Social Issues September 30, 2012
#Yuck: Homophobic Language Is Very Popular On Twitter

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This is a thought-provoking website.

NoHomophobes.com was created by the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) at the University of Alberta.

It tracks the use of anti-gay language on Twitter, including "faggot," "so gay," "no homo" and "dyke." And what it's been finding isn't very positive.

According to the site, the word faggot is used on Twitter an average of nearly 1 million times every month, or over 10 million times a year.

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"We never imagined the scale of casual homophobia that actually exists on social media," says Dr. Kristopher Wells, the Associate Director of iSMSS.

"The use of homophobic language remains one of the few socially acceptable forms of discrimination in our society and make no mistake, leads to isolation, bullying, beatings, and tragically, youth suicide."

The website is part of a campaign to raise awareness about casual homophobia and language. iSMSS is encouraging people to Tweet using the hashtag #nohomophobes to respond to negative language they see, and to "challenge their friends, colleagues, or family members who use it."

The website and its findings are saddening, especially if you'd like to believe we've become more accepting and less discriminatory as a species.

Sometimes, the best way to challenge people who thoughtlessly use anti-gay language is with humour.

In this video from Current.com's show 'That's Gay,' host Bryan Safi talks about Kanye West's use of the phrase "no homo" on Jay-Z's 'Run This Town,' and then gets into anti-gay language in hip-hop.

It's a hilarious but thought-provoking video, and it's worth a couple of minutes of your time (warning: some potentially offensive language, all bleeped):

Related articles:

NBA PSA Speaks Out Against Anti-Gay Language

Gary Bettman On Trash Talk & Wayne Simmonds

John Irving On Opponents Of Gay Marriage

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