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Thu Nov 22, 2012, 07:15 AM

should we reclaim the word 'faggot'?

i'm really not interested in calling my self queer -- it's really not a word i positively identify with -- doesn't do anything for my self image.

same with faggot . just not interested -- and in the right circumstances -- both words are threatening to my well being.

'gay' is the word my predecessors carved out -- i'm proud of that word and the word gives me a positive feel to my self image.

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply should we reclaim the word 'faggot'? (Original post)
xchrom Nov 2012 OP
Travis_0004 Nov 2012 #1
Siwsan Nov 2012 #2
Smarmie Doofus Nov 2012 #3
MarianJack Nov 2012 #4
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #16
MarianJack Nov 2012 #19
DetlefK Nov 2012 #5
Vanje Nov 2012 #18
Marrah_G Nov 2012 #22
mitchtv Nov 2012 #6
closeupready Nov 2012 #7
uriel1972 Nov 2012 #8
Fearless Nov 2012 #9
La Lioness Priyanka Nov 2012 #10
Zorra Nov 2012 #11
Behind the Aegis Nov 2012 #12
beyurslf Nov 2012 #13
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #14
xchrom Nov 2012 #15
HillWilliam Nov 2012 #17
mitchtv Nov 2012 #20
NickP Nov 2012 #21
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #23

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:10 AM

1. I think the word faggot is offensive, and often meant to be a pejorative

 

For that reason, I wouldn't use that word to describe somebody who is gay.

I would be much more comfortable using the term gay, which I don't think is offensive at all.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:18 AM

2. That's the word my uncle used to refer to bundles of kindling wood

I think it's a British term. Much like 'fags' for cigarettes. I had always heard him use this term so I was shocked to learn it had a different meaning to other people. Then, every time he used it, we would all giggle.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:43 AM

3. I dislike all three terminologies.

 

Esp. 'queer' and 'faggot'. Word meanings *evolve*. They bring along some element of their earlier meaning as they do so.

Yet, the evidence suggests that , in real life, there is nothing "queer" ( weird, strange, unusual) about my sexuality. Nor am I in any sense like a "bundle" of kindling wood. Though a few ---- I hope *only* a few --- would doubtless like to put me to the torch.... as they did in the 'not so good' old days. Most of the remainder would be happy to see me merely socially marginalized, one suspects. I can live w. that; quite literally. ('Course it would be better if I didn't HAVE to).

I was around when "gay" was more-or-less adopted by the nascent lgbt movement; our predecessors as you put it. (No Ts or Bs in the early days. Not may Ls for that matter. At least not many that preferred to identify as such.) I never liked the presumption that the word implies that I have to 'feel" a particular way, or BE in particular mood. ( Yes, I understand it has a long and complex etymological pedigree that I have not completely accounted for here. But the presumption of mood and/or feeling is basic to the word. )

Fuck it. I wanna have the same emotional latitude that the society affords everyone else. "Gay" or not.

Plus which... I'm not so big on "reclaiming" things. Esp. nasty terminologies so that we.... the targets of their original coinage... can "own" it or "take the sting out of it."

That never really works. Hence the socio-cultural chaos attendant to the reclaiming by some African Americans of the "n word", and all of its myriad pronunciations and spellings. And if reclaiming "gay" was a successful move , why --- forty+ years later --- does it alone ( as in 'so gay') rival "faggot" as the epithet of choice among the , ummmm.... "non-gay".

It doesn't seem to me that we've won the war over that word. Social opprobrium has merely evolved to attach itself to "our" terminology. ( Sort of like a antibiotic-resistant bacteria.) Point: there's a lot more wrong here than we can fix by simply experimenting w. language.

But if I have to vote, "gay" is preferable to the other two. That's what we USE and , bottom line, it's about communication. "Homo", with its detached, objective neutral yet descriptive qualities is preferable to all three. Now THERE'S something to reclaim.

But I'm not holding my breath.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:35 AM

4. WhenI was in college...

...there was a gay guy in my dorm who had that slogan on a t-shirt tht he wore.

It's something that I would NEVER say to another person, but I've always had the opinion that you could say anything about your own group, such as how many African Americans call each other a term that I'd never say and how I always make my ethnic jokes about the Irish Catholics, which is what I am.

BTW, up here in Maine, 53% of us voted FOR Marriage Equality, including my wife and I. So come on up!!!!!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:25 AM

16. Check my sig. line. To me, that's what life should all be about. We all only have

a very very very short time on earth, so all of the ruckus all the time about this one to oppress or that one highlights IMO the immaturity of so much of the human race. Great for Maine, my father's birthplace. 53% of us voted FOR Marriage Equality!!!

