It didn’t exactly come as a surprise to me that a lot of ignorant hatemongers fill the internet much as they do the real world. In real life, though, you may lack the physical resources or fighting prowess to call them on their shit. But the internet, ever a safe haven for the crazy and passive-aggressive, may provide us a safe place to fight back as well.
NoHomophobes.com seeks out the terms “Faggot,” “Dyke,” “So gay,” and “No homo” as they are uttered by Twitter users. The site also scrolls the tweets in real time, so you can see them as they happen. It is beyond revolting how often these terms are thrown around. We need to let these tweeps (I just learned that term today, though I think “twits” is more appropriate) know we are noticing. And that it isn’t cool.
I’m not asking you to donate huge sums of money or time to the Human Rights Campaign or march in a parade. But I am asking you take the time to shoot a few quick tweets to let these people know their epithets are not going unnoticed. You can participate if you have a twitter account. Clicking on any of the scrolling boxes at the bottom of the website will pop up your Twitter so you can send them a message.
I’ve found that a tasteful “Typically only closet cases talk that way. Do you have something to hide?” does the trick. Don’t use profanity, talk in all caps, or threaten violence. We are trying to show we’re better than them, after all. Just a quick, friendly nod that says “Hey, cut that out. It isn’t cool!” will suffice.
Notice I have no desire to censor these people. I think people should be allowed to use whatever language they want when they talk. Given that–in moments of anger–I can string together a few profanities myself, I don’t want to shut anyone up, bow down to political correctness, or force everyone to converse as if they were shy 19th century schoolmarms. I just want people to see that their words have consequences. They have a right to choose their words, but we also have the right to call them out on it.
Now, get to it. Click the link, and send some tweets.