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Friday, September 28, 2012

Site Records All the Casual Homophobia on Twitter, Depresses Us Immensely

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM

click to enlarge nohomophobes.jpg

If you want to depress yourself on this rainy Friday, we'd suggest you visit the new website,, which chronicles the horrific and prolific use of homophobia that exists on social media websites.

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.

See also, these non-depressing posts:

10 fun facts you didn't know about lesbians

The best way to deal with racist Facebook comments

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:

This person puts the homo back in "doesn't know how to correctly use homonyms." Homophobia disguised as chivarly, how gallant. Also, gay men don't need to buy ladies drinks. Have you been to a gay bar? There are two-for-one drink specials EVERY DAY.
Not a morning person? Blame it on the gays. We do make the sun rise and set.

"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.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook. Follow Anna Pulley at @annapulley.
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