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Fags!

Jim Burroway

March 18th, 2011

There. I said it.

Comments

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Sparky
March 18th, 2011 | LINK

At least you have the modicum of sense to not call another gay man that who hasn’t made it clear they’re not comfortabel with it

But do continue the campaign to make the word as well used as possible. I’m sure THAT will help

Tone
March 18th, 2011 | LINK

Did black people go through this linguistic minefield over their own reclaimed words? I call myself a fag all the time. I further regard myself a part of the queer community. I’m careful where I use those words though.

At work people bend over backwards to show respect and I know some of them would not understand the context when I use the word. Among my tribe though it’s just fine.

And I am among my tribe here so…. fag fag fag fag fag fag fag fag fag fag fag fag.
:P

occono
March 18th, 2011 | LINK

^ I’m almost certain yes, they did.

Gregory
March 18th, 2011 | LINK

I am the manager of a glbtq student resource center, and having just read through both articles I found the first one a little too demeaning but interesting. glaad does some good work, and it is always important to be careful about our words, but this is definitely over the top. Within the queer community, hell even outside of it, we need to be consistently reclaiming words. I personally like using fag as a complement or as a power word, “faggot fist” for example. Finally, though there are still closeted queer folk who are harmed by bickering over this. I’d blame glaad primarily.

A.
March 18th, 2011 | LINK

^^
yes you did.
tut tut

occono
March 18th, 2011 | LINK

I was referring to his question about black people and reclaimed terms.

Sparky
March 18th, 2011 | LINK

Good to see we’re all asserting our strength and power and reclaimed might in shouting down those who dared to defend gay teens from slurs.

Funny how “reclaiming” went from “I can call myself what I want” to “I can use whatever slur I want to describe others even if it may bother them”

But rock on you reclaimers – you get down with your empowered self – because you’re not only claiming the word for yourself but deciding the rest of us should have it shoved down our throats – and be forced as a label on us – as well.

Way to go. So impressive

David Roberts
March 18th, 2011 | LINK

Why is it when we find a word that hurts some people we suddenly can’t live without using it all over the place? Forget GLADD, just be a human being. For some it still hurts and they don’t want to be “empowered” with it. Respect anyone?

David Malcolm
March 18th, 2011 | LINK

I’m sorry, defending gay kids from… gay writers who actually managed to get good jobs why still not adhering to hetero-normative behaviour?

What are they supposed to just call them party-GLBTTQ***&*%&%^$#&%*^(*)U&(*)&^?

I’m sorry the politically correct wing of the Queer movement needs to take their long lists of letters, and angry retorts against people who obviously are on their side.

What needs to become a rule is not that fag, queer, dyke, etc are wrong, but that attacking other gays for not adhering to your world view is wrong. It’s one thing to argue with them, it’s another to pressure their employer to apologize for their behaviour. Didn’t somebody flip out for Glee using the word Tranny?

You know what hurts gay kids? Not words but the feelings behind them, the sense of isolation, and the sense that they don’t properly fit into this clump of letters that don’t make any sense to them! This is just senseless back biting and spotlight grabbing, and it’s absurd.

Ryan
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

@David, calling someone a fag who doesn’t want to be called that is indeed disrespectful and wrong, as is using it as a slur . But that’s not what happened here. No one was disrespected or mocked. No one was harmed. GLAD’s actions are absurd and arrogant.

tim
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

I came here to say GLAAD is a worthless organization but glad others already pointed it out.

Sparky
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

David
Not adhering to your world view? See that’s what I thought I was doing – because I’m saying you can reclaim what you want – but don’t force it on the rest of us – like this guy on Vanity Fair is doing by using slurs to describe OTHER PEOPLE.

He, and his defenders, are the ones saying we should accept his reclaimation – he and his defenders are the ones trying to force us to accept your “rule”.

We are saying “hey if you want to reclaim it for yourself and self-reference that way, fine. But you don’t call us that. We don’t consent to that.”

Bruce Garrett
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Taking up smoking Jim? Stuff’s bad for your health…

Priya Lynn
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Ryan said “@David, calling someone a fag who doesn’t want to be called that is indeed disrespectful and wrong, as is using it as a slur . But that’s not what happened here. No one was disrespected or mocked.”.

You don’t know that the two Glee actors are okay with being called fags so you’re in no position to make that statement. If one doesn’t know how someone feels about being called a fag then one definitely should avoid it.

Being called a fag is one of the most hateful verbal assaults commonly tossed around in high schools. We can’t stand against that sort of bullying and then say its okay for us to call gays fags.

Ryan
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Sparky, Kurt and Blaine aren’t actual people, and as such, had no objections to being playfully called “fags”.

