One Equal World

GLSEN Says ThinkB4YouSpeak

Posted on: May 1, 2013

We’ve all heard them: derogatory terms for LGBT people used casually, jokingly, and hurtfully. Some might not even realize how offensive their language is, so they keep on using it day in and day out. Others use anti-gay language knowing full well how many people they’re hurting, and receive few repercussions for doing so.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is aiming to change that by keeping a live tally of the instances of anti-gay language on Twitter. The group has released a new embeddable app called ThinkB4YouSpeak, which tracks the usage of common anti-gay words and phrases like “fag,” “dyke,” and “so gay.” It offers a categorical breakdown of usage for “today,” “last week” and “last month.”

ThinkB4YouSpeak aims to stop the usage of phrases like "that's so gay" in everyday language.

ThinkB4YouSpeak Ad

The GLSEN hopes that by bringing attention to anti-gay language, people will become more aware of what they’re saying and think before they post something using hateful words. The tool also offers a live feed of all tweets containing the targeted words and phrases, which means that the people who use them will be held more accountable.

While many people using anti-gay terms and phrases are perfectly aware that their language is offensive, many young people do not realize the full extent of what they are saying. Pre-teens and teens may begin using the terms after picking them up from others and begin using them without understanding why they would be considered hurtful.

A prime example of this happening is with the phrase “That’s so gay.” In recent years, it’s been used as a way to say something is stupid or undesirable. Kids pick up on the meaning, but they don’t always realize the context. And that’s just why this kind of app is needed—to help those kids and adults understand that there’s a history behind the words they use, and that while a term or phrase may seem common enough to be acceptable, that’s not always the case. We need to think about these things before we speak, so that we can understand the full implication of what we are saying.

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1 Response to "GLSEN Says ThinkB4YouSpeak"

The process of evolving as humans includes; awareness, education and behavioral change. I believe the changes we desire of the general population must first begin in how we as a LGBT community treat and respect each other. We can set a greater example by first learning and demonstrating social respect in our own “Little World”. It concerns me that so many LGBT have yet to learn how to get alone. I have a dream; “Let the respect, harmony and equality we desire begin at home before we expect the world to follow”.

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