When phrases like "so gay" and "faggot" are used in everyday conversation, some people might not even notice their discriminatory nature. One group is hoping to bring awareness to this phenomenon with a decidedly social media bent.
Last week, the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta launched an online, real-time counter of how many times such homophobic terms are being used on Twitter. A counter on the project's website, NoHomophobes.com, tracks uses of the words "faggot," "so gay," "no homo," and "dyke." The website makes its point visually with a constant scroll of tweets featuring these words.
"Geometry is so gay," went one tweet, while another declared, "Your new boyfriend seems like he doesn't know how to change a flat tire, faggot."
It has counted more than 2.6 million tweets containing "faggot" since the beginning of July.
"Homophobic language isn't always meant to be hurtful, but how often do we use it without thinking," asks the site. "Let's put an end to casual homophobia."
The group suggests that supporters tweet back using a #NoHomophobes hashtag.