A Massachusetts high school student is taking on Apple over what she says is an insulting definition of the world “gay” that she stumbled across in her MacBook dictionary.
15-year-old Becca Gorman, a sophomore at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, made the discovery while researching a class project. Gorman, whose parents are lesbians, was writing a paper on gay rights when she looked up the definition for “gay” on her computer. What she found shocked her.
The first definition referred to a person’s sexual orientation, as in the proffered example, “that friend of yours, is he gay?” The second was: “lighthearted and carefree.” The third was listed: “informal foolish; stupid: making students wait for the light is kind of a gay rule.”
"At first, I was kind of in disbelief," Gorman told the MetroWest Daily, adding that when she consulted other dictionaries, she couldn’t find any that include that definition without specifying that it was derogatory. "I felt like they had to take care of it.”
"It was just insulting," she told WCVB. "I couldn't even understand why that would be there."
After Gorman’s mothers told her that they would support whatever she chose to do, the teen decided to confront the company. She sent off an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook, writing, “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 you addition of the word informal, this definition normalized the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word ‘gay.’”
Gorman compared the definition to the slang term to the use of “dude.”
About an hour after she sent out the email, she received a response from Apple. “They told me it's so hard to track the dictionaries they're getting sources from, and that they were also shocked themselves," Gorman said.
However, while the Apple rep said that the issue would be investigated, as of this article, the definition had not been removed.
"I feel like we're going to have to make a bigger deal about it before they actually act on it," Gorman said.
Apple reportedly did not respond to ABC News’ request for a comment,
Jill covers a little bit of everything for IBTimes, from U.S. and World News to Pop Culture. She is a lifelong New Yorker, and holds her bachelors in Media & Culture from...