By Allison Milton/The AS Review
The AS Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Alliance’s (LGBTA) Assistant Coordinator Josh Foley has worked to create a list of phrases for students to reference when they are confronted with someone who says “that’s gay” or uses any other offensive term. He said these terms and phrases are a tool to help allies stand up and confront students who use offensive language.
“Knowing what to say is the first step to standing up for what you believe,” he said.
Foley said he hopes creating awareness of these phrases and use of this tool will create more allies on campus.
“These simple phrases allow students to take back the power that is stripped away from them the moment someone uses inappropriate language,” he said.
Here are a few phrases Foley has come up with to use when someone uses noninclusive language:
We live in a community where all have the right to feel safe.
You don’t know all the people around you, so try to keep your language inclusive.
Instead of “gay” why not try: blasé, stupid, boring, obnoxious, immature, frustrating, or infuriating? (*Be sure to enforce that “gay” does not mean these terms and this is why they should change their choice of words.)
Please don’t use that around me, it makes me feel uncomfortable.
That is considered hate speech and is unacceptable.
Western promotes an inclusive atmosphere and doesn’t tolerate language like that.
That language makes you sound immature and ignorant.
Next time, when you hear someone say “that’s gay” or any other non-inclusive term that makes you uncomfortable or might make someone else uncomfortable, know that you have the power, and the right, to stand up for yourself.