There is a fact that I think people should know about me, and there is an explanation behind it, even if other’s don’t agree. The fact is, I use homophobic slurs.
Now, don’t get all hot and bothered just yet, and wait until the end of the post to cast judgement if you will. Since around 2013, I have used varying degrees of homophobic slurs in conversations and directed at friends. I do not direct these slurs at people I do not know because I don’t want to offend people who do not understand or know my viewpoint.
When I went off to university in Bradford, I ultimately became involved in the small LGBT society that they had there. There were two individuals there who had their own agenda to radicalise a small group of people, to which I took issue with. The agenda was to turn everyone over to the school of thought provided by the Queer Movement. However, I believe their own view of this movement was a little bit skewed.
Their doctrine, that they would tell any and everybody was that no matter what, you were “queer”, should call yourself “queer” and live a “queer” life. The movement was about reclaiming the word “queer” and taking away it’s negative power by adopting it back in the LGBTQ world and away from the harmful tongues of straight men.
I have never been called queer in any homophobic incident I have endured.
I found their rationale, at the time, a little off putting and when the rest of the society voted against changed the name from LGBT to “Queer”, they left because they didn’t agree with the vote to have it as LGBTQ which is what it became.
Three years after leaving university and probably 4 years since the vote, it struck me, there was method in the madness. Yes, reclaiming a negative slur from the straight community was a good idea, but why did it just have to be the word “queer”? That’s when words started to spill out of my mouth.
At first, they were just words I used to describe myself. I was a faggot, a puff, a bum boy, a queer. Then my friends started to become them too. One by one. New friends added to the fold, they became them too. It grew, and it stuck. Some people questioned me, I told them my rationale and they either accepted or rejected it.
I understood the triggering effect it could have, and whilst I cautiously use the slurs, it is a rare occasion I shy away from it. The power is there, in my hands. You want to call me a puff, go ahead, I’m good with it, because I am. You have no power over me or that word. That word is also mine. The less you react, often the less something happens.
Could I go about life and just not react and let the words die out? Yes, but I won’t. You see, those words are a part of the LGBTQ history. They’re slurs that have been used and have been given power to someone else. I’m not going to let you have power over me. Is it okay for someone outside of the community to use the slur? No, not really, but will saying that mean they’ll stop? Not at all. Just in the same way that people of colour have to put up with slurs, they’ll always be used to try and tear you down. You just have to claim it back and realise it just builds you up.
I am a faggot, a puff, a bum boy, a batty, a fudge packer, a fairy, and I love being them!