We always hear people say, “think before you speak,” in regards to anything, right? Even if we say something that just came out all wrong, or we really don’t know what we’re saying. Words can hurt, it’s been proven. This campaign was created through GLSEN which stands for Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
Have you ever heard someone say, “that’s so gay!” Most of the time whoever uses that phrase has no idea what they are saying. That’s why it’s important to step in and help educate them. When you say, “that’s so gay,” the word gay replaces a word such as stupid or dumb. If by some chance you say that phrase and you happen to be around someone who could possibly be gay, how do you think they will feel? It will make them feel insecure, lonely, depressed, and even unsafe.
My own family members and friends have used this phrase before and I’ll say, “that’s so straight,” and ask them how it makes them feel. They don’t realize the impact it has. It can be toxic. Studies show that bystanders to acts of harassment experience feelings of powerlessness and can develop poor coping and problem-solving skills.
Parents/Teachers/Professors/Educators (Read!): This website has an Educator’s Guide to help assist you in bringing this campaign into the classroom. Help your children, students, friends and family learn what they are saying and the impact it may have on someone. The core of the guide consists of six educational activities that increase awareness and knowledge of the issues, develop skills for addressing them and promote social action.