What Was The Purpose?

  • NyRuinz

    Posts: 887

    Feb 28, 2010 9:27 AM GMT
    Tonight I was having dinner with some male and female friends and some of their friends (all straight). During dinner we started discussing different photographers and one of my friends brought a guest whom I have never met until tonight, and he brought up a photographer that I was not familiar with. He began praising this guy works and suddenly he's like yeah and he's "SO GAY". After that comment there was an uncomfortable silence at the table and then the subject was changed. I just really don't understand why this guy needed to bring this man's sexuality in to the conversation, it was so random and irrelevant to the conversation. After dinner I told my friend this was the first and last time, I would be having dinner with this guy icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Feb 28, 2010 11:18 AM GMT
    and yet you did nothing.
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    Feb 28, 2010 3:18 PM GMT
    Amen!

    I've had people at the table next to me use that phrase, and turned to them to address exactly what they were thinking, assuming they were. I'm not confrontational about it - I find it easy to start off with, "Excuse me, I'm sure you didn't mean to offend anyone, but I just heard you say, 'so gay,' and it happens that I am so gay too . . ." - but it needs to be reinforced.Let them know, and after making horse's asses of themselves several times they'll eventually learn to not be so obnoxious.

    lilTanker saidand yet you did nothing.
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Feb 28, 2010 3:36 PM GMT
    on the contrary ... perhaps it was wise to " do nothing, " for - at least to me - his comment was " so [insert term that attempts to belittle a minority that, over time, will become increasingly empowered to be equally represented due to the curb stomping of knee-jerk, reactionary stereotypes and profiling]. "

    his comment was met with exiguous levels of support and therefore set the tone. a mere glance would have set him straight. it's the catty after-talk with the dinner hosts that was unnecessary, ny; it was over by that point.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19136

    Feb 28, 2010 3:42 PM GMT
    Maybe the guy saying "so gay" didn't necessarily mean it as a put down. The term "so gay" gets used a lot in different ways. I agree that it's not necessarily appropriate -- especially if another gay person is at the table -- but it's not necessarily meant as a derogatory term either all the time. Sometimes I think we can be a bit too hyper-sensitive. The OP did not mention if he was "out" to the friends at the table or not.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19136

    Feb 28, 2010 3:46 PM GMT
    abelian0 saidAmen!

    I've had people at the table next to me use that phrase, and turned to them to address exactly what they were thinking, assuming they were. I'm not confrontational about it - I find it easy to start off with, "Excuse me, I'm sure you didn't mean to offend anyone, but I just heard you say, 'so gay,' and it happens that I am so gay too . . ." - but it needs to be reinforced.Let them know, and after making horse's asses of themselves several times they'll eventually learn to not be so obnoxious.

    lilTanker saidand yet you did nothing.



    Actually, interrupting someone's conversation at another table is, in my opinion, obnoxious and making yourself look like the one who is the horse's ass. Again, I think sometimes we are a bit too hyper-sensitive. Someone said "so gay" --- oh the horrors.
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    Feb 28, 2010 3:49 PM GMT
    You could have just asked what he meant by that. Not in a confrontational way, but just as part of the conversation. He said something that you didnt understand in the context of the conversation.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Feb 28, 2010 3:54 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidMaybe the guy saying "so gay" didn't necessarily mean it as a put down. The term "so gay" gets used a lot in different ways. I agree that it's not necessarily appropriate -- especially if another gay person is at the table -- but it's not necessarily meant as a derogatory term either all the time. Sometimes I think we can be a bit too hyper-sensitive.


    Really?
    I'm trying to think of a way a str8 man can say the term "He's So Gay!" and NOT mean it derogatorily

    If you can come up with an answer let me know because I sure can't

    When you are confronted with a situation like that you need to make it stick out like a sore thumb
    The people there I am assuming knew that you were gay and were silent because of that fact
    and they might have been waiting for you to say something
    and You had every right to
    I have been in similar situations and I am usually in situations where making a scene is not an option SO ..... what I DO do is
    I REMAIN silent and I look at each person at the table
    This makes them know I took note of the remark and puts them on notice
    and it makes the awkward silence M-U-C-H longer

    and that suits my purpose fineicon_cool.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19136

    Feb 28, 2010 4:03 PM GMT
    Hmmmm...I don't know, I guess it is how you choose to look at it. It also sort of depends on how the term is used and the people to whom it is used. Is "Gay" a bad thing? If not, is the term "So gay" a bad thing?

    We want the freedom to say we are gay proudly, but God forbid someone else would call someone "so gay". It kind of seems silly. I get that it can be offensive to some, but does it have to be?
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    Feb 28, 2010 4:10 PM GMT
    Nowhere near enough context here to make a firm judgement, but from what you provide, I honestly don't see the problem.

    What if he'd said "and he's SO American"? Or such a hippy? Etc ...

    There are several Z-list TV "celebrities", for example, whose sexual preference remains a mystery to me, but, who because of their demeanour, I may well describe as, "soooo gay." And I wouldn't be offended at all if a straight friend/friend-of-a-friend/colleague said the same, whether they knew about my persuasion or not.

