The ‘Gay’ Word!

Gary Hart July 30, 2015

In Britain, 99% of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people hear the word ‘gay’ used negatively while at school.

The Gay Word

84% feel distressed when they hear it used as a synonym for rubbish or uncool, yet almost half of all 18 to 29 year olds think the term is fine to use.

Why are people so divided over the ‘gay’ word?

The Gay Word is a documentary about the emerging trend of saying the word ‘gay’ negatively to mean rubbish, uncool, or embarrassing.

Film maker Amy Ashenden travels around the South East of England to find out why some people have started to say ‘eurgh that’s gay’.

Is it homophobic or has language evolved?

Amy asks gay and straight people, young and old, why it makes certain people deeply offended and others less fazed.

At Stonewall’s HQ in the city centre of London, Amy speaks to the largest gay rights organisation in Europe, which is campaigning against the word ‘gay’ being used negatively, and travels to meet the university academic who claims it’s harmless.

She also speaks to teachers, parents, a LGBT+ activist, a transgender male, and young people still in school to find out where the trend of saying “that’s so gay” negatively comes from, and if it should be stopped.

For a list of screenings of the film, click here: and you can follow the documentary on Twitter and Facebook.

September screenings in London will be confirmed shortly.

Amy is a BA French and Spanish graduate from the University of Southampton. She free lances for the Guardian, is the former editor of the Guardian Student Website of the Year 2013, The Student Journals, and has previously produced Working for Nothing – a documentary about unpaid internships in the UK, which featured an interview with the leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett.

The Gay Word has been produced with the support of equipment from SUSUtv, at the University of Southampton.

To view the trailer, click here: