The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network has launched a war against the phrase "That's so gay," and the group says it's winning.
A press release sent out Thursday announced GLSEN's campaign against the saying was entering its second phase, as well as touting that its first phase — a campaign called "Think Before You Speak" that featured public service announcements with Hilary Duff and Wanda Sykes discouraging use of "That's so gay" — is leading to less use of the phrase by teens.
"According to the Ad Council (the nonprofit group that puts out public service announcements), high recognition of the 'Think Before You Speak' campaign among teens has translated into significant shifts in key attitudes and behaviors regarding the use of anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) slurs like 'that's so gay,'" the release says. "For instance, findings from a recent survey conducted by the Ad Council in 2008 and 2009 of teens aged 13-16 suggest that a higher percentage of teens in 2009 think that people should not say 'that's so gay' for any reason and a higher percentage also report 'never' saying 'that's so gay' when something is stupid or uncool."
GLSEN's second phase will use online banner ads, one of which cites the story of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, an 11-year-old who killed himself in April after being taunted with words like "gay" and "fag." Another feature tracks the occurrence of gay slurs on Twitter.
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