Why do we use the term “gay” so freely?

Deja Ramos, Reporter

” That’s gay!” We’ve all heard it and most of us use it, but why? Students tend to use the term “gay” a lot more then we should. The thing that we fail to realize is that it is actually hurting people that, well… are gay. Now I don’t mean to be so blunt about it, but honestly, why do we use the term “gay” so much?

Over the past years the word gay has become much more popular and used more frequently then in the 90s. So what does this mean? Are we starting to lose care on how we would describe some thing we dislike, and are reverting to using a short 3 letter slang word, that in retrospect has a much bigger impact then we can fully understand. The word originally, meant carefree, happy, or bright and showy. It was a positive word; it wasn’t up until the 17th century the word took on a new turn and fell a little off track from its root which was a Old French word “gai,” which most likely came from a Greek term. The word gay began to be used in ways of saying “addicted to pleasures and dissipation.”Since then the word began to be an insult and lowered to the meanings of being an extension of the sexuality connotation of “carefree and uninhibited.”  In the 1940s it  morphed into becoming homosexual.

So why is it that “gay” now means stupid or dumb? Could it be that society has disrespected and mutilated one’s pride or sexual orientation to the point of making a word just for it, which by not saying it directly to that specific  individual but every time you use that word you may be implying the disgust of that person without you being aware of it. Kohala high student Selina Keawekane says, “it slips out sometimes, when I’m with my friends that say it a lot.” Another student says, “we hear it so much, it comes automatic and it’s in my vocabulary.”

So maybe we don’t intentionally say it to offend others, it’s just how we were brought up; even adults occastionaly have had a slip up and said it.  As a small school we must work hard at accepting everything and everyone; words hurt even if it wasn’t a direct insult to a person but to an inanimate object. So as a little challenge try to not say gay as much, when describing things, watch what you say, think before you speak, and also explore your mind and really give thought to how your words affect others.