“Gay” has been turned into a bad word by people who have chosen to use it as an insult. “Gay” is often used in exchange for “stupid”, “annoying”, “girly”, and “[any other negative word]”.
It’s become so common, in fact, that people will call something gay without even realizing the word is normally attached to sexuality, which is something a car, no matter how “gay” you might think it is, cannot be associated with. This, petty as it may seem to some people, has opened up sensitive topics that have plagued the LGBTQ+ community for generations — identity and equality.
Being called gay when you’re not is clearly an insult. The intent is always the key. I believe that straight people can be offended when they are called gay, not because they hate gay people, but simply because they are not. The word “gay” or other similar words for that matter should never be used as an insult.
It’s already 2019 and sexuality is still used as one. Last October 2018, an alleged tweet from Darren Espanto and JK Labajo have swarmed over the Internet like a wildfire. “Gayness at its finest,” Labajo reportedly insulted the former regarding his sexuality. Let us not take that road.
The whole issue is deeply rooted in toxic masculinity. This happens when society has ingrained toxic masculinity and machismo in boys. The Philippine nation, as a whole, still has a distorted view of masculinity. This may be due to societal factors that still somehow govern our society — religion, poor understanding of sexuality and sexual preferences, crab mentality, and etc.
Instead of viewing masculinity as something measured by values and ideals, it is still marked by factors such as physical strength, sexual conquests, and other outdated stereotypes. Being a “real man” is not defined by superficial means. Emotions or the lack thereof do not make a man a real man, nor does the job they have or the things they do.
However, some still misunderstand and judge. Those who don’t are also those who know little about equality. Masculinity for them is like a sign of power; they feel like those they call “gay” are weak. That they can do anything they want and have complete dominance over them. Anywhere you go, there is a possibility that you’ll hear a person using gay as an insult. It’s wrong, but there will always be people who won’t correct themselves.
Being gay does not mean one is lower than anyone else in any way. Toxic masculinity is a trait our culture has been living with. It has been nothing but regressing us as a society.
Consequently, “gay” should never be used as a derogatory term, as it is an actual social community and self-identity. It is a word originally meaning “happy”. However, with how things have panned out, the word has become a myriad of different things, a rainbow of confidence and beliefs.
Over the years, the LGBTQ+ community continues to fight for its rights and prove its essence as human beings deserving of all basic rights. True enough, the community strives for equality in all means.
The world is now changing and adapting. Societies are slowly accepting the LGBTQ+ community. Soon enough, they will achieve their desired freedom in their hands, basic rights and principles in their minds and utmost dignity and pride in their hearts. As time passes by, they will completely have a place in this world without fighting for it.
Their sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression are as valid as ours. Let’s not burn bridges with our straight allies. Even if they are comfortable and fine with what we call them, we must be sensitive to their feelings.
After all, we are all human beings, deserving of equal rights for the betterment of ourselves and our nation. Discrimination is inevitable. Hate should never be tolerated. Why be rude when we can just be quiet, right? Instead, let us all be happy and gay.
Let us always be mindful of the words that our minds think and our mouths utter as words can kill the spirit, doing far more harm than sticks and stones ever could.
Indeed, gayness is a fine word when used at its finest.