BY Claudio E. Cabrera (@cecabrera21)
A few weeks ago, Lakers star Kobe Bryant was fined $100K by the NBA after he was caught on camera calling a referee a “faggot” over a foul call he disagreed with.
On Twitter recently, two local residents, @rosefox and @ddenegro, went back and forth when the latter called Donald Trump (you guessed it) a “Fag” for his baseless birther claims against President Obama.
When @rosefox, who happens to be bisexual, saw his tweet, she said there is no reason for anyone to ever use that word, while @ddenegro countered that he didn’t mean it in a derogatory manner.
When we think of the word “faggot,” we have to think about a few things. First, it’s a word that’s universally used by most straight men of all races. When it’s said, it’s generally not meant in an offensive manner. It’s an insult to a man of sorts by saying that you are acting like a girl, essentially a guy with female traits and tendencies.
Now before you think I’m justifying @ddenegro’s comment, I’m not. Do I understand where it’s coming from? Absolutely. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called a guy a faggot for being soft, crying, or doing something that is not considered manly. But, I’ve never called a gay man one – though at the same time – never calling a gay man one doesn’t really matter.
Somewhere along the line the word became a substitute for a bitch or a ho.
I used to say:
“Stop acting like a bitch.”
“Stop acting like a ho.”
Sometime in High School, I graduated to “stop acting like a faggot.”
The problem with that word is that it isn’t like the N-Word, but many treat it as such.
In historical terms, the N-Word is the most offensive word in the English language and will always hold that title. But in recent years, many have seen the power of that word decrease.
There’s a segment of the African-American population that has taken the N-Word and claimed to strip it of its power. It has become a part of everyday speech for some people. While many middle-aged to older Blacks still hate the use of the word. It is common knowledge that the word has been on a see-saw ever since Hip-Hop came into existence.
The word “faggot?” – not so much.
I’ve never heard any LGBT individual say that they use faggot in an endearing way; I’ve never heard anyone say they’ve stripped the word of its power.
In the end, we can’t determine what is what, only that community can.
In final, this isn’t about calling out @ddenegro. I know he’s not a homophobe. This is more about what that brief discussion on Twitter has taught me, in the same way the comments in my Le Boy article did last year.
It showed me how wrong my friends and I are when we use certain words that are offensive to a particular community; even if we think we don’t mean them in an offensive manner.
While I know, in my heart of hearts, that I’m not homophobic and that I’m just using (now used) the word in a different way as @ddenegro said, I can’t blame one Gay, Lesbian or Transgender person for saying I am because I’ve consistently used a word that can only label me as one.
If any LGBT person saw me walking down the street and heard me saying that word, they only have one choice but to think that I’m a bigot.
That’s what it really all comes down to…
Read the Le Boy article: http://uptowncollective.com/2010/10/22/the-night-i-went-to-le-boy/