What’s your instant reaction when you hear or see the word “FAG“? Hold that answer for now, we’ll get back to what your reaction to the word is later in the post, but first I thought I’d explain why I’m bringing this up. I thought this may be a good topic for a discussion after I saw and ad for a local event, where the event is called “Fag Fridays“. Let me state a few things first. I respect and admire the people involved in this event (more info on it later in the post) and I also think the establishment is a great place for a party. So, kudos to them for putting this weekly night together – our community always needs something new and exciting to try out, so good on you!
So, having said that, my first reaction to seeing the promo pic for the event with the text “Fag Fridays,” was: “Why on earth would they use that word?!” If any of you have been around me, when someone uses the “F” word in any way, I always point it out and tell them I don’t appreciate the word.
I wasn’t bullied when I was a kid, but I was in the closet – as we pretty much all were at some point. I grew up in a small town where the word “fag” was a derogatory word used by people around me to describe a gay person in a hateful way, or even just anyone someone who wanted to throw out a random insult. In fact, here is the definition: “Faggot, often shortened to fag, is a pejorative term and common homophobic slur used chiefly in North America against homosexual males.” The intention of the word was never positive when I heard it growing up. I was consequently afraid of being accepted if I were to even consider coming out of the closet because of words like this and the intention and ignorance behind it. Fag or Faggot, in my eyes, is pretty much the worst word you can use when it comes to gays.
Let’s play word association for a second. No, honestly. I’m going to type the word “Faggot” and see what I type: “Faggot. Fag. Cocksucker. Rest Stop. Pedophile. Dirty. Jail. Pervert. Gay bashing.” That’s honestly what came to mind.
Here’s something I’d like everyone to discuss and ponder. It’s not okay for black people to say the N word right (although they seem to do so in rap lyrics)? So, why would it be okay for us to use the F word, When we are trying to encourage teens to by telling them “It Gets Better,” how can we use the very word that others used to cut them down and persecute them. Is it okay for the word FAG to be posted up and down the street of a gay community on event flyers, even if the street is where several gay bashings have occurred in the past few years, even if the event is a gay one? There is regular event called “Queer Bash” that takes place in Vancouver as well. Again, a gay event, so does that make it okay to say “Queer Bash”. I understand it can be taken two ways, but whether it is appropriate or not is another question. Some say when you use the word, you’re taking back ownership. Or maybe it’s just to turn heads and get peoples attention.
As I mentioned, I applaud the people who create these events for helping contribute to the community and organize these events for us – often donating funds to support a number of important gay causes. In this case, “Fag Fridays,” inspired me to write about what the word means to me and what my connection to it is. I think it’s important to think about where we stand with the word or similar words.
In summary, I know the event is not to promote homophobia because of the use of the word. I know it was used to turn heads and get people talking…and it did, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this article.