Your Clothes aren’t Gay – Justin Hanks

Your Clothes aren’t Gay

Justin Hanks

Well that’s gay. That’s soooo gay. That’s like totes uber gay. Bleh. You have no idea how many times I hear that awful phrase… uber.

… Okay, obviously I’m joking. My real gripe is with the word gay – a word that represents me – being used to express dislike and hate. I hear so many things called gay: homework, exams, traffic… One time I even heard a girl say, “My mom and dad are so gay!”

What the hell does that even mean? Was she adopted?

There are so many expressions about other minorities that people wouldn’t dare to say, but quips like “that’s so gay” and “no homo” are all over the place.

It’s ridiculous. The word gay used to mean happy. Now it means the complete opposite. It’s like when hipsters call something bad but really mean it’s good but truly mean it’s bad but ultimately mean nothing because they’re being “ironic.”

Considering the root definition, calling someone gay should be a compliment. Why doesn’t anybody ever say “Oh Em Gee! I love your bag! It’s so gay!”

One time, I was wearing a colorful jacket and somebody called it gay. Gah. Yes, I suppose in the grand scheme of things, my jacket prefers to mate with other jackets of the same sex. If I recall correctly, I actually found homoerotic magazines under its bed. Inside, there were highly explicit pictures of jackets taking it up the sleeve. They popped their collars, unzipped each other, turned inside out, and completely exposed their tags. There were even interracial pictures between a jacket and a muumuu.

On a serious note, being gay is not some zinger. I was born with a burdening secret. Growing up, I heard so many false, misleading, and downright mean things about who I was and what I was going to become. It’s unfair.

I totally believe in freedom of speech, but when you know you’re saying something hurtful, do you want to be THAT person who keeps saying it anyway?

Besides, there are so many awesome alternatives: that’s so vile! that’s so applesauce! that gives me the collywobbles! what a load of hooey! horseapples! poppycock! that’s so uber jacket!

I guess my point is that words can hurt, and in today’s world, members of the LGBTQABCDEFG community already have enough to deal with. Next time you’re pissed off at life, remember; the world isn’t gay… I am.

49 Responses

  1. AFlo says:

    My name is Justin, and I'm a Xavier student. #manresamonologue

  2. Chelstar says:

    COLLYWOBBLES! That was beautiful and hilarious at the same time. Keep preaching!

  3. Camie says:

    too soon… I'm adopted, remember? πŸ˜›

  4. colette says:

    I think the problem isn't that people are being insensitive, but rather that they don't really think about the implications of the words they use. People are so prone to follow a trend, and the misuse of the word "gay" has become a trend among teenagers and young adults in the US, and thus people think it is okay to use it in every sentence, since "everyone is doing it". I think kids and people should be educated and encouraged to think for themselves, to not live for the trend, and to think before opening their mouth. Because, yes, it is so easy to say something and then realize that what we just said was actually bad, very bad, and that we just hurt somebody. People need to stop being so oblivious to reality and to those around them, and actually start caring more.

  5. Jamie says:

    Hey. I like J because of his personality. Unfortunately i don’t think he wants a gf right now. So far none of the guys i like do. Life is simple. I will tell you that much. As far as your post goes. Telling a person that they’re gay is wrong. U believe in gay rights and would never tell a person that unless we are joking about or talking about it. I.e. with someone who is. I know some pretty awesome gay people but i don’t care you’re still a human being with feelings.

  6. Liv says:

    Oh god, I've never heard of "my mom and dad are so gay!" What the hell is wrong with people?

    I must admit when I was younger I sometimes would call things gay, but then I befriended a girl who's a lesbian and learned how disrespectful it really is. Nowadays I just feel weird when people use the word like that. I'm thinking – are they doing it on purpose?

    It's just a word that should be avoided being used as an adjective.

  7. McKayla Balzer says:

    I, personally, find this post to be uber jacket. Totally insulted.

  8. Justin says:

    I used to be really bad for this.. But I kinda stopped when I came out of the closet lol.
    I don't really mind when people say "That's so gay" around me, but it drives me absolutely bonkers when someone's like "That's so gay.. No offense!"

    Like stfu, I wasn't offended until you made it seem like you were thinking about it being offensive you hoe.