    Sorry, but I think you're overreacting.
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Feb 28, 2010 4:10 PM GMT
    It's hard to judge tone and nuance just from having the scene described, but is it not possible that instead of meaning "so gay" as in the idiot-slang derogatory 'gay' he was trying to 'out' himself as gay-friendly (to you, as the host) by tagging that he knew the photographer was gay on at the end of his praise for the guy's work? By way of comparison, if you were a Buddhist and a guest at your dinner party brought up a writer you didn't know, praised his work and then threw in "and I hear he's a Buddhist!" It can be an attempt to communicate how 'cool' he is with you by saying something nice about one of "your people."

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    Feb 28, 2010 4:16 PM GMT
    There's nothing wrong with pointing out how someone fits humorously well into a stereotype. You're being way too sensitive.
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    Feb 28, 2010 4:42 PM GMT
    And I suppose it would be acceptable if the person had used a racial slur as well? I'm quite comfortable letting people know that their language is inappropriate. I am not the sort to sit around awkwardly while people next to me spit out lines like, "That movie was so gay - I mean that dude crying? What a fag. I hated that movie!" I'm the sort of person who is going to turn to them and really clearly indicate my displeasure. In that context I perceive my response to be sublimely good-natured.

    But frankly, I have absolutely no qualms about being confrontational when it comes to people who think that is appropriate. I won't sit around and be a victim, then come crying to this board or my friends about how some mean, scary straight man hurt my 'feelings'. I am going to let him know that there are people with spine in this world. Have some self-respect, for Christ's sake.

    CuriousJockAZ said
    abelian0 saidAmen!

    I've had people at the table next to me use that phrase, and turned to them to address exactly what they were thinking, assuming they were. I'm not confrontational about it - I find it easy to start off with, "Excuse me, I'm sure you didn't mean to offend anyone, but I just heard you say, 'so gay,' and it happens that I am so gay too . . ." - but it needs to be reinforced.Let them know, and after making horse's asses of themselves several times they'll eventually learn to not be so obnoxious.

    lilTanker saidand yet you did nothing.



    Actually, interrupting someone's conversation at another table is, in my opinion, obnoxious and making yourself look like the one who is the horse's ass. Again, I think sometimes we are a bit too hyper-sensitive. Someone said "so gay" --- oh the horrors.
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    Feb 28, 2010 4:48 PM GMT
    I, by the way, am assuming the OP has the good sense to judge context between something minorly oafish, and something seriously offensive. There is such a thing as being too easily offended - but if an entire dinner table clams up, it likely isn't the OP being ridiculous.
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    Feb 28, 2010 5:08 PM GMT
    It depends on the setting and the way in which his remark was intended or delivered. For instance - did he smirk when he said the words, "so gay" or did he intend to somehow indicate that the gay photographer was a perfectionist, artistic, very talented (more than any straight guy could possibly be?)

    If I had been there, and I determined the guy meant no harm, fine. I might have added - "Yes, I know some gay photographers and their work often is incredible - an example being Walter Parada." If however, I perceived the guy slamming gay photographers, I'd have said something like, "That's an interesting comment.......I'm gay, but I'm not sure what you mean, could you elaborate?" I'd do it all with a dazzling smile, but an acidic look in my eye - glaring at the guy for a hard couple of seconds while the whole table waited to see how the guy was going to squirm out of this one!
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    Feb 28, 2010 5:18 PM GMT
    I'm sure the inflection isn't in the way i'm thinking about it... the only time i have heard "so gay" exactly like that, it is being uttered by queeny little shits that sneeze glitter and couldnt talk without a valley girl accent if a gun were to their head...

    Assuming this wasnt the case, you missed a teaching opportunity...
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    Feb 28, 2010 5:27 PM GMT
    I often say that's "ghetto", should I be worried someone I'm with grew up in one?

    "So Gay" could mean a million things including, awesome, homosexual, stupid etc... its become a part of north american slang, not everything we say or hear is meant as a direct insult or expression of bigotry.

    Every time I hear, "gypped" (maybe not so common in the US), I immediately state I'm from Gypsy heritage and see the reaction, most people have no clue that gypped was derived from the perception that gypsies would cheat people in any transaction.
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    Feb 28, 2010 5:55 PM GMT
    Was the photographer in question Robert Mapplethorpe? If so I think "he's so gay" would be applicable. His art addressed gay sexuality (very graphically) and brought gay sex subcultures into the mainstream.

    Otherwise it sounds like he was saying something is "gay" in a pejorative way, which sadly is pretty common. It's funny how if you call something retarded people would be more offended than if you called it gay as an insult.
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    Feb 28, 2010 6:06 PM GMT
    Okay, so you hasten point out that you're of gypsy heritage when you hear 'gypped', but it just slides right by when you hear people calling something 'gay' in proxy for stupid or lame? Think about that.

    RST2009 saidI often say that's "ghetto", should I be worried someone I'm with grew up in one?

