you really use those words? What if a person with a mental disability saw what you posted online? Choosing better words to use is a lesson many UHS students still need to learn.
Through the halls, you are bound to come across someone who uses gay as an insult or as a synonym for bad. This may stem from homophobia but that is no excuse to partake in the blatant misuse of a word.
“It just makes me feel almost pity for them [the people who use gay as an insult]. I do also feel a little unsafe because I know if they use that word they generally are going to be homophobic and that puts me in a very dangerous spot.” says an anonymous bisexual student at UHS.
“Well usually I just get mad cause literally my sexuality is being used as a slur, and people need to learn to just say ‘that’s stupid,’” says an anonymous gay student.
When you use the word gay like this you are creating negative connotations around a sexuality. I have seen that most people who use this word are trying to insult their friends. They believe that homosexuality is synonymous with weakness or femininity. Nobody wants to be degraded to the point that they are considered feminine. When people call a straight man gay, they often trying to make them feel like less of a man. Being gay does not make a person less of a man. No one should have to be reassured that they are in fact a male.
“The first reaction is, always choose a different word. If you’re calling something stupid gay, you are calling gay people stupid, and that’s not fair to anyone,” says Frau Lubbers UHS German teacher.
Another common word people use to tease others is the r-word. The r-word is extremely offensive and I cannot believe that people still use it today. Some have even started calling others without mental disabilities “autistic.” People who use these words are trying to make their recipient feel ignorant. Having a mental disability does not make you ignorant.
It is extremely easy to change the way you think and to become more positive. Using these words is just lazy. Being gay or having a mental disability is often core to a person’s identity. You are hurting someone for just being who they are. In my opinion that is one of the most scummy things a person can do. Using gay negatively or the r-word needs to stop. You can help make this senselessness a thing of the past.