Last November BTL reported on a website tracking derogatory terms called http://www.nohomophobes.com. Here Tweets with the words “so gay,” “faggot,” “dyke,” and “nohomo” are aggregated into a feed and tallied. While the innovative website continues gathering data about this language use, researchers from the project are moving forward with a campaign to help make people aware of how use of these terms is hurtful.
Dr. Kristopher Wells, assistant professor and associate director of Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta in Canada, heads the project.
“We no longer tolerate racist language, we’re getting better at dealing with sexist language, but sadly we still see and hear homophobic and transphobic language in our society,” Wells said. “While this language might not always be meant to be hurtful, we must not forget that words like “faggot” contribute greatly to the continued alienation and isolation of sexual and gender variant (LGBTQ) people, especially our youth.”
A Canadian TV commercial was produced with generous support from Global Television. “We are proud to be part of this campaign,” says Tim Spelliscy, Senior Regional Director Global News Edmonton and Prairie Region. “This is a pressing social issue that has been swept under the surface for far too long.” Dr. Wells, who worked closely on the development of the campaign stressed that “the use of casual homophobia must end. We are all responsible to stop it. The lives of our youth and the humanity of our society depends upon it.”
The TV commercial is a 30 second spot that bleeps out several words deemed offensive except for the words “gay faggot,” which triggers viewers to question why the use of homophobic language is still used and accepted by society. The commercial also directs viewers to http://www.nohomophobes.com, the site that tracks homophobic words on Twitter.
As of Feb. 16, the total number of references for each word have been:
No homo 2,781,178
So gay 2,514,115