I hope you’re all happy and healthy and had an amazing Easter weekend, I know I did. We celebrated Elliot’s 18th Birthday is style, got a tad tipsy and had a good laugh! Also, I’ve decided to start attaching little photos I take to the top of my blog posts because why not! Let me know if you like them!
Today’s post is going to be about something that I hear on a regular basis and that really makes me feel uneasy. People insult each other on all the time and the reasoning behind it is usually found in a place of humour. Sometimes, and I hold my hands up to this as well, insults can get close to the mark and could be considered offensive. Yet, when people use these more edge-of-your-seat remarks they are often with VERY close friends and don’t do a lot of harm.
A trend that I categorically do not subscribe to however is the trend of using sexuality in order to insult someone. It has, over the years, made its way into the everyday language of some people and it is concerning. I heard it very recently and I instantly felt uncomfortable…
“Why aren’t you coming out? Stop being a faggot”
Using “faggot” as a mechanism to demean and insult someone is simply not okay. “Faggot” is a term used with malice. It is used by people to represent a community in a negative and discriminative way. I tried to do some research into the etymology of the term but the conclusion was unclear so I’ll update you if I find anything else on the subject.
This context uses the word as an example of something you should avoid being. This was a phrase I heard very commonly in school and it represents the idea that being gay or having any traits that can be considered gay is a negative thing. This is lethal to the mental wellbeing of a some younger and more sensitive people in a marginalised section of society.
And yet, when I heard this term being used, it was a seemingly fluent “figure of speech”. The person who used it didn’t understand what they were saying. It had become such a common lexical construction in their language that they didn’t even realise they had done it nor the effect it had. There were two gay people in their presence at that very moment and their idle insult resonated with not just the members of the community being offended, but almost everyone at the table at that time.
How is being called a “faggot” an insult? How is claiming something as being “gay” an insult? By using something as an insult you are claiming it to be negative. The same can be said about when a child is told to “man up” and to “stop being such a girl”. These are common in speech but promote a shameful and hurtful ideology that needs to be stopped.
Yet, when this is question to people who are not liberal or respectful then they always have an answer…
“I’ll say what I want. We have freedom of speech”
So it cannot be stopped. People will always be sexist and homophobic through their words. Gay will be used as an insult for many years to come but I beg you to make sure you are aware of what you say. If you hear someone say it and they seemingly don’t understand the gravitas of what they’re doing then make it known to them if the time and place is right: don’t put yourself in danger and don’t be cold or abrasive. In this instance, I chose to walk away from the situation rather that attack it head on as the person was under the influence of alcohol and my efforts would have been futile.
The message of this post is simple: Gay is not an insult!
Thanks for reading my frustrations and share this post on your Instagram stories, your twitter and anywhere you can to get the message out. This is not a violation of freedom of speech, just a method of making people realise that words can have an impact and an influence.