Students should think twice before saying ‘gay’.

Maegan Kabel

Justin Aaberg, July 9.
Billy Lucas, Sept. 9.
Tyler Clementi, Sept. 22.
Asher Brown, Sept. 23.
Seth Walsh, Sept. 28.
Raymond Chase, Sept. 29.
Zach Harrington, Oct. 5.
These seven young men killed themselves due to the daily harassment they faced about their sexual orientation.
Now, awareness is coming up in the form of people wearing purple on Wednesday, Oct. 20, to honor these young adults who found their lives too much to handle.
But wouldn’t it be better to not have a day dedicated to remembrance of people who have passed?
Walking along the halls of BV, many homosexual slurs can be heard.
“Oh, that class is so gay.”
“Fag, get out of my face.”
“Don’t be a homo.”
These get thrown around, most of the time without a thought about what’s really being said.
Many people are guilty of this. Others don’t say these words, and cringe every time someone else does. But there are only a few people I hear actually standing up to the people using this slang.
It’s not right.
You’re not cool.
You aren’t funny.
These words hurt people. Yeah, you may just be calling your friend “gay” because you think they did something stupid. But, in those instances, you’re using the term “gay” to mean “stupid.”
Using these words as synonyms hurts people.
Your friend may not mind, but that comment could be overheard by a person who is just aching inside, realizing they will not be readily accepted by their peers.
BV prides itself on being first class.
Surely if we’re first class, we can find a better word than that one to describe how we feel.
You don’t have to agree with someone’s sexual orientation. But at the very least, you should respect it.
People may argue that using “gay” to mean “stupid” is just freedom of expression.
Well, what about those people’s right to feel safe?
Is your ability to use that word to express your feelings worth someone’s life?
After the seven deaths, Facebook pages popped up, honoring these young men and giving comforting messages to family members and friends.
Although this is noble, they needed this support and outpouring of compassion before those final words drove them to suicide.
That person saying that it’ll be okay needed to tell Aaberg, Lucas, Walsh and Chase before they slipped the noose around their neck.
Before Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River.
Before Brown put the gun to his head.
Before Harrington took his life.
If every time you misused a homosexual term or used it negatively someone died, would you still do it?
Society’s vernacular is killing people.
These people deserve the same amount of respect we show one another.
We don’t single out or discriminate people for other reasons, and this one should be no different.
Four of these seven deaths were just kids: two 15, two 13.
No one should feel so alone that they want to end their life.
But the fact that two of these kids will never see high school and another two barely got a glimpse says something.
Words stripped these kids of high school experiences and so much more.
Words made them feel so alone that life wasn’t even worth another day.
Eliminating the incorrect use of homosexual words from language is just one step towards acceptance at BV.
We have a gay-straight alliance club.
Homosexuality does exist at BV. Students deal with this language being thrown around them everyday.
Just place yourself in their shoes next time one of those words starts to escape your lips.
Think about how that one comment could factor into a life-ending decision.