  9. Jenny says:

    Ok, I have to admit, I'm guilty of calling things I don't like gay occasionally, despite knowing how rude and insulting it is. It's like calling something "retarded", which I think is just as bad as using "gay". I'm trying to get rid of this bad habit though, promise! Now I just call things "stupid", because seriously, they are stupid, and stupid people don't really deserve any consideration -_-

  10. Noel says:

    Hands up! I have been know to use that word in similar situations to what you've outlined above…

    But only in "familiar company" – Say if I was with a few mates having a beer the odd "wtf man – those shoes are gay"

    It seems that "gay" is been given another meaning like for e.g. "sick" Nowadays I hear ppl use "sick" as a compliment.. It's all f*cked but I guess thats the way the world is going…

    Cool post;)

  11. Holly says:

    I couldn't agree more with you. I hate to hear the term gay used in such a bad way. I think the world has forgotten its true meaning. I hate it when people say things like "oh, don't be gay". What? Why? There is nothing wrong with being gay so why use it as an insult.

    Jackets mating with jackets of the same sex haha that's just hillarious!

    Yeah it's my final year of college, then university next year! A levels the exams you take throughout college when you are 17 and 18. We seem to have a very complicated system of education in the UK compared to in the US.

    I've never heard of Fringe before. I'll have to check it out. πŸ™‚

  12. Erica says:

    I'll give up saying uber as long as we can team up to make pork a dirty word again.

    I call stupid shit gay. And it's not because I'm calling it homosexual. It's because it's stupid shit. Just like gay used to mean happy, and then it meant homosexual, you have to keep in mind that words do change in definitions. No one means it as in something horrible is gay, homosexuals are gay, therefore homosexuals or horrible or anything equally as retarded (note, I don't mean mentally handicapped).

    As a Canadian living in the USA I get a lot of lols from people when they find out I'm Canadian. I wouldn't care if people said something is bad by calling it Canadian though, just like I don't mind when I get teased abotu my trash-can head, ala South Park.

  13. Michelle says:

    I won't lie I used to say that phrase but I was stupid/dumb back then and didn't realize words could hurt. Since a long time ago, I stopped saying it but one time it did slip out accidentally and people freaked. I think it's okay if it's a slip and was not meant to say but if people say it anyhow without any regard..well that's different.

  14. Rachel says:

    In third grade, my teacher asked the class to share what they thought about school. I thought I would be clever and show off my vast vocabulary, so when the teacher called on me, I said, "I think school is gay." You can guess what I meant and what everyone else thought I meant. That was when I first learned how the word could be used negatively, and I guess that's why I've never thought it was okay to say something was gay, even before I knew homosexuality existed.

  15. Ashleenah says:

    I can admit that I use "gay" in the wrong context but it usually slips out & I don't really realise that I've used it like that until comments like this blog entry are made. I guess I don't use to much anymore, if at all.

    I never really think about how it could offend/annoy others, but it makes me think twice about the things I say & how they could come across to others.

    Thank you for commenting on my blog post. Actually made me feel a whole lot better. I'm a very shy person so going out & doing new things/meeting new people is a very hard thing for me to do. I barely even like meeting my boyfriends friends. :s

  16. Clarisse says:

    It's like words are just being thrown around now, without any care for the actual meanings of the words.

    The word "gay" isn't even something negative to begin with, yet it's being used all the time as some generic negative word, and it just doesn't make sense to me.

    This post was so true, but also really funny, so I really enjoyed reading it! πŸ™‚

  17. Nancy says:

    Back in the earlier years in high school & middle school, I always hear people using gay as an insult. But as years go by, I hear less and less of this, as my school's GSA goes out to educate everyone else about this mess. Even now, I snap at people for using the term negatively. If it's used positively, I let it slide. It's good, good ;D.

    I still wonder how this became some kind of trend. And instead of using gay as a description, use fabulous. Or beautiful :D. Your jacket is beautiful, Justin. ^__^

    There's no point in being a total douchebag when it comes to picking out your words based on your belief in free speech. It's more of a moral thing, if you want to be known as a cool kid, or a moron.

    At camp, we learn about ways to secure our computer and network better. I'm not entirely sure, but it's something relating to that. πŸ˜€

    Take care ;D!

  18. Meaghan says:

    Yeup, I'm a weird one.
    I've never seen a sunrise before! So that was my only chance. I will never ever be waking up that early ever again. Unless it's to catch a plane… or something.

