I recently discovered October is stop bullying month. As I thought about different topics I could write about, the first thing that came to my mind was the constant bullying to the LGBT community. We have heard all the stories of harassment and violence towards the LGBT community and to many of us this are sad news to hear. But today, through this blog, I am going to write about the unconscious bullying we sometimes do. We do this without noticing, we might be offensive towards someone. We say these words, because we hear them so often that it has become common slang among our peers. The words I am talking about are "that's so gay" or like the people from Puerto Rico say "que pato".
As a teacher, I walk through the halls of the school and listen to these words constantly. They usually refer to something negative, like when you don't like something or the person (guy) is doing something a girl would normally do. I also hear these words often been yelled through the halls of the school. Friends yell each other this when they want to call their friends and be funny at the same time. Hearing "hey pato ven aca!" is common or "haha que pato eres!".
At the beginning I have to admit I did not notice this. It wasn't until I started taking a class dedicated to LGBT topics, that we discussed this. From that moment on, I have become aware and every time I see this, I suggest the person to use another word. Most of the times I get the evil stare, but I know my comment has created awareness in the person.
"that is so gay" and "que pato" are also been used by the media constantly. I recently found a lot of comics been made regarding a "homophobic seal". This comic received a lot of viewers and it was shared through the internet thousands of times. This homophobic seal comic began in November of 2010 with the following comic.
Then other people took the homophobic seal and transferred it to make different comics, like the one shown above. This is an example of how the homophobic seal character was modified to serve different purposes.
I think as active members of society we should stop using these words. I for one do not enjoy hearing people say it or laughing at memes like these. I am a straight woman who supports gay rights. I support their right not to be bullied and to live a normal life without having to stress about the media and their community yelling out offensive words.
I am trying to make a change. I hope this blog made you aware of this ;)