Today is International Day Against Homophobia.
I'm the first to acknowledge that in recent years we have made great strides towards equality and stamping out homophobia. However, when any person feels discriminated against, bullied or threatened because of their sexuality.....then we still have a long way to go.
While I do eagerly await the day that our relationships are given the same status status and recognition that straight marriages are, it's not the first thing I'd like to change.
High on my priority list is the conversation around the way the word GAY is used.
Gay does not mean that something is lame, stupid, weak, wrong or inferior.
You can't use GAY to describe an object. A piece of clothing. A performance. The only part of a person's personality that can be described as GAY is their sexuality.
Using gay to label things as lame and the like belittles gay people and is a form of homophobia.
It's not funny. It's certainly not clever.
Imagine the teenager who realises that they are gay but the only time the hear the word is used as a negative word. To belittle. To mock. How are they supposed to feel safe and confident 'coming out' if the language around them tells them are lame, wrong and inferior ?
We need to stop using the word gay in a way that harms and belittles.
We need to teach our kids not to use it.
We need to let others know that it is unacceptable.
It's not actually a huge thing to do. Eliminate misusing one word. However it has a big impact.
That's what I'd like to achieve.