    Too late now. Prom is today… -__-

    I ABSOLUTELY HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY "NO HOMO." What in the eff is that supposed to mean? People go, "You're so pretty! No homo." & I want to slap them in the face.

    LOL about the jackets. πŸ˜›

    You have the hots for JB!? We cannot be friends anymore.

    Joking! πŸ™‚ But seriously, JB is a no no.

    I used to say "that's so gay!" all the time, but since I entered high school, I stopped. I became friends with an openly gay person (who turned out to be a huge jerk) & he would cringe every time someone said that.

    I just think it's immature now.

  19. Cat says:

    I have to admit that I used to call things "gay" when I was young =( As I grew older, I learned how offensive it was and replaced it with other sayings. (My favorite is "that's silly".) It's not only offensive, but it sounds really immature too. Fortunately, I feel like I don't see or hear that saying as much anymore.

  20. Antonio says:

    You're right. People use the word "gay" as a negative connotation and it's very rude. We're trying to obliterate hate and misunderstandings of homosexuality in the world. So those people who use those derogatory statements aren't helping. It is really sad that in the year 2012, even with all the progression LGBTQABCDEFG (:P) has made, there is still so much ignorance and hate in the world. Maybe one day we'll get somewhere and it'll be equality all around.

    You should start a "Stop Saying: That's So Gay" movement blog. Because you're all like talented and stuff. ^_^

    By the way, loved how deep you really got. That last line in the last paragraph, was raw and deep. Kudos, Justin.

  21. Jas says:

    TOTALLT agree with this. I get so annoyed everytime someone uses it in an inappropriate way. Glad someone has finally blogged about this!! xox

  22. Hyeoni says:

    Omg Justin! I'm so guilty! I used to…USED.. >__<… to use that word when I was a middle schooler up until in mid high school. I stopped when my high school implemented every homeroom teacher to lecture us and said that saying words "retarded, stupid (I still say stupid), or gay" is not right because there are people who are gay and people who are "retarded." He went on saying we might not mean to insult (which I wasn't I swear! I have nothing against gays and retards lol) but it is an offensive word to others. So after that lecture from him, I stopped! πŸ™‚ I was pretty naive and narrow minded back then so I didn't think how my words affected other people. But I still hear it often from the kids and…it's because they just don't know and their immature, like how I was. It's like a teenage language. I think high schools in general should implement lectures on offensive terms used often among their group age. To make them aware how it affects other people. By high school we should have reasonable amount of reasoning developed by then, lol. Teens who care will take it seriously. πŸ™‚ Others will take up until late adulthood to stop. The phrase "that's so gay" is very childish and teenage like and will eventually go away as they get old. I don't hear that phrase among my age group anymore! I do still see "no homo" among boys though… But I'm sorry that you had to go through that… I hope in the future when homosexuals are more widely known, people will eventually stop abusing these words. *hugs*

  23. Mallory says:

    Dude, I agree completely! My youngest brother recently learnt the phrase 'That's so gay' recently, I'm guessing from YouTube where he spends most of his time, and I actually just explained yesterday to him why it wasn't a good thing to say.

    I'm not sure if he entirely understood the explanation I gave him, (('Riley, you don't say 'That's so gay!' You can say anything else. Say, 'That's fucking stupid!' Saying 'that's gay' is mean to gay people. Guys sometimes like guys, and girls sometimes like girls, and that's okay, but making fun of gay people is NOT okay',)) But he hasn't said anything of the sort since, so I'm hoping it worked.


  24. Christine says:

    I agree 100%! When I was teaching high school that's all I used to hear. Whether it was a homework assignment, a book, or sometimes even me…it was "gay." I started taking points off of their final averages for every time they used the phrase. (1point per time said). It's strange how it has become a fixed structure in their vocabulary. They don't even know what they are saying half of the time. Now, teaching college, it doesn't happen at all, but I can still remember my daily battle with this issue in my last job. It's insane!

  25. Elie says:

    People nowadays are so arrogant. They throw around words like they mean nothing. A few of those are molest and rape. They think it's harmless but no, they just use those words casually as if they hold no meaning.

  26. Angelica says:

    I also think it's sad how people are using that word these days. In Sweden the word isn't used in the same way as in the US but many people here just as in the US look down on people of other sexual preferences than straight.

    I have gay/bi/transgender friends and I don't want them to suffer prejudices and hurt over their sexuality.

