October 4, 2013
IF YOU NEED TO EDUCATE ANYONE IN YOUR LIFE WHO DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHY SLANG PHRASES SUCH AS "THAT'S SO GAY" AND "YOU'RE SO RETARDED" ARE OFFENSIVE, HERE IS YOUR SURE-FIRE TEACHER'S AID (NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART)
A few years ago, I went back home to spend some time with my family (mom, I do dad, sister, nieces and nephews) and I noticed more often than before the use of "that's so gay" or "you're so gay." Every time I heard it, I would say, "REALLY OFFENSIVE!" and everyone's response was, "Oh, they don't mean it 'that' way, they aren't saying it in a MEAN way so lighten up (basically)." I was dumbfounded, doubly offended and frankly incredibly hurt. They all stood there upset that I had been hurt however, they wanted me to understand that how they were saying it wasn't offensive. I was stunned into silence. I mean my sister had raised her children to call my partner of eight years "Uncle Phil" (actually "Uncle Flippy" but that's for another post) and they all had accepted mother nature's wish and all was merry and, well, gay.
So, speaking of, everyone went on their merry way and I stewed for about an hour when all of a sudden it came to me. What was the parallel scenario that I could use that would make them realize my point? Well, if you're faint of heart, hunker down...
My sister was rounding up the troops into her car so we all could go to a movie. It was my sister, me, my two nieces 13 and 15 years old and two nephews 13 and 15 years old. I kept replaying the "that's gay"/"your so gay" comments and sorta started fuming a bit. Well, my sister's favorite country song came up on the radio and she turned it up and everyone started singing to it. I immediately turned the radio completely off and everyone in the car yelled some form of, "Hey, why'd you do that."
My response -- clearly and concisely was: "It's so totally COUNTRY" (but remove the "O" and the "R" and that's the word I was using...yes THAT word CUNextTuesday) and I kept saying it, "You're so COUNTRY for even liking it." "it's really super COUNTRY" (and I have to admit I was getting a total rush because i knew HOW totally offensive that word was tee hee). My sister said, "I can't believe you are saying that and in front of my kids" and my nieces and nephews were yelling about how they hated that word and I should wash my mouth out. I just kept on saying it until the entire car was totally silent -- flabbergasted as a matter of fact.
I turned around completely annoyed and said to everyone, "Oh, I don't mean it THAT way. I'm not saying it in a MEAN way so there's nothing to be offended by. So quit being so COUNTRY all of you."
I'm happy to say that I've never heard any form of the phrase used again by anyone in my family (which kind of ticks me off in a weird way because saying 'COUNTRY" out loud like that was really a naughty rush!).