Priya Lynn
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Ryan, Kurt and Blaine are portrayed by actors who are real people. You don’t know that they are okay with being called fags so once again you’re in no position to claim that it wasn’t the case that someone who objects to the term was labelled with it.

Patrick
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Isn’t it interesting the disclaimer at the end of the post:
Copyright © Box Turtle Bulletin. All rights reserved.
This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. Publishing this feed’s content on any web site besides Box Turtle Bulletin is strictly prohibited. If you are accessing this on another web site, then the web site hosting this content is committing theft. Please report this web site to Editor@BoxTurtleBulletin.com.
(Digital Fingerprint: ea9498dc0641a690b4f7fbd3a7339f9b)

But yet there are links to all the sites to forward it and even e-mail it.

Sparky
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Ryan
The actors are – one of which is openly gay,

And I don’t like encouraging the calling of any gay teens fags without their consent either, even if it is a fictional character. I don’t like the idea of a mainstream publication encouraging the idea that you can call gay teens that

Patrick
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

And just so there is no misunderstanding, I agree with Priya Lynn, the word is used all over the place and is demeaning and demoralizing to people in the gay POPULATION. If someone hears you use it, that lets them think it is OK for them to use it as well.
Now of course if you are in England and you want a smoke then by all means use it to request one. Or maybe if you need a bundle of sticks that would be ok. But don’t use it for hurting someone else..

Ryan
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

The actors weren’t called fags. That argument makes no sense at all. No one was demeaned or slurred here. No one at all. Surely we can agree to pick our battles a little better? You know, against actual homophobia?

Jim Burroway
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

As you know, there is a lot of piracy and theft on the Internet. Before we added that notice, we were plagued with web sites scraping our RSS feed and reposting our entire web site automatically, which is against our terms of service. Since adding the notice, that practice has dropped dramatically. We encourage readers to share snippets and links on social media web sites. But if our digital fingerprint shows up on a google search we can safely assume that someone is stealing our RSS feed indiscriminately in an attemp to draw traffic away from BTB. We can then evaluate the situation and take action as we see fit.

Priya Lynn
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Grow up Ryan. Pretending that the actors playing Kurt and Blaine weren’t called fags might help you avoid any responsibility for the disgusting position you’ve taken but it has nothing to do with reality.

Ryan
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

I personally think pretending to not know the difference between real people and the characters they play in an attempt to save face is pretty “disgusting”. If I call Sue Slyvester a bitch, is that the same as calling Jane Lynch a bitch? Of course not. I’ll repeat: no one was slurred here; no one was demeaned. Not even the pretend people known as Kurt and Blaine were slurred, as the openly gay writer called them “party fags” affectionately. You obviously can’t contradict that so you have nothing else to say.

Priya Lynn
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Sure Ryan and the bullies in high schools throughout the nation affectionatly refer to gay teenagers as fags when they’re assaulting them.

At least one of the actors playing Kurt and Blaine is gay. I’m willing to bet my last dollar that neither of them would be happy at being referred to as “party fags”.

You’re like an 10 year old that’s discovered a new swear word – using it as often as you can because it makes you feel like a big boy. You aren’t.

Priya Lynn
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

And Ryan you’re attempt to hide behind the “He called imaginary characters fags” line doesn’t work on any level because sometimes actors feel they relate to the character they are playing (likely true in the case of Kurt at least) and they would object to someone referring to the character they play as a “fag”, thinking “that’s not the character I’m portraying”.

Once again, by your own rule of not calling someone a fag who would object to it, calling Kurt and Blaine fags is wrong.

Priya Lynn
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

I’m out of here. I’ll leave the the children to their juvenile swearing so they can feel like they’re important.

Ryan
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Wow. That’s a pretty risky bet. Have you read much about this “controversy”? Most gay people seem to agree with me. The writer in question didn’t bully anyone. Does context really mean nothing at all to you? We already have too many people in society who can’t understand the concept of context. It’s very worrying.

Ryan
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

There was no swearing in this entire conversation. What are you even talking about?

Reed B
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Gut reaction: Jeff Epperly’s semi-rant made me glad he’s the the “former editor” of Bay Windows. It had all the charm, wit, and intelligence, elegantly expressed, of a bush league theater critic trying to make a reputation as “the new Dorothy Parker.” Bitter, bitchy, cheap shots.

I note that Michael Petrelis grabbed the opportunity to promote his blog in the comments section. Then again, “Mikey hates everything,” and will pile onto a good opportunity to rag on “Gay, Inc.,” (whoever that is/may be – seems to shift depending on MP’s mood).

