Rewind to a month or so ago when I made a Facebook post expressing an opinion on a tv show I had seen. I left my computer for a couple hours, returned, and found all hell had broken out on my FB page.
An online gamer "friend" ( I like Cafe World, ok?!), let's call her Rita, had replied to the comment by saying: "That's gay." A friend of mine, who happens to be gay, (real friend, not just a FB gamer friend) had gotten into quite a heated discussion with Rita about the use of the term. As they were verbally swinging at each other I tried to be the voice of reason.
Rita is a young 20-something girl with a baby and a husband stationed in Afghanistan. She's living on a military base where she didn't want to be--her husband didn't tell her ahead of enlisting. I think because I knew of this circumstance I was probably more patient than I would have been otherwise. I explained that when you call something gay the way she had, she was implying it wasn't good; thereby equating gay with something not good. No matter how diplomatic I was in trying to get her to see that the word carries power when used in a derogatory way, she just couldn't see why my friend had taken such strong offense to it.
At the end of it all--some 90 minutes later-- the best I could get out of her was that she MIGHT think about it before using it again. I held out a glimmer of hope that the 90 minute conversation might reverberate in her brain a bit. Until a few weeks ago. While perusing my Facebook wall page there it was again. " That's gay." And that was my introduction to the "Remove" button on the Facebook Friends page.