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Is calling someone gay as an insult okay?

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Alice Norrell

on 14 March 2015

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Transcript of Is calling someone gay as an insult okay?

Is calling someone gay as an insult okay? In my opinion calling people gay as an insult is not okay. Everyday in school I hear someone saying "Ha! Gay!" or " You are gay" or "That's so gay" and they use it as an insult. They use it as a bad word. I think that it is wrong to use "gay" as an insult. This is a controversial topic because some people ARE actually gay and it offends them immensely.
Opponents argument
Opponents of my argument say that they aren't using it as an insult, that being gay isn't bad so why would you take it in a bad way, or they say that they only use the word "gay" as lame or stupid, and that they aren't using "gay" to mean homosexual. "Not wrong at all. If gay once meant happy and now means homo, then why can't it also mean lame? When someone calls something gay, they aren't calling it homosexual, they are just calling it stupid. There's going to be an obvious difference when someone says gay to mean homosexual, and when they say it to insult." -says a person on Debate.org- replying to a post "Is it wrong to use the word "gay" as a derogatory adjective?". I ask people at school why they said "Ha! Gay!" or whatever they said that includes gay as an insult, and they say "Because it is funny" or "Who cares" or they just don't answer me. Some of the people who say "who cares" think that gay people aren't natural and they think that gay people are disgusting, so who cares if we use the word "gay". "Let me fix that statement. BEING gay is wrong. Not just BAD; WRONG. Gay, therefore, becomes my adjective of choice to describe anything I find to be disturbing, unnatural, or just plain wrong."- says another person on Debate.org- replying to the post "Is it wrong to use the word "gay" as a derogatory adjective?".
My Rebuttal
I think that using the word gay as an insult is wrong, and not okay. I think this because when people call someone "gay" they mean lame, so they are calling gay people lame, and that shows negativity towards gay people. I disagree with the opponents saying that they aren't using it as the term "homosexual" and that they are just using it to replace lame or stupid. Those are just bad excuses. When people say the word "gay" to offend someone, they are being ignorant. When you ask them why they used "gay" as an insult, they say that it just means lame or stupid and that it is not a big deal, and they don't actually think that it could be offending gay people and a lot of people that aren't even gay. What if someone decided that the word "Christian" should mean lame or stupid and then other people laughed when they heard it, this usage would offend Christian people and even some non-Christians. It is the same thing as using "gay" to replace lame or stupid. Consider the use of the n word or derogatory terms for Asian people and Jewish people - it's time we move away from inappropriate language. I also disagree with the people who say "who cares, being gay is bad and weird". Being gay is not bad, people should be allowed to love who they want to love. I think that judging someone because of who they love is just insane.
Evidence #1
Evidence #2
Evidence #3

There is a high chance of gay teen suicide. According to "Life Site News" homosexual teens are 5 times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexual teens. They "found that teens in 'non-supportive' social environments were 20 percent more at risk of attempting suicide than those in 'supportive' environments". "CDC- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health" says that bullying and teasing can cause suicide related behaviors. It also says that "LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual) students who did not experience homophobic teasing reported the lowest levels of depression and suicidal feelings of all student groups". Using gay as an insult, and replacing lame and stupid with gay is bullying and making it so gay people's environment isn't supportive.
On "Debate.org" someone posted "Is it wrong to use the word "gay" as a derogatory adjective?". This debate got 67% who said yes and 33% who said no . "Of course it is. Don't make excuses to defend ignorance! All the 'reasons' people gave to continue using it negatively are obvious excuses to back up ignorance. It's not even about whether it's offensive or not. It's about the fact that there is NO negative definition for 'gay'. It is only USED negatively (slang), that doesn't change the actual definition of it. Just like many other words wrongly used these days, if we keep using words wrongly, are we going to change the definitions every time? The point is, people simply need to expand their vocabulary. Why resort to using this one word as an insult when there are already so many words that are actual insults? Especially knowing this word already defines 2 things, one of which defines a group of people? That shows the only reason most kids would use it in a derogatory manner IS to offend someone. Education please, then we wouldn't even have to have this dumb 'debate'."

According to The Williams Institute of UCLA, the percent of gay people in San Francisco is 15.4%, which is about 1 out of 6. So 1 out of 6 people in San Francisco are gay. That means that if there are at least 6 people in the room it is likely that there might be a gay person in the room or someone who has a gay friend or family member. If someone uses gay as an insult, it is likely that a person in the room will get offended.
In conclusion using the word "gay" as an insult is bad. You shouldn't use gay as a bad word. It hurts gay people and offends many non-gays and is just plain ignorant. Gay people are not stupid or lame, and being gay is not bad. It leads to bullying of gays, which leads to suicidal feelings and depression. "Is it wrong to use the word "gay" as a derogatory adjective?" is supported on Debate.org with 67% saying yes and 33% saying no. No one should use the word gay to mean lame or stupid. They should not use it as an insult, it is wrong.
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