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My husband’s friend from college chose to come out a few years ago. God knows why he chose the people he chose, but soon, at a party, I was on the receiving end of this conversation.

“OMG! Listen! Have you heard? X has now become a gay. His gestures and mannerisms are now SO GAY!”

There was so much I wanted to say, but trying not to be too scathing, all I could manage was, ‘That’s not your information to share. When he is ready, he will tell me.”

What’s so upsetting about what she said? Nothing really. I have heard such things so many times in the past, but it never felt pejorative. Because social environment is pivotal in discerning the intent of language. It may not intend to wound but it does intend to marginalize. The expectation is, that this man who I had in my wedding is suddenly supposed to be “the other”. So few people understand the complexity of public discourse and its effects — failing miserably to recognize the heteronormativity of “that’s so gay.”

Call it out. Make it stop.