I never said I promoted it, or used it in front of kids - I just don't challenge it.
That's the same as accepting it.
Besides - if there's nothing wrong with it, and we all should accept it, as you say, why do you shy away from using it in front of kids? Please explain.
I only have a couple of gay friends, it's true, but I would have no quarms about using it to mean lacklustre in front of them. They would understand that I mean it in the post-modern sense and not as some sort of homophobic insult.
Oh sure, they'll understand. Why wouldn't they understand what you meant? I mean, who could misunderstand when you use a description of who they are to mean 'bad?' How could they possibly get that one so wrong?
I dare you to ask one of them straight-up how they feel about it when you say that, or use the word that way. Seriously; ask them and let us know how that turns out.
And neither do my students consider sexuality when they use the term to mean poor quality
Yes, they do. They do so because they consider homosexuality
to also be poor quality. Don't you see that? How could the word be used to mean something bad, unless the thing itself is bad?
When they say, "Your trainers are gay" they are of course not suggesting the said shoes are in a same sex relationship with another pair. Sexuality doesn't even enter their mind. The word has changed.
You're totally wrong on this one. Deluding yourself. Sexuality doesn't have to enter their mind for the word to be used to deride a certain sexuality.
Think about this for a second instead of displaying laziness:
Student 1: Those trainers are Gay.
Student 2: What's wrong with being Gay?
Student 1: Uh, nothing I guess, I just meant I don't like those shoes.
Student 2: So why did you use the word Gay?
Student 1: I dunno, because Gay is bad?
This is what you promote? The equivalence of Gays with Bad? It seems so.
My guess is that you are male, probably under 30, who grew up the same way I did: using Gay as slang for Bad. It was common when and where I grew up. And totally wrong to do. I didn't figure it out until later in life and now I'm sorry that I hurt people's feelings - big time.
Whatever the result of our debate here, you must accept that the definition of the word will change entirely over the next twenty years and its use as a synonym for rubbish, whether you think rightly or wrongly, will become widely acceptable.
I don't think I must accept that, and I don't think you are correct. In the slightest. I think you are looking at the back end of a rather hateful trend which has gone on for a long, long time; not the front end of it.
Why go out of your way to say offensive things, if you aren't trying to be offensive? What's the point? It's casual and lazy acceptance of hatefulness, and like I said earlier: you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You're supposed to set a higher standard than the norm for your students, but you seem to just not give a **** about that, in favor of a 'so what?' attitude.