Becca Gorman, Student, Asks Apple To Change 'Gay' Dictionary Definition

11/12/2013 10:53 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016
  • James Nichols The Huffington Post

A 15-year-old daughter of two lesbian parents is campaigning to have technology giant Apple change the definition of "gay" in the company's dictionary.

Becca Gorman was shocked when she looked up the definition of "gay" in the Apple dictionary while working on a school project about gay rights. The third definition provided by Apple struck Gorman as incredibly offensive:

gay

"At first, I was kind of in disbelief," Gorman stated, reportedly claiming that she couldn't find any other dictionary's definition that framed "gay" within the same context.

After consulting with her parents, she decided to write a letter to historically LGBT-friendly Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook was recently named the most powerful gay man in the world even though he has never publicly discussed his sexuality.

"I assume that you are a pro-gay company, and would never intend for any one of your products to be as offensive as this definition was," Gorman reportedly wrote. "Even with your addition of the word 'informal,' this definition normalizes the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word 'gay.'"

Only an hour after receiving the letter, Apple reportedly called the Gorman household to speak with Becca. The company's representative told the teen that they were also shocked by the definition, and that Apple would look into correcting the problem. However, as of Tuesday morning the definition still remained the same.

"I feel like we're going to have to make a bigger deal about it before they actually act on it," Gorman told reporters.

This wouldn't be the first time that a dictionary definition has been changed to reflect current social and political attitudes. This past summer, Oxford English Dictionary announced that it was considering changing the definition of "marriage" to include the unions of same-sex couples.

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