How ‘gay’ is killing creativity

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A while back I was horrified when one of my female students yelled across the classroom to one of the boys, ‘You should be gay!’ The boy, somewhat taken aback, asked her why.

‘Because you’re into music stuff and choir and all that,’ was her response, and a part of me cried inside for the ignorance and judgmental nature of teenagers.

A big part of my grief was this: that our incessant need to label people and define them by their sexuality is killing creativity in boys. Things that were praised in bygone eras, acting, music, composing and self expression through writing and poetry, have become defining symbol’s of a man’s sexuality. So many talented boys, growing into men, are afraid to express themselves lest their sexuality be called into question.

It is a tragedy for the arts, and a tragedy for humanity.

We’re reading To Kill a Mockingbird in year 11 at the moment, and Scout’s comment is really resonating with me: ‘I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.’

We need to stop defining people by their sexuality, and even more, we need to stop using these labels as a derogatory way to cut people down.

As Australians, we’re not great at celebrating talent, but we need to change that. Let’s start with letting boys be creative, lest we kill the passion of our future Mozarts, Shakespeares and Da Vincis.

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I luv ya, but I don’t love you.

Valentine-Bokeh-Heart-Shaped-Light-Background_thumbThe English language has one word for love. And let’s face it, it’s a bit of a problem.

How do you express that deep feeling of loyalty and affection towards someone who you do not feel romantic love for?

Why is it that you can laugh and say ‘I love you’ to a casual friend, but you have to wait for weeks, or even months to say it to someone who you truly do love?

Us Aussies have come up with a solution. It’s a poor one at best, but it get’s the job done. We preserve the beauty of the phrase ‘I love you’ for more special occasions or instances in which it won’t be misinterpreted. I love you is for family or lovers or close friends. For everyone else, the you tends to slide into a ‘ya.’

‘Ya’ has a powerful impact on the phrase. It makes it acceptable. It expresses appreciation and affection, with out the weight of confession. To add the abbreviated word ‘luv’ allows us to shelter behind the missing letter. Love? Now that’s a strong word, but luv? Yeah, I can do that.

So to everyone out there: I luv ya… but let’s just leave it at that.