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The Three "Gays"

Once I worked with a lesbian couple and one day, one of them said, of something in the workplace she thought was stupid, "Well that's gay!" I did a double-take, looking toward her with a smile but head tilted, indicating I had a question about this. "Well, you know," she said, "the three gays. Gay happy, Gay stupid, and Gay Gay." At the last one she motioned between herself and her partner. Apparently, the general assumption that a gay (lesbian) person would be offended if you used the term "gay" to refer to something stupid, didn't extend to her!

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Mar 22, 2018

by: Alan

Thanks for the comment Paul. My understanding of why the term 'gay' is seen as offensive is when it is seen as a conflation of the last two of the 'Three Gays' as you or your colleague has described them, that is to say that to be something 'lesser/stupid' and to be gay (sexuality) are the same and that's why it is seen as offensive.

But further to that it shows as ever how our differing understandings of words can be the source of misunderstanding.

The exercise '4word build' given at this link explores such situations.

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