    It's so stupid. One think that in the year 2012 we'd come further than we have when it comes to these things.

  27. Krystal says:

    I am very guilty of using the word gay to describe things/people. But one day, I told myself I really need to STOP using it and I did. And to just to say, I only started using it because of other people who used it. The more I heard it being used, the more it became incorporated into the way I spoke. Now, I use other words, like ridiculous, that don't hurt other people.

    I'm glad that there are campaigns out there that tells people to stop using the word gay other than describing a gay person/people, but it will probably take a couple of more years just to eliminate the word being used wrongly forever.

    I saw someone mention in their own comment that people throw around words like they don't have any meaning and I have to agree. I have seen people use the word rape loosely numerous times and it honestly angers me because rape isn't funny and should NOT be used in a comment like this: "I totally raped the replay button!" Same with a lot of other words like retard/retarded which I never use.

  28. Aashni says:

    I used to use the word "gay" a lot a few years ago, and then I realised how it was having a negative effect on the way we think about it, and how it reflects to people who are in fact gay. I've learnt to stop using it, and spend a lot of time trying to get people I hear to stop using it as well. It's just rude, and almost barbaric.. Kinda goes back to using other words that we "shouldn't really be using"

    I must commend you on your paragraph on the jackets being gay together. That really made me laugh. I didn't realise how sexual clothes could be to one another! haha

    I actually fly quite frequently nowadays, since my university is in Toronto, and my home is in Kenya… very far away from each other! lol. Before, I used to travel at least once a year with the family… so lots of travelling experience for me πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the compliment on my layout πŸ™‚ I've actually been working hard to get them to look… better to say the least! I plan on making a new layout, but I don't see myself actually having any time for that in the near future.. we shall see.

    And i revived you from the graveyard πŸ˜› hehe.. I actually revived you before reading your post πŸ˜› lol. I'm so glad you're back into blogging! you're blogs are usually some of my favorite to read πŸ™‚

  29. tiff k says:

    Oh dear! I am guilty of using "that's gay!" *shameful* I'm really sorry but I don't mean for it to be bad. Society and media have infiltrated my mind -_- I don't use it all the time though and I hope to mind myself more. I do have gay friends and they're awesome (like you!!) πŸ˜€

  30. Jen says:

    I actually laughed on the Justin Bieber part. πŸ˜› I am (quite) guilty of using the word "gay". Though I have gay/lesbian/bisexual friends, I still use the "gay" to connote something, uh, "not-so-likely". Maybe it is the media who influenced me, and it is our society's fault as to why I keep on doing it. Oh well, I'll stick to your recommendation. maybe now I'll just use "That's so applesauce!" πŸ˜› Haha!

    Kidding aside, I am actually happy when there are members of LGBT in our circle of friends, they bring "color" to our friendship. πŸ™‚ They are normal people, though the (large part of the) society thinks they're not. So I guess labeling them with a word that is somewhat degrading or lowly is just not right.

  31. Deanna says:

    We talked about this when I was in school to become a teacher. I think a lot of people say it without thinking, kind of like a reflex. Which is sad and doesn't make it right. Another one that bugs me is when people say "that's retarded." Winston says that sometimes and I get mad him. But he doesn't understand why I get mad.

  32. nyuu says:

    haha UBERRR!!

    It's strange, but while the phrase, "that's so gay" was being thrown around to insult people, I've only used it a few times in happy situations. Because my mind automatically thinks gay=happy, Duuuhhh (that and because I was reading Shakespeare and he used the word 'gay' and I thought it was very high classed to use it in its correct form).

    I'm not even gonna comment on the Justin Bieber remark.

  33. Matt Harvath says:

    Great Blog! I love it. I peed a lot after reading through it! And thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

  34. Alice says:

    DUDE LMAO I think this is my favorite blog by anyone ever. Like seriously, I love the way you were funny throughout this whole thing while you made your point, and I feel like this is a lot different than how most people would argue your point XD BAHH continue to be hilarious Justin! πŸ˜€

  35. Shiri says:

    I think I'm going to start using the "that's so applesauce!" one from now on πŸ™‚ Not that I've ever EVER used "that's so gay".

  36. Liza says:

    Soo, I can't remember if I commented on this or not, but yes. "That's so gay" is something people say a lot. "That car is so gay.", "This traffic is so gay." I really like the commercials that say, "This sweater is so Jessica and Maria."

