Monday, December 22, 2008

Just What Did Dale Mean?

There is a Facebook group The word "gay" is not a synonym for "stupid". The aim of the group is to disassociate the current trend among young people for saying something is a bit gay to mean either uncool, untrendy or stupid. The side affect of this of course is that those friends of such people who are gay feel the knock on effect of the word being used in this way.

Therefore you can imagine my shock that to retaliate to group of rowdy and disruptive teenagers prominent blogger, erudite broadcaster, prominent homosexual and former parliamentary candidate Iain Dale should retaliate buy say the white tracksuit he was wearing looked ridiculous and a "bit gay". Therefore I have invited Iain to join the above Facebook group as he clearly needs to learn of the issues that many young LGBT people encounter when this word is associated with stupidity.

The Conservative Party may be trying to rebrand themselves away from their homophobic past with LBGTory grouping, but when when of the most high-profile, non-elected and gay Tories shows such an attitude and blogs about although rather self-effacing after the event possibly shows how little the attitudes of those in the Tory party actually have moved on.

14 comments:

Iain Dale said...

Unbelievable.

Stephen Glenn said...

Yes Iain it is. Having worked with young people on and off for years. That you could have used that phrase in either of the recognisably conoctations is quite as you say unbelievable.

Jennie said...

I have to say, that given that our party came up with the wonderous slogan "homophobia is gay" I think there is a tiny element of glass houses here, but, you know, any opportunity to point and laugh at That Tory Blogger...

Have we all got our handbags at the ready? I know it's not dawn for 10 hours or so, but...

Stephen Glenn said...

Oh yeah I'd forgotten that slogan.

But then when I was 13 I was being called all sorts and I wasn't sure exactly where I stood back then. Possibly why I've given so much time to youth organisations since in one way or another.

I guess having been through all that made me want to be the best at whatever I laid my mind to. ie the anti "gay" in the modern parlance. :)

Jennie said...

I feel quite gay in the very old fashioned sense of the word - happy and brightly coloured.

While in the semi modern-usage I am bi rather than gay.

And in the very modern usage, I am lame and geeky, which could be gay, I suppose.

Stephen Glenn said...

Yay!! Get as full value as possible out of the word as you can Jennie.

Kev said...

I'm kind of with Iain on this, especially if he is gay.

I had an Irish colleague refer to me as Paddy last week. We're still pals. I always reckon that comments become insults by intent, rather than simple utterance - or am I being a bit Irish?

Happy Christmas ;-)

Kev

Stephen Glenn said...

Interesting point there Kev and it can depend on context. Say for example of mates are contantly ribbing each other about there conquests on a Saturday night and they have a gay friend in their midst. Ideally they would rib him about the guys where they go as they would each other about the lasses.

But I can assure you that those sort of mates would be first to jump to their gay friends defence should anyone else start it.

Kev said...

Yep, and I've been in that exact circumstance.

Pete Wass said...

This is utterly ridiculous. I am someone who is "a bit gay", and it is not comments a la Dale that I find offensive, it is the self righteous comments of people who have disappeared so far up their fundaments as to lose perspective.

Stephen Glenn said...

Firstly Pete my comments are not self anything but are based on a number of practical experience from working with our young people over the years.

I have already said to Iain across a number of mediums and in a number of places that I do not have a problem with him using the word and the meaning he associated with it himself. Indeed in the right company taking jocularly there is very little offense in it.

However, when as in this case is a defence from an adult to put down a 13 year old because he could think of no other way to handle the situation that I do take offense.

The word is irrelevant merely a catalyst for the amount of comment this story has generated in the last 15 hours or so. It is the context of its use that I take exception to.

The Burbler said...

Steve - well said all round in the whole variety of places you have written on this.

Stephen Glenn said...

Eeek you broken into Mr Dales Facebook account to read his messages as well have you Paul ;)

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