The insulting slang term, that is, not the people. I’m talking about when someone says, “That’s so gay!” meaning that something is bad. I knew that would get you hooked, though!
Seriously, is there anything in our society now that’s really uglier towards gay people than this? To make their identity synonymous with “bad?”
The closest thing out there to this is the widespread use of the N-word (against which I’ve railed before), but even that is usually used as an inside-term by some black people, not meant to cause hurt. Equating “gay” with “bad,” however, can only be the most degrading kind of slur.
This is especially important for those of us who, as Christians, hold that marriage must be only between a man and a woman, while asserting our love and brotherhood with all people, including those gay people who might disagree with us. When conversations go there, though, the response we often get is, “Yeah, right. Of course you love us. That’s why you call us names.”
Can we blame them? If we’re using their identity as an insult, of course our declarations of respect will ring hollow. There is definitely something wrong with our civility–and our discipleship–if we call something we don’t like “gay.”