In the era when AIDS was becoming more prominent and education about LGBTQ issues was needed more than ever, Thatcher's government decided that gays were not full citizens worthy of respect and that they were too much of a threat to be allowed equal rights. Thatcher thus became not only the 'milk snatcher', but also the 'gay dispatcher'.
Every day, lesbians and bisexual women become victims of forced marriage, forced impregnation, honour killings and other violent attempts to either change their sexual orientation or punish them for it. Many feel unable to seek justice, fearing that in doing so they may disclose their sexual orientation, putting themselves at risk of reprisals or even prosecution.
A quick search on Twitter pulls up an unending list of people using the term as a slur outside of its original context as a homophobic insult. The term has been adopted as a synonym to idiot and other generic insults. Whilst this has desensitised the word's meaning, the undertones of homophobic hate still linger unpleasantly.
Those of us who were bullied at school, for whatever reason, will empathise keenly with young people who dread bullies' taunts and violence. Bullying isn't just a 'rite of passage' that we should expect as part of growing up. Its effects - low exam scores, depression and anxiety - can affect our whole adult lives.