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Homophobic slurs are not the way to criticize Putin

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Using homophobic slurs and dropping “gay” as an insult is never OK, even in the case of tyrannical world leaders.Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia President Vladimir Putin has drawn condemnation from leaders around the globe.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even called him a “tyrant” who is launching a “total assault on democracy.”On social media, meanwhile, people have been calling Putin “gay” in a seeming effort to troll the 69-year-old, who only two years ago vowed to never allow gay marriage in the country.But on Reddit, users in the r/gay forum aren’t having it. “I think using the word as a slur is kind of insulting to other gay people, especially when Putin’s government creates homophobic law,” one person wrote earlier this month.Related: LGBTQ Ukrainians stand strong amid Russian attacks and rumored queer “kill list”So far, that person’s post has received more than 600 upvotes and more than 100 comments, with many other Redditors agreeing with the original poster.“I think Putin’s actual epic flaws are adequate to demonize him,” one person wrote. “Using homosexuality as an insult or put-down isn’t resonating as cool to me.”Another person said, “It honestly feels like we’ve reverted back to 2001 with ‘that’s gay’ vernacular, and it’s unfortunate.”A third commenter, meanwhile, revealed that even today’s kids are using “gay” as a schoolyard pejorative. “My little brother is a fourth-grader, and all his friends non-stop call people gay,” that commenter wrote. “It’s annoying and disrespectful to us.”Someone else said that they find “some peace” that people are “using [Putin’s] homophobia against him” but worry “that the difference between an insult of one man vs.

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