Dear Trevor's Friends,
For your last response to me, thank you for understanding me. I know sometimes I tend to ramble on a subject (as well as most people do) and my points are hard to get across, but you understood how I think we are individuals and we shouldn't be judge on just thing about ourselves (Especailly our gender or sexual oreintation)
So today in Sociology, we caught a glimpse of what the world would look like if only a 100 people lived in it (Based on 2001 statistics) For example, there would 13 European people, 60 Asian, 12 American, and 15 Africans. Of those 100 people, there would be 11 LGBT individuals. And that ratio brought up so many questions for so many students.
Like one student asked, "What if AIDS/HIV was in 20/100 people, would that mean most gay people would have AIDS/HIV since its such a gay disease?"
I was slightly offended but I knew the student was misguided with false information.
I raised my hand, in offer to answer the question. The teacher ackolwedged me for my answer and I said, "No, but it is true that LGBT people can contract AIDS/HIV but so can any other person. It is not a "gay" disease but more LGBT people are contracted with it compared to heterosexuals."
The student nodded his head back and forth, unsure of what I meant.
"But when have you ever heard of any heterosexual diseases," I asked the student. He thought for a while, but then shook his head in disagreement.
I said, "We're all humans and we share this planet, along with any of its natural forces, like disease. The only difference between you and a homosexual in diseases is who contracts what. And that contraction can be anything. Let me give you a scenario:
Lets say one gay man has a common cold. A heteroexual woman walks by and catches the same cold the gay man has, does it make it a gay cold?"
He quickly said, "No. A cold is a cold..."
"And a disease is a disease," I finsihed for him. His face suddenly burst into this realization of that we can't label anything "gay" because someones sexuality has nothing to do with something that can happen to anyone or anything.
So my question is, When or where did people start to refer things as "gay?" Or utilize the phrase, "That's so gay." Like my classmate who refered to AIDS/HIV as such a gay disease.
It's great to hear from you again. Thank you so much for writing back to us. After reading your letter, all I can say is how brave and courageous you are for speaking up in your sociology class. It can be incredibly nerve-wracking to stand up and say something that may be criticized by your peers. You took a chance to express your opinion on something that can be viewed as controversial but by you taking a respectful and intellectual approach, you gained the respect and acknowledgment of your fellow classmates, and I bet, even your teacher. If I could give you a high five, I would!
In response to your question (which is a very good one), there isn't a concrete or definite answer. I apologize if this isn't the response you were hoping for but there isn't one person or organization that coined the term, "that's so gay." To be completely unbiased, I believe that terms like "that's so gay" comes from the same origins as terms like "you're being retarded," "stop being so *ethnic group*" or any slang terms you may have heard regarding a group of people. Certain groups of people in society may be viewed as "abnormal" or not like everyone else. So, these groups may be viewed negatively by large groups of society and the words that are used to identify these groups are then used in a condescending or derogatory way. Does that make sense?
HIV/AIDS was coined "the gay disease" because when the epidemic occurred in the 1980s, many recorded cases of infected individuals were in homosexuals. However, as you stated in your class, straight people were also being infected as well. HIV/AIDS was just associated with the GLBT community because of such the high percentage of the community in the 80's that were contracting it through various ways. But in today's research and literature, this statistic is quickly changing.
For 16 years old, you are incredibly thoughtful and intellectual, and it's wonderful to see someone so bright ask mature and challenging questions. Please continue to ask these questions and responding respectfully to your classmates and whoever may have their own thoughts and questions.
Please feel free to send us another letter if you have any more questions. Have a great day, Ashton!
The Trevor Team