Using Anti-Gay Language Is Wrong..Always!

It is almost a year to the day that the famous NBA player, Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 by the NBA for using a derogatory gay term in frustration over a referee’s call. NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the disciplinary action on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 saying the distasteful term used by Bryant should never be tolerated.

John Krolik wrote an interesting article about this incident for Pro Basketball Talk.  John said:

The issue here is not Kobe; the issue is the word he used… I don’t think Kobe’s unfortunate choice of words revealed that he has a deep-seeded hatred of gay people.  I do think they revealed that athletes are still comfortable tossing around a word that, like a few other very hurtful and powerful words, should not be tossed around.

Eliza Byard is the Executive Director of GLSEN.  In a blog for the Huff Post, Byard wrote about this incident.  She said:

A huge amount of credit goes to the NBA for partnering with us long before Kobe’s offensive and hurtful comment, just as the league deserves credit for its swift and stern response and $100,000 fine.

But the fact that slurs like this one are even a part of his lexicon demonstrate how far we still need to go to teach respect of all people, particularly those who are or are perceived to be LGBT.

We presume one of the big reasons is the tolerance — in schools and society — for language like the slur Kobe used.

Research conducted one year ago shows that gay and lesbian teens are twice as likely to experience symptoms of depression as their heterosexual counterparts, and three times more likely to report a history of suicidal thoughts. According to the It Gets Better Project, 9 out of 10 LGBT students have experienced harassment at school. Three out of 5 said they felt unsafe because of who they are.

Until students on campus, or on teams representing their schools, feel they are protected no matter whom they are, we cannot give up the fight to stop abusive language that targets children.

According to Byard, next Friday marks the 16th anniversary of the first Day of Silence, a day sponsored by GLSEN when hundreds of thousands of students at middle schools, high schools and colleges across the country take a voluntary vow of silence to raise awareness about anti-LGBT bullying in schools and on campuses. It is a problem that has been ignored for far too long, and we too often see the dire consequences of inaction on the lives of young people.

I am writing this article for two reasons today.  First, I applaud GLSEN and their mission to ensure safe schools for all students.  Their goal is:

a world where every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community.

The second reason for writing this article is because of the anti-gay language and bullying that has been used by one of the contestants on Celebrity Apprentice.  I feel compelled to call this young lady out.  I watched a preview video of the next episode of Celebrity Apprentice and was shocked to hear gay bullying right on the show for everyone to hear.

Using anti-gay language is wrong… Always… Whether you mean for it to hurt someone or not.

For me, I find it baffling that Aubrey O’Day can call her teammates homophobic slurs and then turn around, claiming to be representing GLSEN and against bullying.

So…do we let O’Day slide by, laughing at her own gay slurs or is there a consequence for her hurtful words?  Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for his distasteful words?  Will anything happen to O’Day?  Millions heard Kobe Bryant.  I would suggest that millions would also hear O’Day.  I can only hope that NBC will remove the hateful remarks from their broadcast and that GLSEN is as upset with Aubrey as they were with Kobe.

Professional sports players, singers and celebrities need to set an example for young people who use words like this on the playground and in our schools, creating a climate of intolerance and hostility.  They all have a responsibility to educate their fans about why these words and bullying is unacceptable.

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. I am in favor of removing "ALL" bullying, anti-gay, and indecent language of all kinds – but I know
    that will NEVER happen!!! Speak-up on the issue and people think you are the one with a problem!
    The more indecent the language the more people are applauded – I dont get it!!! Somewhere along
    the way we have lost kindness, good manners, and decency – very sad, in my opinion!

  2. I totally agree on your article and am totally disgusted with Aubrey O'day, she is so rude, hypcritical, mean and egotistical, how can she be representing GLSEN and be such a mean person, I'm trying not to stoop to her level but I'm not too fond of her, and how can she say mean things about Clay, he's such a wonderful loving person, anyway It seems like she has been put in her place, people should respect each other for who they are. Thanks for writing this article. Love Clay!

