I wish he’d keep his trap shut, he’s making us look very silly again. He does not represent the gay community and it’s about time he stopped telling people that he does.We need a common sense approach to language, not an over the top queen who has nothing better to do.I’m gay and do not object to the use of the word “faggot” in this particular context, it’s quite clear that one person in the song uses it to insult the other – it is an insulting word and is used in that context.The really funny thing is that the Beeb also removed the word “slut” – I wonder how many slappers called in to say they were upset?
“I challenge those who defend the use of the word faggot in these lyrics,” says Peter Tatchell, “to state publicly that they would also defend the right of white singers to use the word n*gger as a term of abuse in a song . . .”Actually, Peter, I would. It depends on the context. Is the singer him/herself using the word as meant by him/herself, or is it within the context of the narrative of the song, as “faggot” is in the Pogues’ song? If you’re going to edit “nigger” or “faggot” or “Paki” out of a song (and why your coy use of asterisks?), are you going to edit it out of a film or other drama, or out of a novel or short story?It doesn’t say “go and kill a queer”. Context has to be the arbiter.Once you start on this road, anyone can claim any word is an insult. How much currency does the word need to earn before it gets this dubious accolade? A week? Two mentions in a tabloid newspaper? A bit of street talk? One mention on a talk show?Context. Perspective.
Firstly, I generally think PT is a hero and that gay people who have this funny shame about him really have no idea about the battles that have been fought for us by others. Also, the guy citizens-arrested Robert Mugabe. He rocks.But he’s wrong here. As the post at the top says it’s about the narrative. You wouldn’t automatically complain if a play, book or film featured a character calling another character a faggot. Or a nigger. You might not like that character but that would be the point.
For the songs age and popularity and my thrill when every Christmas I hear the faggot line I am pleased I missed the repeated bleeping broadcasts of BBC Radio One’s Fairytale in New York.I’ve never noticed it was in anyway defamatory. Radio One only picked it up because they have got into so much trouble in the past and tried making up for it – it totally the wrong way.In addition, if the bleeping was upheld it would be a sudden loss of our identity and freedom of language. It would have showm PC has taken control of the world and personality sucked dry – even of a favourite Christmas anthem!
Jon, Peter does have a point though. No radio station would play a song with a racial or religious slur, there is a difference, but they’ll gladly play anything with a derogatory slur against us. Its hypocrisy of the worst kind and a doublestandard. There should be consistency. If its ok to utter a slur against us, then it should be ok to utter a slur against someone of a different colour, ethnicity or religion, fair is fair. The problem with these straights is that they want it all their way and to hell with us because we’re the last bastion of discrimination, the most hated group of all. Gay bashing is de rigueur even more than ever on both sides of the pond.
Robert, yet again you are talking out of your arse (or do you call it a fanny now?) – listen to the song – listen to the word in it’s intended context. It’s not intended as a slur against gay people.Tatchell is an annoying little man from overseas who jumps on any band-wagon that happens to be passing. Any relation?
Tatchell is a hero by any measure. Leave him alone.
If I am not worng the song goes “you scum bag you maggot you cheap lousy f*****. If whatever context you like to put that, to me it sounds like an insult. So Mave , I think perhaps you are talking out of your backside.
Ps althought the word Queer has been adopted by the gay community, I have never heard that the f word has been. So it use fullstop is an insult. Correct me if I am wrong.
Anon, right on! Actually, the term “queer” was in vogue after WW2 and used by straights to denigrate and ridicule gay men and women. It was derogatory than and its derogatory now and people like Mave et al who accept it probably condone the ‘n’ word describing people of African descent, there is NO difference, a slur is a slur in whatever context. Its obvious people like this have their heads buried in the sand or in denial about something. They sound like the conservative, deeply closeted sychophantic gays who vote for a party that wants them to go away or disappear entirely.
Peter Tatchell really irritates me!! I agree with his stance on the dancehall shit but not on this.I own Fairytale of New York, it is one of the best Christmas songs ever and even though I hate the word faggot I don’t find it offensive in the context it’s used in this song…..unlike the way Eminem uses it or the way Guns N’ Roses used it in the track One in a Million.Back to Fairytale of New York, I work on a radio station and I played it last night with the word faggot in and then went on to criticise Tatchell for whining on and giving us all a bad name!
I do heartily believe that this man is being too precious over what he considers offensive. As many other commenters agree, saying violently negative things about gay people are bad and wrong, and shouldn’t happen, same with all minority and majority groups – it is geenerally a bad thing to badmouth people by generalising them, and those who do it should not be listened to. However, I also feel that the term faggot is not derogatory in itself, and was a common insult back in 1987, and I feel that changing an original piece of art to fit with the standards of the times would be demeaning, in any form of art.Bleeping ‘faggot’ from Fairytale of New Yor? You may as well request that Michealangelo’s David wear a dressing gown.
It’s more complicated than we all like to pretend it is… however isn’t it worse to be offended by these words? Maybe we should embrace it and own it, as in “yeah I’m an f’ing faggot, what are you going to do about?” Maybe that will make the word meaningless…. At any rate it’s just part of a song, not the subject matter, but I do agree that there is a double standard with racial slurs vs ones against gays or even woman… songs that say things like “tell all me ho’s to come over” wouldn’t have the word ho censored would they? Also leave Peter alone he’s a legend and he’s not perfect…