I live in the Middle East. Not the part of the Middle East that you hear in the news everyday, but the quieter part, the more affluent part although that is arguable too. Lets just say the more stable part, you know, the oil producing super-rich nations.
There are many things that are taboo here, like homosexuality. It is rare to see a gay person, let alone talk to one. If you consider that homosexuality is frowned upon in this region, and then take into account the fact that almost 99.99% of the population here is immigrants, you come to understand quite quickly why this is the case. Why would you come to these lands if you were homosexual? You would have to spend your life living in secrecy and if you are lucky in the company of a handful of people that accept your sexual orientation and/or share your sexual preferences. It just doesn’t make sense that someone would come here if they know their lifestyle is not compatible with the region. There are exceptions of course, but the general trend is such.
This leads to an interesting dynamic though, and that is that even those immigrants who are from progressive nations like Canada, Sweden and even the US (some parts, lets say) who would otherwise be conscious of what they say, usually end up picking bad habits such as blurting out “That’s so gay!” whenever they come across a purple shirt or a stupid product or a particularly feminine hairstyle or whatever. Perfectly educated and otherwise intelligent beings start to use phrases that demean a group of people rather than using the appropriate terminology which could just as clearly state what they mean, but no, they would rather call it gay. It really ticks me off. It shows a complete lack of respect and demonstrates that even in those circles of society that are exposed to homosexuality, there is still a lot of work to be done to get people to switch their mindsets and start treating homosexuals with the same respect you would give to a handicapped person or a person of a different race.
I don’t know why I wrote all that. I know this kind of shit happens in America too. High school kids are actually being targeted in a recently launched ad campaign trying to promote greater respect for the LGBT community. I guess I just wanted to give a perspective on how things are here in the Middle East. And probably because it really really really gets under my skin. Its not funny. Its not even intelligent. It just makes the person saying it sound like a complete fool.