I don't write too often at PHB, but I am an avid reader.  I had a thought/gripe I thought I would share with the community here and get feedback.

Are you familiar with StumbleUpon?  It's a website that allows you to designate your interests and then “stumble” across the Internets.  Think channel-surfing the Web with interests that are grouped into categories.  Examples of such interests are science, religion, gardening, politics, philosophy, gay culture and lesbian culture.

Harmless enough, right?  Why, then, are gay/lesbian culture grouped under the Adult category?  I was rather displeased when I saw that.  There are other categories such as the Society section that have interests like Goth Culture, Men’s Issues, Women’s Issues, and Subculture.  There is no option for “heterosexual culture” that I have seen, but I question if it would even be placed in the Adult section if it existed.  StumleUpon seems to think that gay culture, though, is sufficiently offensive enough to slap it with an adult label and corresponding stigma.

Really?  That doesn’t seem fair or legitimate.  I’m a college student in Nashville, Tennessee, and I never thought I would be labeled as “adult” content.  When I think of gay culture, I think of dating and media, laws and legislation, civil rights, and this blog (to name a few).  How is any of that remotely related to gay or lesbian erotica (which could, in fact, be labeled as adult content along with any other erotica)?  I think the arbitrary labeling of “gay/lesbian” as adult content stigmatizes such topics for the 9 million+ users of StumbleUpon.  I’ve written to the site admins several times for an explanation of their categorization, but I have yet to receive a response.

I began thinking of how many other social/network sites use the same adult labeling for the gay community and if it was ubiquitous and/or common.

I refuse to acknowledge my existence as offensive or deserving of an “adult” content label.  Perhaps you take the same issue with it that I do: it’s not accurate, and I think such labeling should be less haphazard and derisive of the gay community.

Kyle

Kyle