    The definition for "gay" also means "happy". I've used gay for happy a few times before. I haven't recently, though, because my friend got so angry with me for saying something… I can't remember what it was. :p – because I was being a hypocrite by saying it's not right to say "that's so gay [in place of dumb, etc.]", even though I was saying something for happy.

    Geez. Society and their new terms. 'Tis too ridonkulous.

  37. Liza says:


    I just noticed that…

    …No, I'm not even gonna go there.

  38. Sunny says:

    Bravo! Well said!!! I agree with you 100%. People need to realize that words DO hurt. πŸ™ Our school did a campaign a few years ago about stopping the use of the word "retard" in hurtful ways and your blog entry reminded me of it! Almost everyone in the school signed the pledge, but 90% of them didn't even TRY to stop using the r-word. In fact, right after it, they made fun of how "uncool" and "retarded" it was that they were made to sign the pledge. I was one of the only people who signed the pledge and still have yet to say it to this day (and I don't plan on saying it in the future, either.) This just shows that not only do people use the word "gay" in hurtful ways, but there are a bunch of other words too that people use terribly πŸ™ It's pretty saddening to see what society has turned into!!!

    I like your list of alternative phrases/words πŸ˜€ Poppycock- I'm so uber gonna use that now haha πŸ˜€

  39. Kenji says:

    I'll admit.. I use the word gay. A lot. I'm one of those annoying people that don't think about the meaning of the word (at all) when I say it.

    I think that in society today, the word has been changed so much.. to the point where I would hardly liken the word to homosexual.

    I love the way you've explained it though… and I will most definitely think twice before using the term so loosely again!

  40. Jenni says:

    Haha, I'm with you on this. It's so childish, it reminds me of being back in high school.

  41. Miles says:

    But what about EMO?

  42. Sandra says:

    I only use the word gay when I'm happy. But I guess gay in today's world simply means gay.

  43. Sandra says:

    I only use the word gay when I'm happy. But I guess gay in today's world simply means gay. I respect you for being who you are, same goes to my friends who are in the LGBTQABCDEFG. We are all human beings for Pete's sake, we are who we are after all. So I'm with you with this blog entry! I like the alternatives! Applesauce, collywobbles! *PS sorry for the previous comment before this. I accidently pressed enter thus submitting my 'unfinished' comment. ^^

  44. melle lee says:

    the term "gay" is now overused.. Everything can be tagged as gay.. even the way you eat and what you're eating and yes, words can hurt especially if the term that was used against you was offensive and insulting.. now, that's gay.. LOL

  45. I always tell people (especially children) to watch their words. Not only the words that they used to describe others but the words they used to describe themselves….why? Because as you said "words can hurt". And there are a lot of people out there who are abusing others with words out of ignorance and self-inflicting pain because they aren't loving themselves enough to be mindful of their word choices.

  46. Clint says:

    I think people are overrated with the use of the word "gay". I mean, it's like they are using it as a word replacement.

  47. Stephanie says:

    It's silly how we are constantly changing the meaning of words so we have to keep making new ones. It's odd how a word that just used to mean happy, then meant that you like other people of the same sex, then went straight to a derogatory term. I sometimes wonder how the first jump began in the first place? Not to mention telling someone they are gay is a poor insult anyway. "You are so gay!" "why, yes, I am extrodinarily happy! It's too bad that you're life is so meaningless that you have to try to insult others with such poor creativity."

    In order to not be offended by people's misuse of words I try to think of their sentences in literal terms. For example, if someone were to say "school is so gay" I imagine a school filled with rainbows and people of the same sex hand in hand prancing around happily, with unicorns and nyan cat thrown in for good measure. If someone were to say "that flower is retarded" I say "Well, if it isn't growing fast enough, maybe you should water it!".

  48. Isabel says:

    My Brothers call my clothes gay all the time. Then I call their clothes cats (since I hate saying bad things) and they're like "Wtf?!"

  49. CharlieIsADemigod says:

    It’s unfair when people say stuff like this! Just because a boy’s wearing pink (for example) doesn’t mean that you can go and call them gay.

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My name is Justin, and this website is devoted to my many hobbies. From writing and web development to theater and cosplay, I'm always up to something. I haven’t been myself ever since I was born.

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