    "So Gay" could mean a million things including, awesome, homosexual, stupid etc... its become a part of north american slang, not everything we say or hear is meant as a direct insult or expression of bigotry.

    Every time I hear, "gypped" (maybe not so common in the US), I immediately state I'm from Gypsy heritage and see the reaction, most people have no clue that gypped was derived from the perception that gypsies would cheat people in any transaction.
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    Feb 28, 2010 6:24 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]abelian0 said[/cite] I am not the sort to sit around awkwardly while people next to me spit out lines like, "That movie was so gay - I mean that dude crying? What a fag. I hated that movie!"


    Well, yes, lol, that would be blatantly offensive. However, if you're as offended by the statement "so gay" as you are by the statement "what a fag", then you need to see your Doctor about prozac and counselling asap.
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    Feb 28, 2010 6:39 PM GMT
    abelian0 said....but if an entire dinner table clams up, it likely isn't the OP being ridiculous.

    Or the table could have been waiting to take their clue from the gay member at the table.
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    Feb 28, 2010 6:39 PM GMT
    Hence my point above, which everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten in their rush to judgement. I am assuming that since the whole dinner table quieted, that most likely the comment was entirely inappropriate. Forgive me, and the OP, for not writing every line verbatim of the situation so that you can have the pleasure of judging actions post facto. Had you bothered to think about the situation he described, instead of the fantasy one you've created to justify the usage of "so gay", perhaps you would have realized that an entire table of people is quite an indictment.

    Brit_Bloke said[quote][cite]abelian0 said[/cite] I am not the sort to sit around awkwardly while people next to me spit out lines like, "That movie was so gay - I mean that dude crying? What a fag. I hated that movie!"


    Well, yes, lol, that would be blatantly offensive. However, if you're as offended by the statement "so gay" as you are by the statement "what a fag", then you need to see your Doctor about prozac and counselling asap.
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    Feb 28, 2010 6:43 PM GMT
    abelian0 saidOkay, so you hasten point out that you're of gypsy heritage when you hear 'gypped', but it just slides right by when you hear people calling something 'gay' in proxy for stupid or lame? Think about that.

    RST2009 saidI often say that's "ghetto", should I be worried someone I'm with grew up in one?

    "So Gay" could mean a million things including, awesome, homosexual, stupid etc... its become a part of north american slang, not everything we say or hear is meant as a direct insult or expression of bigotry.

    Every time I hear, "gypped" (maybe not so common in the US), I immediately state I'm from Gypsy heritage and see the reaction, most people have no clue that gypped was derived from the perception that gypsies would cheat people in any transaction.


    We actually had a massive scandal over here when a BBC Radio DJ, Chris Moyles, used the expression "so gay" to mean "a bit crap."

    Moyles guy isn't homophobic at all, and the debate raged and raged, with every argument under the sun put forward, from we shouldn't allow the word "gay" to be used as a pejorative in that context, to the arument that we've come so far, and are now so enlightened as a society, that we're not afraid to use a word which may well have lost all past negative connotations (i.e. gay as in homosexual is no longer seen as bad), has been ameliorated in that sense, and has now actually gone full-cycle in adopting an additonal meaning in the playground, which is "negative", yes, but in no way connected to homosexuality.

    It's a tricky argument. But deviates completely from the OP's original post. The guy who used the expression "so gay" had just been praising the artist's work, so clearly meant "so homosexual" (not "so crap").

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    Feb 28, 2010 6:45 PM GMT
    abelian0 saidHence my point above, which everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten in their rush to judgement. I am assuming that since the whole dinner table quieted, that most likely the comment was entirely inappropriate. Forgive me, and the OP, for not writing every line verbatim of the situation so that you can have the pleasure of judging actions post facto. Had you bothered to think about the situation he described, instead of the fantasy one you've created to justify the usage of "so gay", perhaps you would have realized that an entire table of people is quite an indictment.

    Brit_Bloke said[quote][cite]abelian0 said[/cite] I am not the sort to sit around awkwardly while people next to me spit out lines like, "That movie was so gay - I mean that dude crying? What a fag. I hated that movie!"


    Well, yes, lol, that would be blatantly offensive. However, if you're as offended by the statement "so gay" as you are by the statement "what a fag", then you need to see your Doctor about prozac and counselling asap.


    Or maybe he needs to get some new friends and not a bunch of people who clearly have pokers up their arses. I'd be more pissed off at said friends for going quiet and subsequently making it an issue.

    Either they're overly politically correct, or the OP has projected his insecurities onto them. The friends who went quiet are the ones at fault here, not the guy who said "so gay".

    This is, of course, my fantasy scenario of the incident, but what else could it be?

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    Feb 28, 2010 6:46 PM GMT
    It's 'taking their cue', and generally the cue they're taking is how to respond to a crass and inappropriate comment.

    It seems like you people are stretching awfully hard to make it seem like this is okay, when clearly everyone who was actually in situ was made uncomfortable by it.

    Caslon13000 said
    abelian0 said....but if an entire dinner table clams up, it likely isn't the OP being ridiculous.

    Or the table could have been waiting to take their clue from the gay member at the table.