  3. I share your disgust at the bullying and name calling of Ms. Aubrey O'Day. I can't imagine that GLSEN really wants her as a public face for their organization after seeing her make fun of and belittle others on national television. If they do not denounce her behavior then I am very disappointed in them. It seems that any good done by donations she brings in would be undone by her hateful behavior on Celebrity Apprentice, behavior which goes against their mission. If I was not already a supporter of GLSEN, I would not be tempted to check them out because of Aubrey's association with them.

  4. i agree totally with your article on anti-gay remarks, Aubrey o'day should be ashamed of herself, especially since she is representing glsen, I am losing all respect for her more and more with each episode, she is rude, hypocritical, mean, no compassion and very immature, i'm glad you brought this up, people need to respect each other no matter who they are, Clay is such a wonderful loving person, how could anyone not like him when they come in contact with him.Thanks for this article, it was great and needed to be written.

  5. Thank you SO much for this!! I do hope that her remarks are edited from the broadcast, but fear they won't be since they were in the preview. If they are heard by millions, I hope there is outrage and that she will be held accountable.
    She is doing more harm than good. She may be raising $$ for GLSEN, but what tv personalities say can be much more important than $$. We've all heard the phrase, "Put your money where your mouth is." She needs to put her mouth where the money is going.
    What a shame that on a show that is being done for charity, this kind of thing is allowed to happen.

  6. I think that many people will view that episode and hear the slur will deem it acceptable and may use it themselves, which is wrong. The slur thrown at a grown person that has developed thick skin and that has been bullied all his life can let it slide, but a young person that has not developed that armour is a different story.
    The problem is that O'Day does not see herself in the mirror as a bully. She will say to anyone that will listen that she is not. She has a lot of growing up to do.

    • @piatims – You are correct. O'Day does not think she is a bully. She actually wrote that one is only a bully if they say any type of slur or nasty remark to a person's face. Otherwise it is not bullying. I guess GLSEN needs to contact her and set her straight.

  7. I am so glad you wrote this article. Aubrey O'Day needs to understand that what she is doing is wrong. She either doesn't understand or doesn't care.

    She needs to understand how wrong it is to name call.

    I do feel bad for GLSEN as I am sure they have not heard the latest anti-gay remarks that she said. They do need to speak up tho.

    Thank you for posting this important information.

  8. Love this blog! It's about time that someone calls out Ms. Aubrey O'day for her disgraceful behavior.

  9. musicfan – It's good that you brought attention to that despicable and hateful slur spoken by O'Day. Hopefully GLESN will also do the same. To tell the truth, it was very unsettling to listen to her hatred. I calmed down by going to the garden center to focus on the beautiful plants and flowers in order to erase it all from my mind. Looking at some Clay videos and photos also helped.

  10. All of this makes Clay's chat on Wednesday night even more amazing. Remember when he wouldn't answer a question because he thought it could be interpreted as a dig at Aubrey and he wasn't going to entertain that? He had already muttered under his breath earlier that he doesn't think any of her comments are funny. He was already super annoyed at her, having seen the episode, but was definitely going to protect her from any of the same treatment.

    Love that Clay!

    Musicfan, is this too much info from the OFC? If so you don't have to approve the post 🙂

    • This was a beautiful comment and I thank you for posting.

      Yes…I would imagine that Aubrey's comments drive Clay up a wall. I am amazed that NBC would include that comment in their broadcast.

  11. I don't believe Aubrey was "bullying" Clay, but I do believe Aubrey is setting a very bad example, especially if she is truly working on behalf of GLSEN (which is how she's representing herself). GLSEN has "No Name Calling Week" – one of their main initiatives. This is an individual who is currently the face of GLSEN and she's calling people names episode after episode. In this particular instance it wasn't just any name, but specifically an LGBT slur which is the core of their existence. If she can throw that around, and then laugh about it, it diminishes their message and what they are working toward.

    I have spent a lot of time commenting on various sites and trying to lend support to GLSEN when people post in the comments section about Aubrey working for an Anti Bullying charity and how can that possibly be the case since she's the biggest bully on Celebrity Apprentice. I point out that GLSEN is a great organization and is doing wonderful work. These people aren't Clay fans, they're Celebrity Apprentice fans – they are the ones who GLSEN should be concerned about. These are the people whose potential first experience with GLSEN will be through Aubrey O'Day. That's really not a very pretty picture.