Dan Savage I just found confusing. Maybe he’ll now re-title his project, “It Gets Better for Fags?” Because the concept that “words hurt” was/is one of the central points.

GLAAD, like HRC, seems to have out-lived its usefulness – and AFER will be the target/dinosaur in about five years.

Perhaps we should get Jeff, Mike, and Dan together to draft rules for LGBTQ organizations, defining “the tipping point” at which they’ve out-lived their usefulness. Or maybe they’ll just continue comparing “whose is bigger” instead of proceeding on to the pissing contest portion of the evening’s entertainment – after which they could all stop pushing the snooze alarms on each others’ 15 minutes of fame.

As to usage, I’m gay (that’s how I describe myself, and it’s a generational thing); I’m queer (and it took me many years to appreciate the positive attributes of that word); I am not “a fag,” because THAT is the word hurled at me when I have been physically gay-bashed (and my reaction is admittedly personal).

Ryan
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

“Once again, by your own rule of not calling someone a fag who would object to it, calling Kurt and Blaine fags is wrong.”

You’re making three huge assumptions. 1) That Chris Colfer and Darren Criss identify with their characters so much that they consider comments said about their characters to be the same as comments said about them (which would make them clinically insane). 2) That Darren Criss and Chris Colfer would object to their characters being called “party fags” in this context in the first place (all over the net, including here, we can see examples of many many MANY gay men and women who voice no such objection). 3) That Darren Criss and Chris Colfer have a right to dictate what gets said about their characters.

“Dan Savage I just found confusing. Maybe he’ll now re-title his project, “It Gets Better for Fags?” Because the concept that “words hurt” was/is one of the central points.”

Dan Savage uses the word fag all the time on his site and podcast. It’s not inconsistent with his message at all. As usual, context matters. A gay friendly and openly gay columnist or writer using the word is not the same thing as a bully or religious nutjob or Republican politician using the word. We use context in our daily lives. Why is is it so difficult for some in this situation?

ab
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

“fag” is like “jew”… it’s all in how you say it.

it’s also in how it’s received. 15 years ago, i was just out, and somehow managed to convince the cutest guy at the bar to go home with me. he had his arms around my waist while we pedalled past a bunch of college students on my 10-speed, and i heard “fags!”.

i was elated. i hollered back “hell yeah! and look who i’m goin home with!”.

cbjames
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

Wow, Jim. You’re really brave. I admire you for devoted space on your site to defending the use of anti-gay slurs. As long as the context is right then it’s okay.

Keep up the good work. This issue is so much more important that what you usually cover.

Bruce
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

I work in an environment that is populated by 60% Black men who use the word bitch and nigger all the time as a put down for one another. It seems to me that instead of “taking back” the word, it is used to define a segment of the Black male urban population from the males that believe themselves as better than others.

My fear is that as we “take back” fag, queer, and other words, we will use them to splinter and demean the very people within our “tribe” we have purported to protect and remove the poison of the words themselves.

I also feel it is to revise history. As a man of 55, the words have great meaning to me. Painful, yes. But powerful and painful.

To remove the pain and power for the youthful generation, denies my history and opens up a chasm for the lack of understanding and learning.

I have witnessed this in the Black community as well.

” Whats the problem old man, it’s just a word.”
The elder Black man shook his head and replied, ” To me Son, Thats a noose.”

I believe some words need to be kept as they were. As painful, as powerful.

In doing so we retain the history of the time the words were given the power.
We can learn and continue to strive for the betterment of the entire community.
We disallow the words to be misused by our own against our own.

For the record, I am white, my Partner is black and 15 years younger than I. Neither of us use, or will ever use, the words of hate I have used here with the exception of education and in historical context.

We both know the power of the words, just words? No. They are words of oppression and pain. They deserve to be retired in history, used only as remembrance in teaching.

“The cop called me FAG outside the bar. Thats when I threw the first rock… ” circa 1969 NYC

We chose to remember that, and a revise the history.

Throbert McGee
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

“Fag” tends to upset gay people who enjoy being upset.

Throbert McGee
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

“Homo” is my preferred self-description, and a couple of years ago, a dude on the Innerwebs whose personal preference was for “gay” took issue with my preference for “homo”, and observed: “I can’t imagine the degree of self-loathing it would take to call oneself by a playground slur.”

Naturally, my response was: “So why do you call yourself gay, then?”

People want to “reclaim” queer and fag(got)? Fine, more power to ya. Meanwhile, I choose to reclaim homosexual and homo, and I don’t care if it’s not in fashion to reclaim those particular words.

mike
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

I’m not really offended by the writer’s use of the term, but let’s get real. When we use the term to describe each other, it just confuses straight people. The term is generally derogatory and used that way too often. Instead of reclaiming the word we just give homophobes an excuse for using it.

