We have the “f” word, the “n” word, the “s” word. We call people “b” instead of bitch. We have all kinds of words that are bleeped and/or inappropriate, but I heard something recently that I just can’t accept.
A while back there was an actor who was fired from Grey’s Anatomy for calling someone a faggot. I could look up the guy’s name, but I don’t care enough. More importantly, I was listening to a great radio show out of Philadelphia on a rock station, WMMR. The show is called “Preston and Steve.” Anyway, as Preston was talking about the firing of the actor, he referred to the incident as “using the 6-letter F word.” I almost crashed.
Are you shitting me? We can’t say “faggot” anymore? We have to say “the 6-letter F word”? The host of the show wasn’t calling anyone “faggot.” He was just referring to the fact that someone else called someone “faggot.”
I grew up in the 70’s. “Fag” was an everyday word, but “fag” had nothing to do with “gay.” “Fag” meant someone who wasn’t cool in some way. It was someone who did something that was wrong, something that they should have known not to do. If someone told the teacher that you were cheating on a test, they were a fag. If you couldn’t stay out past 9 on a weekend, you were a fag.
I know now that the word “fag” is too closely tied to “gay,” and I know that it’s negative. I know now that if I call someone “fag,” I’m going to be accused of subconsciously saying that being gay is not cool, but that’s never what we meant. We didn’t care if people were gay. People weren’t gay. They were people who happened to be gay, but they were people first. They still are.
You can be a fag without being gay, and you can be gay without being a fag. I don’t care if you’re gay, but don’t be a fag.