"Homophobic language isn't always meant to be hurtful, but how often do you use it without thinking?"
The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta in Canada has set up a website called NoHomophobes.com, which monitors the use of casual homophobic slurs on Twitter. The figures are astounding. (To me, anyway.)
The website has three tabs; Today, Last Week, and All Time. The numbers are collected on the website in real time, so you can actually refresh the page and watch the figures climb.
Between March 7th and March 13th (ie Last Week), the word 'faggot' was used in a tweet/tweets 322,576 times. The phrase 'so gay' was used 77,878 times.
In the count for Today, 'faggot' had been used 31, 419 times at the time of writing this blog.*
From the NoHomophobes.com website: "Words and phrases like “faggot,” “dyke,” “no homo,” and “so gay” are used casually in everyday language, despite promoting the continued alienation, isolation and — in some tragic cases — suicide of sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) youth."
* I'm not sure how the 'Today' count interacts with world time zones. 3.22pm in Brisbane is 11pm in Edmonton, Alberta, but the fact that this number might represent a whole day rather than a partial day doesn't exactly make it better.