Grover Clark
March 19th, 2011 | LINK

I never knew there was a gay version of Dr Laura!

SCV Malcolm
March 20th, 2011 | LINK

I have a friend in England and when we are chatting in type, and he uses the word fags to talk about or mention cigarettes, it makes me cringe. I’d rather hear it than see it in print!
Peace!

Loki
March 20th, 2011 | LINK

Since people are so up in arms about context, let’s look at it both ways.

Color me incredulous, but I find it difficult to believe there is a context where someone writing a “snarky” (to use Epperly’s word choice) column could possibly have a context where “party fags” is affectionate, rather than insulting. Something that Epperly even admits when he calls it, “knowing joke.” If it is a joke to call someone a “party fag” then the joke is explicitly insulting. Of course Dan Savage throws in “irony” and “supportive.” It would only be “ironic” if the context was that the characters were specifically never did anything remotely related to parties. And if it is a joke, I fail to see how it could be supportive.

So, now I find the context, and after looking at it in context, I was pretty much right. There was certainly nothing ironic or supportive about it, and it wasn’t actually a joke, just a straight up insult.

Kelly
March 21st, 2011 | LINK

Well gee whiz! And here I thought we were talking about cigarettes! LMAO

:)

chiMaxx
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

People mystified by Dan Savage’s reaction must not know (or remember) that for the first 10 years or so of his Savage Love column, the salutation on reader letters was “Hey, Faggot:”

And what of Larry Kramer’s scathing book-length look at the gay community entitled “Faggots.” Was his use of the term ipso facto demeaning.

People who cling to “gay” as their preferred term don’t realize how freighted with negative connotations that word was for decades. It went through the very sort of reclamation process that Queer and Faggot are still going through.

People who can’t separate actors from their characters scare me. Just because I think Hannibal Lector is creepy doesn’t mean I wouldn’t find Anthony Hopkins a delightful dinner companion, regardless of whether fava beans and chianti are on the menu.

Mark F.
March 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Call yourself what you like, but please respect my wish not to be called a “fag,” “homo,” “queer” or whatever term is being “reclaimed.”

Heather
April 20th, 2011 | LINK

Really! Not sure what fact or point your trying to make?Except that u have nothing better to do that spew hate!Not interested

Andrew
October 6th, 2011 | LINK

The FAG threads always end up being the longest, have you noticed? Pay attention, kids – this is the nexus of personal expression, free speech, identity, and politics.

Here’s the thing – we don’t have any uniformly accepted terms for our community. For example, I find “gay” actually pretty offensive — to my ear it’s very fem, and that’s not me.

I’ve had a bunch of diatribes, so I think folks are going to know where I’m coming from:

1) don’t censor me (unless I’m calling you personally and specifically a name you don’t like).
2) don’t tell me what to call myself.
3) don’t demand me to conform to the purity police’s notion of how the LGBT community should think
4) don’t assume that i’m stupid or naive

5) DO… pay attention to context… words like “fag” or “jew” can be affectionate, neutral, or a weapon.
6) DO… be prepared to engage with people to explain why you prefer one word over another
7) DO… stop to find out the intention of another person, rather than assuming that everyone is deliberately attacking us with words.

Reed B
October 6th, 2011 | LINK

Andrew -
Nice to have your helpful etiquette tips today (October 6).
At first I was surprised, since this article/word was published MONTHS ago, but then I realized that you might’ve arrived via link from another article published today.
Brilliant timing.
Meanwhile, yesterday was October 5th – and a year ago, Zach Harrington and Aiyisha Hassan killed themselves in separate incidents that didn’t much make the news.

Andrew
October 6th, 2011 | LINK

Reed, I did arrive here via link. If language alone were responsible for their deaths, it would be a different story. It’s a question of the intent and meaning behind those words, and the response of the adults charged with providing safe space. I’m sorry, but if we forbade the use of this word or that, they’d find another one — language is language. In the meantime, seriously, don’t tell me what I can or can’t say, and don’t you DARE try to lay the blame for teen suicide at my door.

Andrew
October 6th, 2011 | LINK

One thing they don’t post is time of day – missing the date is one thing that happens at 2am.

WMDKitty
October 7th, 2011 | LINK

So… uh… basically we get N-Word Privileges?

San Diego Rob
October 8th, 2011 | LINK

Please tell me your talking about all those ass-holes who keep turning even when they have a red light and I’m stuck sitting there with my legal green light. And you know wheat, if I hit them in my truck it would be considered my fault since they have the right away on a red light. You know, we should just abolish the yellow light, no ones pays attention to it. They just keep going till they feel it is my turn.

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