Using language that defines people to hurt others isn’t okay


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A mural of a sad girl from London.

by Diarra Smith, Staff Writer

Nowadays, it is fairly difficult to get your point across without creating controversy.

People tend to take things in a completely different context than you may have intended. For instance, the word “gay” has become an insult, spat out from the mouths of ignorant teenagers without any type of relation to the words’ actual denotation. It often comes up as a natural retaliation and response to the average youth’s snarky comments. Although it can be taken as a joke, it is evident that there is no consideration for people who may feel otherwise.

Notwithstanding the needless use of labels in today’s society, some people may feel uncomfortable regarding the fact that many people use them in the context of a joke.

During an argument, I personally have been jeeringly called a “fake lesbian.” What were they trying to hurt me with? That I’m “fake” or insinuating that I’m a “lesbian”? I don’t find homosexuality offensive, but I do find assuming my sexuality and stating the fact that I am supposedly approaching it “wrong” very degrading.

I am a witness to this type of unnecessary behavior. In contrast to this remark, I believe that everyone should have the freedom to be who they feel they are and eventually find their way in society, despite whatever sexuality may come to be of themselves.

It has been proven numerous times that one’s teenage years are the hardest years of one’s life, considering that everyone is attempting to figure out where they belong in this world. So when people use these words, which are not derogatory in themselves, in a way that is meant to hurt others, it’s repurposing language into a weapon that it’s not supposed to be.

It is already burdensome enough not knowing your place in life yet, and any added discrimination only puts that much more pressure on people each day.

It’s 2017. People should be able to like/be whoever they want to be, without any type of negative ramifications for being themselves.