Student Asks Apple to Remove Derogatory ‘Gay’ Definition

Image via Becca Gorman

Image via Becca Gorman

If you’re reading this post on a MacBook Pro, there may a subtle debasement toward gays hidden in your laptop. Becca Gorman, 15, was recently doing research on LGBT rights for a school project in her hometown of Sudbury, Massachusetts when she searched for “gay” in the built-in dictionary of her laptop, as reported by The MetroWest Daily News. The third “informal” definition that came up was “foolish; stupid,” as in the case of, “making students wait for the light is kind of a gay rule.”

Gorman captured it in a screenshot and wrote a letter to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook asking him to remove the definition from Apple software. She writes that her parents are lesbian and, “this definition normalizes the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word ‘gay.'” She even went so far as to use Apple’s dictionary to look up other words that are used in a derogatory sense like “retarded,” and these terms were clearly marked as offensive in their “informal” states. Gorman says that no other dictionary she checked listed any such definition without at least marking it as derogatory.

For Apple, removing this definition from their dictionary would be a nod to the power of language and a sign of valuing respect for the gay community.

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