There is a severe problem plaguing today’s youth. I can say with certainty that almost everyone in this room has said, or heard something like “that’s so gay” but not to describe a lovely wedding between two people of the same sex, or “are you on your period” but not in a nice ‘do you need painkillers’ way, within the last week.
Some of you are probably thinking something along the lines of “wow people still use gay as a synonym for bad” and to answer your question, yes, they do, while some others of you are thinking “so, who cares”, well buddy your the reason I chose this topic.
I’ve had lots debates about this topic with several people, and usually the outcome is them laughing it off and calling me a ‘raging feminist’ which can I also say is another outdated and offensive term. And can I say I am a feminist, and yes people being rude and offensive to entire groups of people does make me angry, so I guess, in a way, I am a bit of a raging feminist.
Now I am not blaming the male sex for this problem but most times I’ve heard the words “That’s so gay” come out of someones mouth, in my experience, its a guy. There’s a simple explanation for this. Toxic masculinity. The concept of Toxic masculinity is defined as ‘One of the ways in which Patriarchy is harmful to men. It refers to the socially-constructed attitudes that describe the masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, sexually aggressive, and so forth.’
To make that easy to understand, from birth boys are told they have to grow up and be ‘Men’ and all throughout childhood society pushes the idea that a ‘Man’ is some one who doesn’t have feelings, and if he does share them, he’s effeminate or gay. And that brings us back to the topic of this speech
Men, and boys, often feel as though they have trade feelings for a stoic and distant personality. Its all they know. So when one of their friends, or someone they know expresses themselves in a different, more in touch with their feelings way, it is presumed, they must be gay, because having feelings is a girl thing, something a proper ‘man’ doesn’t do.
statistics from the 2015 survey of 1000 teenagers from all over new zealand show that 1 out of 15 people is a part of the lgbt+ community, that means, statistically, that there is at least one person in this classroom that has attraction to the same gender. And in our year group there is at least 10 people apart of the lgbt+ community, and it is likely that one of these people is a friend, or someone you sit with in class.
Can you imagine struggling with your identity, and every day hearing it bashed on daily basis, being used as a synonym bad , when your already trying so hard to accept it yourself. Some of you probably are. When people say things like “That’s so gay” they aren’t trying to be offensive, and they aren’t trying to be hurtful, but intentions do not matter, because the fact is, when you say something like that, you are hurting someone, you are attacking someones identity, or pushing someone further into denial.
Another unacceptable phrase in today’s society and especially in our community is “That’s retarded”. People throw this word around everyday, not realising the weight it carries. People born
You don’t know how the person next to you feels, you don’t know how I feel, you don’t know how anyone in this room feels, and half the time you probably don’t even now how you feel, so next time before you open your mouth to say something offensive, take a moment to stop and think “wow am i really going to be that asshole who ruins someones day because I can’t be bothered think of a word that describes something is bad other than the word gay”, and hey, if you go ahead and say it anyway I guess you are that asshole, and that’s your own personal choice