A recent post on a blog that I like talked about how a co-worker had used the term "fag" within his earshot. The blogger went on to say that although it made him uncomfortable, he did not say anything to the co-worker. He even told another co-worker, who apologized to him and said she would say something, to not. Part of his thinking was that this straight man who uttered "fag" didn't really mean to but, because he was straight, he spoke before thinking.
When I read this, I was enraged. I still am. At work, whenever someone says something uneducated about gays, I make a point of telling them how offensive it is. No matter what they say to "smooth" things over, I always make sure they leave knowing how offensive any derogatory remark is and how unacceptable it is.
I used to be like the the aforementioned blogger. To some degree, I still am. Do I make a point of correcting people off the street? Not always. I know what my limits are. But at work, I always make sure that my co-workers are aware of their words. Because, if straight men can think before saying the words "nigger", "kike", "jew", "spic", or "cunt", they can make sure they think before they use the word "faggot". Later.