Apple dictionary says ‘gay’ means ‘foolish’ or ‘stupid’

Student, 15, with two lesbian moms asks historically LGBTI friendly Apple to remove insulting definition of ‘gay’ from its dictionary

Apple dictionary says ‘gay’ means ‘foolish’ or ‘stupid’
12 November 2013

A 15-year-old student with two lesbian moms has asked Apple to stop describing ‘gay’ as ‘foolish, stupid’ is its dictionary.

Becca Gorman in Sudbury, on the outskirts of Boston, Massachusets, US, is sadly used to the insulting phrase ‘that’s so gay’. But she never expected a company like Apple to join in.

The Apple dictionary explains ‘gay’ can mean ‘homosexual’ or lighthearted or carefree.

But it adds a third ‘informal’ definition saying it means ‘foolish, stupid, or unimpressive’.

Its illustration is: ‘Making students wait for the light is kind of a gay rule.’

As her local newspaper, The MetroWest Daily News reports, Gorman wrote to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook in disbelief. Cook has never publicly discussed his sexuality but has been included on lists of LGBTI business leaders.

She told him: ‘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.

‘Even with your addition of the word informal, this definition normalizes the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word “gay”.’

She heard straight back from someone at Apple who said they were ‘shocked’ themselves and promised to act.

The dictionary has not changed, although some systems running the brand new iOS7 operating system, including the latest iPhones, now mention the definition is ‘often offensive’.

Gorman said: ‘I feel like we’re going to have to make a bigger deal about it before they actually act on it.’

The Apple dictionary tool is available on MacBooks, iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch screens – although many people don’t know its there.

Gay Star News has approached Apple for comment but has not yet heard back.

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