Tuesday, May 27, 2008

XBox Live and Gaywood

There is this guy named Richard Gaywood and he had an XBoxLive gamertage Gaywood. Microsoft forced Richard to change his gamertag because:
Gamertags are visible to everyone and it would be hard for me [Stephen Toulouse] to defend to a parent of a young child who saw it that the name did not contain content of a sexual nature.
'Gay' was originally another word for happy. During the 1800's and early 1900's homosexuals where seen as unhappy, lonely people with an unhealthy sexual affliction. So when the UK sodomy law was abolished in 1967, homosexuals called themselves 'gay'.

The word 'gay' in our modern interpretation is interchangeable with 'homosexual' and is probably why Microsoft wanted Richard to change his GamerTag. But I agree whole heartedly when LesbianGamers Writes:
It does not take a genius to work out what all of this negative affiliation does, not only for the language itself, but for the rebound effects that language has on gay people in society as a whole. The more we accept people using gay in a derogatory manner such as “that’s so gay” to denote something is bad, sub-par, stupid or unworthy, the longer the hatred will flourish. The more we sit back in blinkered silence as the word gay is linked time and again to something sexual, deviant or negative, the longer the hatred will fester.
And another quote to leave you with:
Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.
- Hermione granger