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Vanity Fair apologises for gay writer’s ‘fags’ comment

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  1. People find the use of words like Queer, f@g, poof etc offensive, yet consider it OK if used “internally” between other gay people.

    Much the same as white people can’t use the “N” word on blacks, but they freely throw it around amongst themselves.

    The writer is openly gay, and one can imagine overtly so, judging by his prose, so who’s complaining?

    As I have said many times before, words only have power when people react to them. So we are all a bunch of fags. Big deal. If none of us care, then nobody else will either.

    1. ‘Much the same as white people can’t use the “N” word on blacks, but they freely throw it around amongst themselves’

      Not sure how many Black people you know. The word may be favoured by rap writers and the like. It is not a word used by the average Black person (I am one, and I only ever read (mainly from Whites) that it is used by regularly by Blacks…/

      1. TheSuburban Bi 16 Mar 2011, 11:03am

        I agree. I am tired of reading how black folk just run around calling ourself ‘ni@@ers’ all the time. I’m not moralising against those who use it in the whole pomo ironic way amongst themselves, etc., to each their own — but it is not some core, essential, daily black cultural ‘thing’ I keep reading it is.

        I know of absolutely no one who would use it around their family/children/parents, no one who uses it in a casual chat among friends, but I will admit when the beers are flowing and a sports game is on to hearing ‘ni@@a please!’ shouted at the tv screen if something went wrong — and the race of the person being addressed is rarely the issue. But that’s about the extent of it outside of the whole rap/gansta/media thing as far as my experience goes.

  2. The use of that word is a very tricky issue. I think most of the community (myself included) is only comfortable with someone using the word if we know that the speaker is 100% on our side and is using the word as a reclaimed term of endearment rather than any sort of put down. The gay community probably wouldn’t complain if Kathy Griffin used that word. But a writer I’ve never heard of? Yeah, it is sort of offensive because he doesn’t have the familiarity with me to use that word. And the fact that the speaker is gay doesn’t give him a free pass. There are plenty of self-loathing gays out there who are quick to put down other gays (especially stereotypically feminine gays) as “faggy” in an attempt to distance themselves and (in their mind) increase their own status.

    1. Reed Boyer 15 Mar 2011, 3:43pm

      Believe me, if Kathy Griffin used that word, I’d be the first to complain. I think she’s an opportunistic twit whose commitment to gay rights is as shallow as her humor.
      I am NOT one of “her gays,” and loathe her “I own you” attitude.
      I once found her amusing – but it was “just a phase.”

      1. Lady Gaga is just as opportunistic.
        I am not one of her monsters.

        Ironic that many of her fans except (some even demand) that all gays bow to her. Like we all should conform to her expectations.
        I’d rather be myself.

    2. This statement just reeks of lazy entitlement on so many levels. You’re saying it’s you that gets to decide when someone else can use the word “fag,” once you’ve reached some magical comfort level with them, a certainty that they’re “100% on our side”? When does that happen? And how does the person know that you’ve decided it’s okay for them to use the word? Do you send them an email and give them your permission?

      On a fundamental level, it is really not up to you whether a gay person can use the word “fag” or not, ever. That’s an absolute fact that you just need to get into your head and accept. And there are plenty of people in the “community” who have no problem with this use of the word “fag,” so don’t claim to speak for some wider homogeneously-minded body of people that doesn’t exist. You have no authority to do so.

    3. As for the more germane issue of taking offense…. If you look at this guy’s site for one second, you spend one second “getting to know him,” and you see he’s “100% on our side.” It really doesn’t take much effort. But you haven’t taken that effort. You have not taken that effort. And yet you have the nerve to write a comment claiming to have something to say on this issue. Doesn’t that kind of disqualify you from speaking on the subject with any iota of credibility? How hard would it have been for you to look at the link, gather some context, and then post a comment? How hard would that have been?

      You’re not looking for context, and you’re not looking for context on purpose. You’re just looking for a word to be offended about. And as long as that’s how you approach the world of media, well, you’re going to get offended a whole lot. Go to town with that approach: Google “fag” and launch an internet attack against every single hit.

    4. Leaping on a single word and attacking is more than just lazy and infantile. You are trapping yourself in a prison of sanctimonious victimhood. Which is such an ugly place to exist.

  3. No wonder the editors haven’t endorsed his “fun and fa**y” bit, its pathetic and completely witless. Bitch, your black face is running and you look a mess, sort it.

  4. G Ferguson 15 Mar 2011, 3:54pm

    I’m gay, and cannot stand when people use the words queer and fag. When I was growing up these were terms of abuse. They still are.

    People calling me a fag (gay or straight), get a slap.

    Judging by the title of his column, the writer for Vanity Fair is a moron, with quite exceptionally limited wit.

    1. Refer to my comment below. When you slap someone for calling you a fag, you’re only letting them know that next time they want to use it to offend somebody, they have to duck. Or, be the one doing the hitting.
      Try this: someone calls you a fag, say “well, duh!”. :-)

    2. It’s vanity fair… what did you expect? wholesome and thought-provoking content? no, it’s just another trashy magazine that tries to impose ridiculous fashion standards on people all while trying to keep up the air of being relevant or even worth anyone’s time/money.

  5. It’s only when people keep getting offended and making an issue out of it that a simple word has any power. The genuine haters would then continue to use it as derogatory terms. If someone is a fag- he’s gay. Yes, he is. So? That scene and the boys the writer called faggy- yes, perhaps they were quite “overtly gay”. So? Why get offended? Yes, they have been and still are terms of abuse by homophobes, but that’s only because the gays themselves and society are letting it be. Of course it’s not going to change overnight, but since we can’t simply erase the word from existence, perhaps evolve the use of the word? Too many people nowadays getting riled up over everything and anything.
    Anyway about this article, I’m on the “in context” camp. The writer, “faggy” himself, uses the word to describe something quite.. well.. gay. He meant no ill will by it, he’s not a “self loathing gay”, he just wanted to camp it up. What now, is “camp” going to be the next offensive word?

  6. Just end glee?

  7. If you were to take any typical drag queen’s set, and say, get Jim Davidson to perform it on the BBC as 8pm, everyone would scream the place down accusing him of homophobia.

    Anyone who claims we don’t use insulting descriptive terms amongst one another is talking complete bullsh|t.

  8. One thing I take great issue with these days is that a younger generation of gay people have taken it upon them selves to reclaim ownership of words of a pejorative nature to refer to the gay community. The misguided belief that owning the words. using them or believing they now won’t hurt or offend because as a gay community we will no longer be offended was not the intent of generations of gay people who including the Stonewall riots have fought to suppress and discourage their use to help overcome hatred and bigotry that their now continued rejuvenation helps to fester.

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