Social Justice Advocates Handbook: A Guide to Gender Understanding

A visual aid: when “gay” is okay

by Sam Killermann · 17 comments

in Edugraphics

Created a printer-friendly version of the first graphic (and a high-resolution version). Check it, share it, print it, love it.  Also, check out the new-and-improved flowchart.

For those of you still struggling with the idea of when it is and isn’t ideal to use the word “gay”, even after reading my article outlining the whole idea, I decided to create a few visual aids.  Hopefully they are straightforward.  Yes, pun very much intended.

When it's okay to use the word gay

Now available as a flowchart!

When It's Okay to Say Gay Flowchart

Written by Sam Killermann

Sam is a writer and performer who uses those skills as an ally to advance progress in the realms of LGBT equality and social justice. He tours the country speaking to college students about stereotypes, prejudice, and oppression, and writes for this site when he's at home in Austin, TX.

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  • Allyssa

    This needs to be posted in college dorms all across America.

    Dammit Sam, you are so talented. Way to make important issues easily understood and accessible. I hope millions of people see your show and/or give you money for being so awesome.

    ::Bows before you::

    • Samuel Killermann

      I think having this in dorms around the country would be fantastic.  It is, after all, my target demographic.  I’m going to give that some serious consideration.  At the very least, I think I’ll create some print-friendly .pdfs and bring copies to colleges when I perform.

      Also, ohmygoodnessthanks.  I hope that happens, too, so I can make rent and donate everything I can’t use to a similar cause.

      • Allyssa

        No problem! :]

        If you created print-friendly versions and put them up on your website with a call-to-action, I’m sure you’d have people all over the place (at universities and probably elsewhere) printing them out and hanging them up. I certainly would. I’ve done it with this lovely printable:

        It’s nice to have something positive & thoughtful (and in your case–amusing & well-designed!) mixed in with posters for missing cats and moving companies.

        By the way, I posted your genderbread person article to my Facebook wall and my friends love it! Printables might be a great way to spread this considerate, inclusive way of thinking about gender/sexuality AND bring traffic to your website–you know, when people see your posters out and about in the physical world and realize that whoever made them must be pretty fantastic and worth checking out… Definitely something to think about…

        Just my two cents!

        • Samuel Killermann

          Allyssa, you’re fantastic.  That’s an incredible idea, and just what I needed right now.  I’ve decided to pause all of my other projects in my life and focus 100% on IPM, so any and all ideas are GREATLY appreciated.  

          I’ll start transforming my graphics into print-friendly images, and start working on getting people to print and hang them.  

          Also, stay tuned: I’ve got a few more graphics I’m working on right now, and will be trying to put a new one up on the site every week or so.  Now it makes even more sense to do so.


          • Allyssa

            Woo-hoo! Glad to hear it! I’ll be sure to stay updated, as I really, really, really dig what you’re doing :]

  • Kat

    Or a woman who is attracted to a woman! 

  • Jabba-nui

    Can you make another one with woman who are attracted to woman in it as well? I’m a lecturer and would love to have this up for students at my work?

    • Samuel Killermann

      Jabba, I didn’t include the woman attracted to woman because I wanted to be sensitive of women who don’t appreciate the term gay.  But I’ve heard more call for it than against it, so sure!  I was already planning a “printer-friendly” version of this, so I’ll whip something up and post it soon.

  • Kellie

    Not to split hairs, but shouldn’t it also be noted that a person one can describe as gay also identifies themselves as such. Some men who are attracted to other men, for instance, may also be attracted to women or people who are genderqueer and identify as bisexual. Also, I think it is fair to say that, for example, even if a man is obviously attracted to a man, we shouldn’t make assumptions about what he might call himself.

  • That guy over there

    Seems insensitive to potentially homosexual reindeer.

  • Mara

    What about women attracted to other women who consider themselves gay?  I know a lot of women who identify themselves as gay, not lesbian.  Just a thought.  

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  • Arryn Grogan

    I call my straight friend a fag all the time, but I don’t mean for it to be derogatory towards actual gay people…  A little teasing between friends isn’t bad, but then again, I’m not gay.  But, I do find it a bit odd that a gay person would take more offense to calling a straight person gay than the straight person.

  • Aiyana

    This needs to be put everywhere in my school.

  • Cast

    I dunno, plenty of girls are okay with being called gay, and plenty of guys who like guys don’t, whether it’s because they’re bi or they’re homofluid or they just don’t like being labeled. I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to make an arbitrary chart of when it’s okay or not okay. It’s gonna differ from individual situation to individual situation.

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