Emily is right! Quit using "gay" as a slur, FFS.

Jul 18 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

EVERYONE should go read this fantastic post by Emily Hauser. Like right now.

It has really been bothering me about how easy it has seemed for people to ridicule Marcus Bachmann. Because he is clearly "gay" and therefore a hypocrite. But all the pointing and laughing seems to me that it is a predicated, at least partly, on the fact that it is "wrong" to be gay. WTF, people. Here, Emily says it better than me:

However, when society at large starts to giggle at a man’s lisp, or limp-wristed dance moves, even if it’s in an effort to point out possible hypocrisy — even if it’s in an effort to point out pernicious, dangerous hypocrisy in a politically powerful figure — we are not helping to solve the problem. We are, in fact, perpetuating it.

Maybe he is gay, maybe he is not. All I know for sure is he is a hateful idiot. But can we please get past using gay as a fucking slur?

Seriously, go read the whole post, it is awesome. Also, if you are on twitter and you don't follow @emilyhauser you are missing out.


edited to fix broken link

14 responses so far

  • Its a good post by Emily, but your link is broken.

  • Hey! Thank you! You are very awesome.

    Plus: Hard to argue with anyone who uses "Stand Back - I'm Going to Try Science" as their avatar. #justsayin


  • Yoder says:

    My feeling is, sure, Marcus Bachmann's sexuality is his own business (and, to a lesser extent, that of his reprehensible wife)—right up until he started making a living coercing other people into the sexuality he prefers. I've found the mockery of his mannerisms a bit off-putting, sure, but on balance I'm with Savage on this one.

    • gerty-z says:

      Thanks for leaving the Dan Savage link. I am actually fully on-board with the idea that if you make demeaning other people's sexuality your business then your own sexuality is fair game. As I said before, I agree with Rachel Maddow's philosophy:

      1. Gay people — generally speaking — have a responsibility to our own community and to future generations of gay people to come out, if and when we feel that we can.
      2. We should all get to decide for ourselves the “if and when we feel that we can” part of that.
      3. Closeted people should reasonably expect to be outed by other gay people if (and only if) they prey on the gay community in public, but are secretly gay themselves.

      I also agree with Dan that if the gay community wants to embrace Bachmann to make a point, then they should. I will stand here and cheer. But I won't join in, because as a lesbian I never had to deal with getting beat up for being effeminate or having a lisp. I think it is unfortunate that, as this meme gets picked up by the rest of the world, that it can have the effect to reinforce some of the stereotypes and homophobia that we are all so pissed off about in the first place.

      • Yoder says:

        Agreed on all counts. The delineation Dan is making reflects my feelings (and, I think, those of most gay men), but I do worry about whether that delineation translates outside the queer community. I'm pretty sure Jon Stewart understands it ... but how much of his audience does?

        • Yoder says:

          I should add, in line with what I said originally: I think that on balance we shouldn't let that worry about how it plays outside the community stop us from pointing out that the dude is a high-probability hypocrite. But the worry's there all the same.

          • gerty-z says:

            The guy is a hateful idiot fuck-knuckle, who deserves to be ridiculed on many fronts. Doesn't matter if he is gay or not. If he is a closet case that makes him hypocritical on top of it.

  • DrLizzyMoore says:

    YYEESSSS!!! I have often had the same thoughts, and it has always bothered me. Thanks for drawing attention to her post! Oh-and I hope you have a hella Gay Day!

  • Zee says:

    Totally agree. This is only appropriate to say when something is actually gay, like the leather bear riding a glitter unicorn during the pride festival. Yes, that is so gay.

  • becca says:

    "This is only appropriate to say when something is actually gay, like the leather bear riding a glitter unicorn during the pride festival. Yes, that is so gay."
    So "gay" means.... "AWESOME"? explains everything. except how most of the rest of the world sees things.

  • Dan Savage had an interesting follow-up on his latest Savage Love podcast, which I listened to last night. He speculated that, in the past, implying that someone is gay was seen as the most terrible thing you could possibly say about them and was therefore used extremely sparingly, giving people like Liberace a "pass". However, now that times have changed, people are much more at ease with calling someone like Bachmann gay because it's not seen as this terrible, slanderous thing any more; it's the dishonesty and hypocrisy that people now see as being the serious character flaws.

    Not entirely relevant to your central point about "gay" being used as a slur (I've had words with two of my nephews about doing just that on Facebook, btw!), but an interesting point of view, I thought!

    • gerty-z says:

      Cath, that is an interesting point. I bet it is even true, for some people. I wonder if that is how folks like the Bachmann's would see it, though.

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