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:27 PM

19. That's a great sig line!

PEACE!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:58 AM

5. I have a question:

Do english-speaking gay people regard "fagottini" (the italian noodles) as an offensive term/meal?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:22 PM

18. THATS NOT FAIR!

I looked all over the pasta aisle at the grocery store, and could'nt find a single package of Lezbottini.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:00 AM

22. I'm hiding it all from you :)

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:54 PM

6. I am not interested in those terms ,either.

in my generation they can be considered fighting words, and i'd be hesitant throwing those terms around,

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:38 PM

7. To reclaim means, literally, to lay claim to that which was once yours.

 

I don't think "faggot" was ever a term used self-referentially.

On a related note, today I heard someone on the street call a buddhist proselytizer a "cocksucker". I was so aghast that even here in big tough New York, that there are people who talk like that in public, loudly, pejoratively to complete strangers.

Do people with such trashy every day language come from broken families, or what? And more to the point, lots of people of both sexes have engaged in such activity; does that mean on your Facebook profile that you'd "reclaim" that term by referring to yourself in that way? I don't think so.

That said, I've been around long enough and met enough gay people to know that there are many openly gay people who DO refer to themselves as "faggot" or "queer" as a means of neutralizing these terms, in a kind of 'reclamation'. Having been gay all my life, I am biased in supporting other gay people unequivocally and reflexively, as I know the kinds of shit straight people and society in general dishes out. Thus, if you are gay and want to refer to yourself in that way in good faith, go for it, as far as I'm concerned.

But I wouldn't refer to myself like that, except in very rare situations that I can't even think of ATM.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 06:30 AM

8. I've been called that and other such words so often

with such venom,that I want nothing more to do with them.
For me I will always associate such words, including 'gay' with that venom. But that's just me.
What others choose to do with them is their own business I guess.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:45 AM

9. I think that the idea behind "reclaiming" words

Is that its up to the individual who feels that this is the thing that should be done. Clearly some words have a more hurtful historic affect on our population and it would take a generation of our people who have not been affected by these words in such a way to overcome the stigma attached to them. Will it happen? Perhaps. But I'd hazard to guess that since we generally have several words already to call ourselves, that it will more likely just become a word that loses uses instead of gains new use. Unless of course we find a specific difference between that word and the others that we can use to our benefit-- like the difference between gay and queer. If both meant exactly the same thing, the words would not both be used by and large. IMHO of course.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:19 PM

10. it was reclaimed for a bit in the early 2000's, atleast amongst young gay new yorkers

 

i think it has really fallen out of favor

just like queer has been in fashion lately

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 09:41 PM

11. I totally agree with you. And "f****t is definitely at the top of the list

on what school bullies use to try to demean LGBT kids.

If I never heard or saw the word again, it would be another plus in my life.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:50 PM

12. I see no reason to reclaim "faggot." It was never ours.

Therefore, how can we "reclaim" it? Though, I have seen those who do try to make it "our" word, the use means "subservient" and usually to a heterosexual. Using it among a select group of friends, in privacy, is acceptable to me, even the negative side of it.

"Queer" is a different word to me. I see the negative side to it. It has been used against me and several of my friends. But, I also know it has been used as a term of empowerment. I can see that side too. "Queer" means "different, odd." For some in our community, our "oddness/differentness" is important to their identity. In more certain social situations, would I find its use to be acceptable, as opposed to 'faggot.'

"Gay" is not a problem word, except how it is being appropriated by some for negative uses, which really pisses me off. 'Gay' is much more positive and can be quite inclusive.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:57 PM

13. I don't want to take back fag or faggot but my son (who is 19)

uses both to describe himself and friends. I do use queer though to describe our community but not usually a specific person.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:31 PM

14. Sooo many words to pick from ...

I'll go with gay!

Noun, faggot, fag, fagot, nance, poof, poove, pouf, queer, fairy, pansy, queen, nancy boy ...

http://www.tfd.com/faggot

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:36 AM

15. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:28 PM

17. Nnnn'Ima leave "faggot" alone

There's too much temptation to take a swing at someone for hurling it, too much pain in it.

As I've said before, I'm not fond of "queer" either because of the pain in it, but younger folks have adopted it, so I'm willing to let that slide, but only in context.

I've been gay all my life, I'm gay now, and gay I will die.

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Response to HillWilliam (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:33 PM

20. +1

what he said(better than I)

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:37 AM

21. I don't believe so

Faggot was always meant to be an offensive term. I see no reason why we should try and "reclaim" something that was never ours in the first place and is inherently meant to be offensive.

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Response to NickP (Reply #21)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:33 PM

23. I agree and welcome to DU!

 

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