    With all of that said, I have to point out that there was a time when Aubrey was most definitely bullying Clay – on twitter (at least up until the moment he stopped following her). She has riled up her fans and encouraged them to bully en masse – and she then retweets the most vile of them. THAT is a bully and she is encouraging the use of social media to get at her victims. She is an enabler of the first degree and is most definitely not an educator.

  12. This is such a good article on such a timely subject. I believe everyone whether a celebrity or not should be called out on bullying. Celebrities just by the nature of their business have many people watching and listening to them . To continue to belittle and bully others is especially damaging to many others simply because their platform is larger. . They should be called out for it and told this is not acceptable. Glsen is a great organization. I hope that Ms O'Day will read about the charity she is playing for and stand up for what they support rather than continue to bully others..

  13. I could not believe that she was allowed to say that about Clay, and especially that they would include it in their preview of next Sundays show. I think she is a very hateful person. I know they are supposed to act this way for the show to create controversy, but they need to take out these kinds of slurs.

  14. I'm hoping, against odds, that nbc edits the particular slur that Aubrey said in the preview, but don't expect it as it creates "buzz" for them. I think what Aubrey says and does particularly now about Clay & Arsenio (he has a new tweet today) is definitely bullying. What I dislike more is that she is using for fame.

  15. I feel so bad for GLSEN. Aubrey isn't an official spokesperson yet she presents herself as one and her words and actions go against what GLSEN stands for. I'm sure they will be livid when word of this gets to them. I wish we as a society would stop the hurtful and hatefilled language and those in the public eye would set a better example.

  16. Aubrey's attitude is so despicable. I absolutely hate when someone uses the expression "queen" in reference to Clay. He has said that being gay is only part of who he is. He is also so much more…..talented, kind, compassionate, giving, and an all around good guy. Why did she have to use hurtful expressions to describe him? And, to think she actually said on camera that she doesn't like Clay! Its hypocritical……

  17. I too could not believe that the editors did not remove Aubrey's comment from the video teaser. However, if it brings further awareness to the cause and calling out those who use that cause just for their own attention, then I am thankful. It allows us to be more vocal on the subject of bullying and to admonish those that resort to it.

  18. aubrey behaveyor is a descrace and i do hate it when when some one uses the word queen in reference to clay aiken he inded said being gay is a part of who he is and hes also much much more verry amazingley talented and kind giving compashionite and a all around amazing man why then oh why did she have to say those hurtfull expreshions to describe clay and to think she said that on camra that she dont like clay aiken is verry verry illogicial

  19. Hanhj, The video clip from this week's episode of Lisa and Aubrey where they both aren't very nice to Clay and Aubrey calls him a "queen" and says she doesn't like Clay. He looks kinda hurt at their treatment of him. Its never "cool" to call people names.

    • Thank you. If they are not going to edit that part out, which is a shame, I wonder what we, as his fans, should and can do to denounce it.

      • I'm guessing that there have been fans who have already protested to NBC and CA about it,
        but I'm not sure. Its a different generation today where some people don't care about what's right
        and what's wrong. Sad……

        • I think it is important for us to let GLSEN know how we feel. Afterall, Aubrey is telling everyone that she is representing GLSEN, not that she is raising money for the.

          This great organization is getting a bad reputation because of Aubrey. For some viewers they don't know anything about GLSEN and Aubrey is painting the wrong picture!!

  20. why should they remove something that was actually said. i think that people should be aware Ms. Oday's beliefs and attitudes and then perhaps they would think twice before accepting her cheque earned through bullying, demeaning and belittling. let her actions be known so that she will no longer be representative of groups that have worked so hard to overcome what she so thoughtlessly and callously puts out there. i am just sickened over this girl and glsen's association with her. i must also mention that clay's cruel, smirky and belittling behavior towards a classy young lady last night has made me reconsider my admiration for him. How quickly he joined in on the bullying. Really sad, very human I know, but still sad.

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