I hear “that’s so gay” from the booth beside us. From the mouth of the cute blond ratty surfer boy, with his friends. He’s saying it because he’s cool, he’s saying it because he has no idea what it means.
He’s saying it because he hasn’t heard about the homophobic groups in Russia who go on gay chat websites, create fake profiles and then lure gay men out only to beat them till they are black and blue and barley breathing–take videos where they jack his dick off with a broken beer bottle, capturing it bleeding and sharing it all over the internet.
He’s saying it because he wasn’t there when the 14 year old was pushed into a locker and called a homo after he came out, crying with a bloody nose in the men’s washroom.
He’s saying it because he didn’t hear the forty year old men make a joke with his friends about homos getting shit on their dicks as he laughed drinking a beer, their thirteen year old sons listening quietly.
He’s saying it because he never has been on the end of experiencing discrimination, or ostracization, from an his entire family after being courageous enough to come out to who he really is. Abandoned, shamed, discarded, left-start again.
I hold my head heavy, as I hear this young boy and his friends use the word “gay”.
It would be fine to use the word gay if there weren’t people in this world terrorizing, bullying, assaulting and harassing people who are gay.
It would be fine to use this word if we all got it–that we get to love whoever we love, regardless of gender.
But we don’t live in this world.
We live in a world where a sociopath is elected president. Where homophobes and racists and sexists and bigots still operate from a place of fear in their hearts – therefore it isn’t safe to use the word gay.
And it needs to be washed like soap from the mouths of those who don’t know what it means.
We need to get rid of the statements and the jokes that are unconsciously filled with so much hate, pain and fear body.
We need to catch our tongues and pause mid sentence – because whose mom is gay? Who has a cousin, a friend, a brother who is hurting to see you throw people under a bus who are just learning what their knees feel like long enough to stand?