She and I got into a facebook debate about the evolution of language after that. For those of you who don't know me, here is a short list of relevant facts:
1) Although I am not a homosexual, I believe them to be no different from anyone else. I am not a "homophobe," and I support equal rights for everyone.
2) I generally take offense to derogatory remarks. And I'm not shy about letting the offending bigot know they're an idiot.
3) I majored in Professional Writing in college.
My argument was this:
What my friend was saying was not intended to be offensive to homosexuals. The "Pay" in Patriot just conveniently rhymes with "Gay." It was a humorous spin off of the team name. It clearly never intended to hurt a homosexual.
When someone says "that's gay," I don't even register homosexuality in my mind anymore. An exact parallel would be if someone were to say, "that's retarded," I associate it with something that is stupid, I don't associate it with something that has Downs Syndrome. To me, the meaning of the word has evolved, and moved past the offensive. The person I was having the discussion said for the record, she would have been offended by "retarded" too.
I said if retarded offended her, I could cite some other examples. Sticking with the football theme, what about the Washington Redskins? Did that offend her? What about 'Poppycock?' That was one of the most dastardly terms of its day. From the Dutch, it literally translates to "Doll Shit." It was sort of like dropping the "F" bomb.
In an opposite evolution, a faggot used to be a pile of sticks. Then later it was a cigarette. Now, it's offensive. It's still offensive. It will probably remain offensive for the rest of my lifetime. But perhaps not forever...
My point is that language is fluid. Meanings change over time, all the time. You can choose to be offended when someone says something that you know they didn't mean for it to be racially, sexually, derogatorily charged, or you can understand that meanings change with each generation.
The last thing she said was that her gay friends asked that the language not be used "in that sense."
Although I didn't say it, I couldn't help but think:
"My gay friends would tell your gay friends to stop being so gay and retarded..."