What Do You Say to "That's So Gay"?
In this excerpt from "Not In Our School: Palo Alto, CA," Gunn High School students in Roni Habib's Facing History and Ourselves class challenge the saying "That's so gay." (4:49)
- The teacher in the video opens the discussion with his students asking if they feel it is necessary to say something if they hear they term, “That’s so gay.” What do you think?
- One student justified the use of the expression stating that it was not meant to hurt people who are gay and “everyone says it.” Does it make a difference that the term is so commonly used? Does this make it harder to challenge its use?
- In the discussion, one student says that there is danger in allowing the “little things” (like biased words) to become acceptable because this can lead to larger and more serious forms of prejudice. Can you think of examples in your own life or in history where this has been true?
- It can be really hard to think of what to say in the face of hurtful words. What were the examples that students’ shared that were effective? (“Gay doesn’t mean stupid” and “I have gay friends and that’s offensive.”) Can you think of other responses that could be effective?