BigJohn wrote:To the OP: Well, if I said that I thought that this thread was totally gay, would you feel insulted?
Not at all. Everyone's entitled to their opinions. If you feel it's gay, so be it. Doesn't bother me the least. But I believe people find gay to be an offensive adjective (when not meant as an honest attempt to simply describe something as being associated with homosexuality) not because the person to whom the adjective is directed might be offended, but because others may be offended, as it mocks and demeans homosexuality.
If someone says "your shirt is gay" it's no big deal if the wearer is offended. "Your shirt is ugly" wouldn't generate similar controversy. The problem is that it (a) perpetuates stereotypes that may or may not be true about homosexuals (that they wear shirts like that) and (b) implies "that shirt makes you look gay, ha ha like a homo, let's all laugh at the homo." That's the problem.
I think fruitloop made a great point.
fruitloop wrote:I think we have (at least) two issues here.
1. Whether it is ok to use 'that's a bit gay' for things that might generally be associated with the effete, effeminate, camp, feminine, or stereotypically (rightly or wrongly) homosexual.
a. In a pejorative manner
b. In a non-pejorative, matter of fact manner.
2. Whether it's ok to use 'a bit gay' as an ironic pejorative for things utterly unrelated with homosexuality, but perhaps not associated with with a rather silly stereotype of red-blooded male virility. Such as going home to the wife and kids after only one pint rather than ten.
But regardless of the different possible uses, which might carry different levels of offensiveness depending on context, tone, speaker, audience, etc., it still seems that most uses of gay as an adjective (except where it is truly meant to express only that something is associated with homosexuality), even where meant to be light-hearted, DO at least implicitly mock homosexuality. After all, it is usually used as a perjorative.