Calling People ‘Gay’ Still Very Much a Thing in High School

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Mean girls Photo: Nicole Young/© Nicolesy, Inc. | Nicole S. Young

Accusing someone of being gay is still pretty common among high school kids, despite the pleas of aging Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill, and even as tolerance for gay marriage soars among young people. According to a new American Association of University Women survey on sexual harassment — well-timed to coincide with our recent Cain-inspired national conversation on the subject — 18 percent of boys and girls in grades seven to twelve "reported being called gay or lesbian in a negative way" over the course of the last school year. Boys, in particular, identified this as the type of sexual harassment that "had the worst effect on them."

According to one anecdote, the "gay" slur has become so pervasive, it's pretty much applicable to any situation now:

An eighth-grade boy, meanwhile, reported, “They spread rumors I was gay because I played on the basketball team.”

Wait, what? We don't even get that. Playing basketball is gay now? You damn kids — do you even watch the NBA? Does this look gay to you?

Okay, bad example. Out of all the photos we could have chosen ...