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Gsa: The Power Of A Word

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Gay-Straight Alliance: The Power of a Word

The RHS Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) works toward teaching tolerance and acceptance of the rights of gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people within Reading High School and its surrounding community. The club's objectives include holding discussions about topics such as stereotypes and prejudice. They also participate in fundraising activities and community service projects.

Recently, one of the topics of discussion was the word "gay" and how some people choose to use the word.

"I hear the phrase 'that's so gay' almost every day, and I'm hurting deep down inside. People don't realize that feelings are being hurt," says freshman Skylar Ayello.

Today we live in an environment where it is second nature to hear people use the word "gay" as a derogatory term on a daily basis. However, the people who choose to use the word in such a context do not realize that they might be offending many people at the same time. Young people continue to use the word "gay" as a synonym for stupid, ridiculous, bad, awful, or any other negative term.

"The way people use the term 'gay' is very hurtful and is taken offensively. People need to realize that what they are saying is hurtful, and they need to be more careful with their choice of words," adds a student who wishes to remain anonymous.

While some people who use the word might argue that it is not derogatory towards homosexuals, they do not realize that to some people, it is still offensive. To avoid any hurt feelings or misinterpretations, people are urged to choose a different word rather than "gay" when engaging in everyday conversations.

"I think people who use the word 'gay' should think before they speak. If they say that it isn't meant as a derogatory term, then why must they use it at all? Why can't they just choose another word like stupid, or ridiculous?" says another student who wishes to remain anonymous.

The derogatory usage of the word "gay" has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality was more widely seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s, the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not



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