Homophobia: Everywhere

With a recent news article about how a person playing under the name “theGAYERgamer” resulted in his gamertag getting banned, followed by a Mr. Richard Gaywood getting his name banned afterwards, I’ve come to the conclusion that good portion of the people I talk to are bigots and hateful. It’s sad to think about it this way, but this is just one of those frustrations I have.

A little background information first, “theGAYERgamer” was originally removed due to a multitude of complaints against this person’s account, resulting in a requirement to change his name. Things to consider are that it was a play off of a slightly known website (that I can no longer find).

Second: Richard Gaywood apparently had the nickname “Gaywood” on Xbox Live, which of course resulted in the same action as the first scenario. The difference here, it is his real name. Richard Gaywood apparently sent a photocopy of his ID to Kotaku in an attempt to help prove that Microsoft’s steps in trying to control this stuff has gone too far.

A lot of questions are being raised now as to where the line should be drawn, what is the reasoning behind removing these nicknames, and how to deal with exceptions. It is depressing to see that enough complaints about these names managed to cause the operator to pull the names, especially when you actually talk to most player on Xbox Live. Xbox Live is not family friendly, and never was. There are many comics that depict just how bad it can be on there, whether it is racism, sexism, homophobia, or religious bigotry, it’s all there black and white, clear as crystal.

The main question is: Why isn’t anything done about it when it’s just as (if not more) offensive hearing it in game? Well, for one, a good deal of players have come to accept that it is the way people talk. Another reason could be that if someone spent all their time filing complaints, they’d never actually get to play or participate as well as the possibility for being suspended for flooding the queues.

It just seems to me that there is a general intolerance of homosexuality. It seems that more and more people aren’t willing to allow others to live their life as they want to in the United States (read: The Home of the Free), and instead wishing to impose their own will on their lifestyle. Some good questions came up earlier as to what would happen if someone came up with a name like “theNAZIgamer” or “theniggagamer”? What would happen there?

My bet is nothing would happen because of the general attitude of the fellow players. This isn’t just isolated to one service though. PC Games, Chat Networks, and even public conversations seem to have the same tone. I hear random people all the time saying things like “That’s so gay.” or “You’re a fag.” In fact I had this presented to me yesterday and it’s been occupying my mind. Does the other person who said that really understand the interpretation behind those statements? I, on the receiving end, understood what the person meant, but it was still frustrating in the end.

I understand that some people just won’t accept that people choose to live like they do, and refuse to understand that it is their life. I understand that it’s caused from years of religious teachings, and social majority, but I will say this; if you are going to support the irrational homophobia, you might as well support the irrational mantra of religious bigotry and racism.

Everyone is a person, and deserves human respect.


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