Reprinted from Chumps on Parade (November 1997)
I don’t know how many times I have walked down the halls and heard students saying something negative about homosexuals. Maybe I am missing something, but when did it become all right to insult someone based on their sexuality? It’s as bad as insulting people based on race or gender, which is considered socially unacceptable, yet the same people who complain about that do nothing about the problems with people who use homosexuality as an insult.
A perfect example of this is when a student asks another student, “What do you think of my new backpack?” To which the student ever so eloquently replies, “It’s gay.” Using a phrase such as “It’s black” to express your dislike of the backpack would have you labeled a bigot right away. Yet you can call it gay and nobody has a problem with it. Something is wrong with that situation. Just today I over heard some kid tell his friend, “My mom is gay, she made me pay for my own Tommy socks.” Using phrases like that makes you sound like an idiot, is it really that much harder to say, “my mom is dumb”?
A couple of days ago as I sat in the cafeteria I heard some kids arguing rather loudly about how one of the people in their social clique was “gay” because he wouldn’t share his pizza with them. While their word choice bothered me, I decided to mind my own business and stay out of their conversation. After carrying on their conversation for another minute, one of the students decided to come over to me and asked, “Doesn’t that kid look gay?”, pointing to his friend. So I decided to respond with, “Are you homophobic?” Once again he showed off his intelligence by replying, “Fuck you! Maybe you are his boyfriend.” While it is impossible to judge the school based on one student’s actions, I still couldn’t help but think to myself, “So this is tolerant City High?”
It amazes me how the students at City can be that intolerant, despite the fact that City is supposed to be a school for the gifted. Gifted people shouldn’t see homosexuality as such an evil that it’s only purpose is to provide a way to insult another student. When I applied to City I heard all about how tolerant the student body is, how it doesn’t have the discrimination problems based on race or sexuality that other schools do. How can anyone say this when people continue to talk about homosexuality this way? Do they even think about the fact that there are homosexual students at City? How do you think they feel when they hear people talk like this?
The students of City High should take it upon themselves to stop using homosexuality as a basis to insult people or show your disapproval of something. It doesn’t take that much effort to stop doing this or to tell your friends that it bothers you when they do it. The problem can be fixed easily and will go a long ways towards making City the tolerant school that everyone thinks it is.