Why do people use the word gay as an insult?

Using ‘Gay’ as an Insult

I’m not a massive fan of people saying ‘gay’ when they mean sh*t. But what do you think?



So 17th May is The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and to mark the occasion I thought I’d write a post about one of the things that really gets on my nerves: when people say “that’s so gay”, or “your phone is gay” or “staying in to do work is gay”.

For some reason people are using the word ‘gay’ instead of ‘shit’: why? Gay is not an insult (or at least, it shouldn’t be).

I know that people that say this might not mean it as an insult to gay, lesbian and bisexual people; but obviously if we use the word ‘gay’ as a negative thing or an insult, then it is being negative to gays, lesbians and bisexuals. Imagine hearing people describing you as shit all the time, how would that make you feel? Shit? Exactly.

That’s what I think, but that’s just me what do you think?

The London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard who provide an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men, bisexual, trans people and anyone who needs to consider issues around their sexuality. (here)

Queery is a directory of services and supporting organisations for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people across the UK (here)

© Justin Hancock 2015

Justin Hancock

Justin Hancock, writer/editor of BISH. I've been a sex and relationships educator since 1999. I'm a trained sexual health trainer and a qualified youth worker. I've worked with thousands of young people in person: in sexual health clinics, schools, and youth projects. My advice has also featured in leading newspapers in the UK and my work has been written about and referred to by several academics, journalists and writers.

Comments (2)

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    awesome this is going up in the office and the clinic


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      Awww thanks Dan.


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