Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Interesting Column

Brian Kinchen, a sports commentator for ESPN, was fired for misusing a slang phrase. The phrase in question is one heard practically everywhere, in one form or another: "That's kind of gay." Folks on blogs and on the air have commented about whether or not its okay to say such a thing. Straight folks tend not to get it as readily as gay folks.

Perhaps some folks might better understand why using the phrase can be felt as very demeaning. Most gay folks see the correlation used by the user when others liken a situation that is dumb, stupid, unusual, or weird to the word 'gay'. Imagine how a person would respond, if instead of using gay, they used the word 'Jew' or 'Asian' or 'Mexican'.

Still, the commentator didn't sound as if he was being mean when he said it. Admittedly I only read about it but even in print, it sure doesn't sound like he meant to be demeaning. And yet, even accidently, our words can have powerful connotations.

Here is an article from the DesMoines Register that explains what I am getting at.

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