When will homophobic language be unacceptable?
That's the question posed by a new Canadian commercial produced by the University of Albertaʼs Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, with generous support from Global Television.
“We no longer tolerate racist language, weʼre getting better at dealing with sexist language, but sadly we still see and hear homophobic and transphobic language in our society,” Dr. Kristopher Wells, the Instituteʼs Associate Director, said in an email statement. "While this language might not always be meant to be hurtful, we must not forget that words like "faggot" contribute greatly to the continued alienation and isolation of sexual and gender (LGBTQ) people, especially our youth."
The clip is the the latest element in the institute's "No Homophobes" campaign. The "No Homophobes" website measures the number of instances several commonly-used anti-gay terms -- including "faggot" and "dyke" -- are used daily, weekly and yearly on Twitter.
"Words have the power to hurt, but they also have the power to heal," Wells told HuffPost Gay Voices in September. "We want people to think before they speak and to always be mindful of the power of the language they use."