Back in the ancient history of the year 2000 journalist Nancy Updike wrote an article in reporting on a phrase that was becoming popular within the gay community.  She stated that the phrase, “that’s so gay”, was part of a “small linguistic revolution” and was “part of the tradition of groups using derogatory names among themselves”.  She suggested that it was an “insult as a pick-me-up” and that for those using it within the gay community it would possibly evoke a childhood memory that may have been painful, but was now long past, the distance making it possible to “not only reclaim the phrase but also to reclaim it as an insult.”  

Way back in the year 2000 she also said, The reason “That is so gay” can still startle is because its comeback has been so private, by word-of-mouth only; it hasn’t saturated the culture.”

Well, flash forward to the future.  In 2009 this phrase has permeated the culture, and teens, straight teens, are tossing the phrase around as though it has no negativity attached to it.  

When I confronted my own teen about using the phrase, he rolled his eyes at me like I was SO STUPID, and claimed that the phrase had no homophobic weight to it whatsoever.  

“It’s just an expression mom – EVERYONE says it”.  

We had a rather heated discussion about it, and I’ve banned the phrase from our house.  

Can I stop him from using the phrase with his friends, at school, at the skatepark?  Probably not, but he and his friends are going to be hearing a lot more from me on this topic, and I hope that other parents will join me in raising awareness in their homes that this is not okay.

It wasn’t okay for Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.  Last month 11 year old Carl hung himself after being taunted by school-mates, calling him gay.