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It’s just that it’s different to our own perspective.
When it comes to understanding the meanings and effects of language, context is all-important.
Older generations have not learned to understand the use of the word in the same way; judging young people from an adult perspective, without considering their viewpoint.
Someone will always be offended in the terms being used, but really try and look at how it's being said before being offended. this post is called the 'complexity' of 'that's so gay'. Most words, especially ones that relate to gender and sexuality and identity have more than two meanings.
It is a very 'binary' model and it doesn't ring true to me. There is of course the old meaning of the word gay, as in happy, but this is not used by the young people. The data is both interviews and participant observations, from over a year's worth of ethnographic research in three settings. The key point of my argument is that it is the context in which the word is used that determines the meaning.
By engaging with young people about this issue, we might even find that we learn something about their increasingly positive attitudes toward homosexuality. I've been arguing this point and many other "Politically incorrect" terms for years.
It is all in the Context of how someone is using the word.
You wouldn’t say “that’s so jew” or “that’s so black” – that would be so racist – so you should also refrain from saying “that’s so gay." This is the end of the argument for teachers and equality activists.
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Yet educators find that when they reprimand young people for using this term, they often face an angry rebuttal from kids, who say, “I’m not homophobic, I’ve got gay friends.” So what are we to make of this defence?
Saying something like "I think it's gay that the teacher gave us homework" is an absolutely acceptable term in my view.
People need to start looking at the context in which words are used and not what words are being said.
Indeed, some of the LGBT students I spoke to felt uncomfortable with the phrase at the same time as they argued it did not connote homophobia.
In , I develop a new model for understanding this changing use of language, which highlights how the intent, effect, and environment within which words are used are vitally important in determining whether homophobia is present or not.