Teen girl defends gay people to major company, makes international headlines

Becca Gorman, a high school student in Massachusetts, is getting people around the world, including Tim Cook, to pay attention by letting Apple know that being gay isn’t “stupid.” She spoke with Metro West Daily about her growing campaign.

While researching a school project on LGBT equality, Becca, who is the daughter of a lesbian couple, was shocked and, in her words, “insulted,” to see one of three definitions for the word “gay” in Apple’s dictionary on her laptop as “(informal) foolish: stupid.” Apple CEO Tim Cook was just as surprised. The 10th grader e-mailed him to express her concern with Apple’s definition.

“Even with your addition of the word informal,” she wrote, “this definition normalized the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word ‘gay.’” Becca also did a little investigating, and found that the same dictionary noted other derogatory terms “as an offensive term or unacceptable.” Furthermore, she did find any other dictionaries that shared Apple’s definition of “gay.” You can read her full letter here.

An hour after she hit send, company representatives called the Gorman house to discuss the matter. Still, the definition has yet to be removed, even though the reps were just as surprised as Becca and told her that they would investigate the situation.

Becca’s nowhere near ready to give up. In fact, the young advocate is just getting started. “I feel like we’re going to have to make a bigger deal about it before they actually act on it,” she said.

In the meantime, Becca’s campaign has been gaining international traction. ABC News, The Huffington Post, Boston Magazine, Policy Mic, PinkNews, and International Business Times are just a few of the outlets reporting on the story.

Apple has been praised as an LGBT-friendly company in past years as a result of their support for things like marriage equality and ENDA, as well as their own inclusive non-discrimination policies. In past years, Apple has also refused to make homophobic and transphobic apps available. Earlier this year, Out Magazine named Tim the most powerful gay man in America. GLAAD joins Becca in hoping that it will be just a matter of time until Apple’s dictionary drops its defamatory definition.