Things Gay Men Like #12: Being Incredibly Offended (but only when they feel like it)
Like everyone else, gays pick and choose what offends them most. We have some pretty distinct hate speech used against us regularly, which is always a good starting point. Let’s start off with the basics.
Depending on the context, the word “Fag” can be very, very offensive. Some people don’t even care about the context and are always offended by the word “fag”. I call these people “Easily offended fags”.
Personally, I believe in the power of words but I also believe that power can be taken away from a word if we try hard enough. I understand the etymology of the word faggot, but I also don’t care all that much about it because I like the word. Say it out loud: “Faggot!” It rolls off the tongue nicely, doesn’t it? Faggot! Faggot faggot faggot faggot faggot faggot faggot. Awesome!
Every word we use in the English language has some background, and while the word “faggot” has an undeniably gruesome and negative history, I believe that we can overcome that if we take it for ourselves. We’re already half-way there. Many of us refer to ourselves as fags, and we even call our lady friends “fag-hags”, which most gays aren’t offended by even if they are offended by the word itself.
Double-standard? From gays? NO! Never!
I’ve always felt like being called a “homo” was pretty mild, to say the least. Even so, many gay people are offended when they’re called this. The fact that it’s used as an insult at all just seems ignorant to me, being that all it means is “same”. Sure, the intent is to abbreviate “homosexual”, but why exactly is that an insult anyway? I’m a homo. I’m homolicious. EMBRACE THE HOMO.
There’s no other way to interpret this other than a negative term for homosexual acts. Given its background (tied to Sodom and Gomorrah) it’s a bit of a misnomer, depending on how you interpret those particular passages of the Bible. I’m not a fan of the word, and let’s just say that I don’t have any immediate plans to start referring to myself as a sodomite.
I haven’t heard the word “Dyke” used offensively in… ever. Almost every time I hear this word it’s coming from lesbians or gay men, but most often lesbians. They’ve taken the word back for themselves, let’s follow their lead! I mean, not entirely follow their lead. We don’t need every gay man on the planet to start wearing plaid shirts covered with cat fur.
If you don’t find this one funny when it’s used in every-day conversation, you’re a communist.
“Queer” is a perfect example of a word that used to be offensive that the LGBTQ community took and re-purposed for ourselves. Queer used to mean “weird” or “strange”, which then was taken as a derogatory term for “gay”, but we’ve since taken it and changed its definition to something closer to “fuck you, I’m queer”.
Usually, gay people aren’t offended by the words above unless they’re used in a hateful manner. Makes sense, yes? Yes. Okay.
Now, here are some things that gay people are offended at that they shouldn’t be.
1. “Anti-gay” jokes made by other gay people.
I have been known on more than one occasion to make a joke along the lines of, “Well, gay people aren’t real people anyway, so it can’t be a hate crime. Aren’t they more like teacup poodles?” This joke is CLEARLY making fun of people who think like this. The concept is so utterly ridiculous that nobody should take it seriously, but someone always does. Yes, that’s a mildly off-color joke, but considering the source I think it’s fair to say that I’m not serious.
Then there’s always someone who would hit back at that joke insisting that it’s anti poodle.
2. The word “gay” used to describe things that are gay.
I understand that it’s negative and hurtful to refer to something as gay when you mean it’s stupid. That’s annoying, as demonstrated by Hillary Duff in her life-changing PSA.
I know I’ll never use “gay: that way again. Thank you, Duffers.
While I take a stance against using “gay” negatively, I have no problem calling something gay if it’s fucking gay. The manbag I carry that’s pretty much just big enough to hold my iPad and some emergency makeup in case I need my eyes to pop? Yeah, that’s pretty gay. The rebuttal from easily offended homos is typically, “Inanimate objects can’t have a sexual orientation! HAH!” see, you’d think that, but if my manbag did have a sexuality it would be having wild sex with other manbags right now, insisting that the internal lining of women’s purses grosses him out.
Some inanimate objects are gay. Deal with it.
3. Gay characters portrayed non-sexually in television.
I’ve read a lot of columns by gay-rights activists telling people that the desexualization of gay characters is a horrible injustice to our community. The argument here it’s unacceptable that the only societally palatable gay person is one who is campy and never fucks anyone (effectively turning gays into cute, neutered teacup poodles who do tricks for fruity mixed drinks and designer jeans). In one way, I agree that it sucks that society isn’t comfortable enough with our community to allow sexual gay characters on television, but what do you expect? Society isn’t there yet and complaining about it won’t get them there. Be happy as fuck that there are gay characters on television at all. These angry picketing homos always see the negative and never the positives about social change. It’s always, “Yeah, we’ve moved forward but everything still sucks.” Thanks, glass half empty guy, but I prefer to live in the present. Take our wins as they come, celebrate them, then continue moving forward toward full equality without being such a negative poopie head.
4. People who perpetuate gay stereotypes.
I’m sorry (I’m not sorry), but gay stereotypes are mostly true. You may not personally identify with all of the stereotypes (I, for one, have never done X at a foam party, but that’s just me), but there’s a significant chance that you identify with one or more stereotypes, whether positive or negative. When our community gets pissed off at the femme stereotype that is often portrayed in the media we are saying that feminine behavior is negative, which I think is fairly contrary to our cause. If acceptance is what we’re going for we need to strive for nothing less. We can’t throw feminine gays or butch lesbians by the wayside to get our rights. I refuse to conform to the “guy next door who happens to fuck dudes” ideal. I will not tone down my behaviors to better appeal to people who probably aren’t going to support us anyway. So stop being offended when gays are portrayed as feminine, because it’s true.
5. When South Park, Family Guy, and other off-color comedy cartoons make fun of LGBT people.
Consider the source. If you ever get offended by one of these shows I sincerely think that you’re too stupid to grasp satire.
This is where I’m going to leave you.