I like to think I'm down with youth culture and its slang. Well, a bit anyway. I understand that the word "sick" can mean "cool", and "bare" can mean "a lot". This is pretty much the limit of my knowledge. But I do like to think I can tell the difference between words that have changed their meaning in a quirky but harmless way, and those that have a damaging knock-on effect. The evolution of the word "gay" is a case in point.
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Is The Word "Queer" Offensive? Here's A Look At Its History In The LGBTQA+ Community
The more prevalent it became, the more negative its connotations. With just my student overdraft as my budget, I decided to make a documentary exploring how this piece of language had evolved, and speak to people both gay and straight to see how they felt aboutthe word taking on a negative meaning. Some gay people I spoke to were content with the word evolving, while there were straight people who were outraged. Younger people, whom we might have expected to have more awareness of what it means to identify as gay because of media coverage, were often the demographic defending the negative use of this word. Many older people I spoke to felt strongly that it should it not be allowed to be used negatively. The language we use, consciously or subconsciously, can reflect our feelings towards minorities. Equal marriage legislation may suggest that society has advanced in its thinking, but there remains a gap in its grasp of gay identity, culture and sexuality.
‘One Million Moms’ Melts Down Because Burger King Impossible Whopper Ad Uses the ‘D’ Word
Members of the LGBTQ community may use some of the terms themselves; however, that does not give everyone the right to use an otherwise negative or hurtful word. In the modern world, this term feels outdated and is often considered offensive because gender identities are changing. While it has been reclaimed within the lesbian community to some degree, like "fag" or "faggot" for gay men, there is something about this word that makes it seem worse.
So when he began an online application for a job at Colorado College recently, he was shocked by a question that asked applicants to check one of five genders: "not disclosed," "male," "female," "transgender" -- or "queer. This is something I had never seen before. Kichi said he had filed a complaint with the Colorado Attorney General's Office and will soon do so with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. To me, this was an attempt by the university to scare away anyone who wasn't straight.