Lifestyles Center Blog

HUMP DAY: WORDS HURT!

The phrase, “that’s so gay”, has been popular amongst teenagers and young adults for many years now.  In a study conducted by the University of Michigan, data shows that this phrase has a lasting negative effect on young students in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community.

The study, which is published in the Journal of American College Health, contains the impactful results of 114 LGBT students, ages ranging from 18-25, who have often heard the phrase, “that’s so gay”.

The findings show that those who repeatedly heard this phrase were more likely to feel lonely and experience headaches, loss of appetite and other eating disorders.  However, the study notes that approximately thirteen percent of the participants did not hear the “that’s so gay” phrase, during their time of participation.

Michael Woodford, an assistant professor and co-author of the study, states that college students within the LGBT community may already feel left out, due to being categorized in the “sexual minority” box.  Thus, people using phrases like, “that’s so gay”, can discourage them from feeling confident or welcomed.

Therefore, it is important for us to be educated on such a language that is hurtful to the LGBT community.  With education, we can eliminate discrimination, starting from the verbal level.  So, if you are someone who casually uses the phrase, “that’s so gay”, I challenge you to catch yourself before you say it, and then reflect on how the absence of the phrase made a difference in your day, week, month, year.

Written by Angelica Perez, Peer Educator

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