Be mindful of how you use the word ‘gay’

This article also appeared in the Toiler Times, the student newspaper of Manual Arts High School.

By Carla DeLeon

When the word “gay” is mentioned to you, what’s the first thing that pops in your mind? To some people it’s simply a way of joking with each other, but what if you were to say it to the wrong person unintentionally? How do you think he or she would feel?

GLTBI stands for gay, lesbian, transgender, bi, intersex. I’m sure most people know what gay, lesbian, transgender, and bi are, but do you know what intersex is? Intersex is a person who physically looks like a male or female but claim to be the opposite.

I recently heard the term. My teacher explained to me what the word is, and I learned that if you’re an intersex, you know deep inside of you, that you are the opposite sex of what you look like. There is an issue going around in school, in which teachers and staffs are getting trained for. For example, if we have a student who physically looks like a male, but claims to be a female, he has the right to use the female’s restroom. For those boys who think they can finally go in there with their girlfriend, it’s not as easy as it sounds. A security needs to make sure there are no girls in the restroom in order to for the other student to go in.

Since a very young age, I’ve seen kids bullying others about their perceived sexuality, simply because of the way they looked or behaved. The trouble begins when students who may be gay begin to start feeling rejected and don’t feel accepted by everyone. Although many people may not realize it, this can be an early sign of depression

After the years go by, depression may lead to much more serious things. The maltreatment may not stop and the depressions will most likely increase. Depression may lead to suicides. Once people start feeling suicidal, everything becomes very serious.

While watching the news, you may come across a teenager committing suicide for not being accepted for who they are. You may stumble across this sort of news every so often. The most recent data from the American Association of Suicidology shows that there are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses ever year. Most of the time, this kind of news may go unheard, it’s more of a hidden problem.

At Manual Arts High School, I’ve seen many things. For instance, while in class, I have heard classmates call other students names such as “fagot and gay,” but they do it basically to call each other names. Students are always teasing each about their manhood. In this school, being called these names are on a constant basis, but what about for those who really are gay?

I have a friend who is bi, and whenever she hears the word gay, she gets offended. How wouldn’t she when people are shouting out words that are offensive to others? Even if the word is said to her or someone else, she is proud to be the way she is, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Life itself is hard enough, but why make it more difficult by insulting others? People who are gay are humans too and deserve the respect from others.