While doing some research for a school project on gay rights, 15-year-old Becca Gorman was shocked to find that Apple's dictionary app includes a definition of the word "gay" straight out of the troubled psyche of a homophobic tweenager: "informal foolish; stupid: making students wait for the light is kind of a gay rule." Um, excuse me?
"At first, I was kind of in disbelief," she told WCVB Boston. No other dictionary she looked at contained that definition (most likely because it's offensive and in horrible taste). As both a rational human being and the child of lesbian parents, Becca says that she was hurt that a "humongous company" like Apple would legitimize such a definition.
So she wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was recently named the most powerful gay man in the world by OUT magazine, to express her concerns. In it, she said:
"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.'"
Within an hour, an Apple representative called her home and notified her that the company would look into the problem. Although Becca was told that the company would remove the offensive definition, it has remained unchanged. "I feel like we're going to have to make a bigger deal about it before they actually act on it," she noted.
In an interview with WCUB Boston, she added, "Be yourself, and others will have to deal with you being yourself. And if you see something that's unjust, don't be afraid to fight it."