Oh, Public Service Announcements. We know them so well. Created by The Ad Council, some of the most famous – and relentlessly mocked – PSA slogans include “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste” and “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.”
Hey Ad Council! What if we’re wasting the mind of someone who causes forest fires? What then?
One of the council’s current campaigns focuses on the negative connotation of the phrase “that’s so gay.” These particular PSA’s are a collaboration between The Ad Council and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
The campaign’s commercials feature “celebrities” such as Wanda Sykes and Hillary Duff (~well-known gay rights activist~) confronting unsuspecting teenagers as they use the phrase “that’s so gay.”
The campaign hopes that people will stop and think what they’re really implying when they say “that’s so gay.”
For those of you who don’t know, I am the queen of the gays (yeah, you heard me Kathy Griffin). I love them and they love me. So I am all for fighting against discrimination and preventing the bullying of gay teens. However, this campaign has overlooked one critical fact: sometimes you just have to say “That’s So Gay.”
I got in trouble recently with one of my gays for saying “That’s so gay.” What was I describing? Something super gay.
When I’m watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and one of the contestants does a pirouette during the lip-sync for their life, how am I supposed to describe that? When a designer on Project Runway screams “Where the HELL is my chiffon?” what do you want me to say?
The most concise and accurate response is simply “That’s so gay.”
Some people use the term to be intentionally malicious or hateful while others use it with complete ignorance. When I say “that’s so gay” I say it with the utmost love and respect.
In fact, why can’t we decide to use “that’s so gay” to describe positive things? If you find a $5 bill on the street, proclaim “That’s so gay!” When your friend tells you they’re engaged, scream “That’s so gay!” The next time your boyfriend is excited that he bought some fabulous shoes on sale, tell him “that’s so gay.”
The point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make is that intent is more important than words. People can say some horrible, hateful, evil things without using a single slur or profanity.
And sometimes things are just super, mega gay and “that’s so gay” is the most eloquent description that can be used.