There are many different words that society considers derogatory. These words are rarely used, and if they are, are rarely used in a public place. One word that I find derogatory and used a lot more than it should be is the word “fag”.
In my opinion, fag is still very socially acceptable. There is less of a negative reaction when people use the word fag then other derogatory words.
There are other words that are used in a derogatory way against the LGBT community that I hate as well. Along with fag, I also hate faggot, dyke, queer and gay (when it’s used to mean stupid). My issue is that all these words tend to be accepted. Not everyone, but it seems too me that mainstream society accepts the use of these words. How often have you heard someone say “oh my god, that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay”, by using gay meaning stupid? It’s accepted by most people, but why? Being gay isn’t stupid and gay people aren’t stupid.
My other issue is with the word fag. I hear this less, but when I do, it is always said with a lot more hatred. I have been lucky in my life that I have rarely been harassed because I’m gay. Once or twice a slur has been said to me, but not as much as a lot of people have to deal with, but it did happen to me yesterday.
Yesterday, while at work, I decided I would stop at the local Mc Donald’s to grab a snack to hold me over until a party my office was throwing at 1pm. While waiting in line inside the restaurant, I was reading the back2stonewall website on my phone. I wasn’t paying close attention and apparently they were ready to take my order. Well, the guy in line behind me felt it necessary to let me know that they were ready to take my order.
“Hey fag, they’re ready for you.”
This is what the guy said to me. I turned around and looked at him. At the time I had several things in my mind that I wanted to say to him, none that were anywhere near nice or civil. Instead I just looked at him in awe. I realized that anything mean said to him would be just as wrong as what he said to me.
Besides this man’s blatant rudeness, I was shocked by something else. I was shocked with everyone else’s reaction. The Mc Donald’s employee at the register actually laughed which astonished me, but what also shocked me was that no one who heard seemed shocked or bothered at what this man just said to me.
Why is fag still this accepted that not one person looked bothered or disgusted that he said that to me? Is fag an “ok” word still for most people and if so why? I don’t think the word is an appropriate word for anyone to use. Just as I refuse to use any other words that are considered derogatory, I will not use the word fag, even in writing this post, I am having difficulties typing it.
People need to realize that those words are disgusting and only hurt society. To those who laugh when you hear it, you are supporting the behavior and to those who hear someone say it and keep your mouths shut, yep, your supporting the behavior as well. I will admit that I should have said something. i should have stood up for myself and made it aware that it was not acceptable for this man to use that word. I didn’t. I didn’t allow my voice to be heard.
We need to stand up and make it know that we will not accept anyone using the word fag in any context, it is simply not ok! each time that word it used, it is used out of hate and stems from ignorance.
I am happy though to report that with the help of 2 people, Zak (@goofyzak) and Brian (@briancentrone) from Twitter, the Mc Donald’s Corporation did contact me and apologized stating that the employee’s behavior was –
“Unacceptable. Customer’s mean the WORLD to us.”
I was very pleased to see that Mc Donald’s does not support homophobia and acknowledges that using the word fag is unacceptable behavior.
I will end this by something someone said to me regarding this and I found it to be so true –
“If a stranger has to take time out of their day to insult someone for how they were born, that just means they are insecure. They’ve already insulted themselves more than I could.”
How incredibly true.