Site Records All the Casual Homophobia on Twitter, Depresses Us Immensely
A barrage of casually cruel tweets rushes swiftly by each moment on the site, which was created by the University of Alberta's Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS). According to the press release, the website is supposed to serve as a "social mirror" that captures and documents the amount of homophobic language that occurs every moment of every day. Since July 5, "Faggot" has been tweeted 2.4 million times, "So Gay" 800,000 times, "No Homo" 800,000 times and "Dyke" 300,000 times.
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At first I thought, in my Pollyanna-ish way, that perhaps people were affectionately tweeting each other. After all, my queer friends and I call each other fags all the time (admittedly not on Twitter, but still). Or maybe people were proudly exclaiming their identities, in a sort of affirmative, Stewart Smalley way: "I am dyke, hear me roar!" Alas, that doesn't appear to be the case. Here's a sample from literally 30 seconds in real time:
"We never imagined the scale of casual homophobia that actually exists on social media," says Dr. Kristopher Wells, the Institute's Associate Director, in the press release. "The use of homophobic language remains one of the few socially acceptable forms of discrimination in our society and make no mistake, leads to isolation, bullying, beatings, and tragically youth suicide," says Wells.
Aside from bumming us all out, the site also functions as a call-to-arms, and we can totally get behind that. They suggest you tweet #nohomophobes the next time you encounter something awful and homophobic online, to not sit idly by in the face of bigotry and hatred.
Also, to counteract the buzzkill, please enjoy this really adorable gay wedding proposal in Central Park.