I used to throw the F word around like it was candy.
I thought – well – it’s not offensive if I use it, I mean, I’m gay. A f#g calling another gay, f#g, can’t be too terrible, right?
Then I joined West Hollywood dodgeball.
I still used the word under my breath, sometimes as a term of endearment, other times as an insult. And not everyone looked so kindly on its use.
A fellow dodgeball pal came up to me and explained, “Don’t you know using that word only perpetuates the cycle of negativity associated with being gay”? First instinct was – quiet down lil’ miss self-righteous, and get off your soapbox. But he continued, “No, really. Do you like being called that word? If you use it, then what right do you have asking someone else not to?”
So – of course – I thought about this, I thought about it a lot. I mean, he had a valid point.
And as it turns out, at that time, I had some pretty hefty internalized homophobia issues. So in a way, when I used that word, even if I used the term lightly or with humor, I was not only putting down gays for being gay, but I was also putting down myself. And I didn’t think too highly of myself as being gay back then, and maybe that’s why I used it so freely.
So -I kept on thinking about it. And I started thinking about the homophobia that’s rampant, even in our own community, and how that affects the way we care for each other and ourselves.
I mean, how many times on grinder, a4a or manhunt do you see the term “Masculine/ Masc only”.
Why are we demeaning our more feminine counterparts? It’s one thing to not be attracted to feminine guys; it’s another to put it out there, constantly. It’s like saying I have this exclusive club, a club that only accepts certain kinds of homosexuals. It’s like saying – being effeminate is wrong. It’s gross. It turns me off. It’s like trying to shirk out of the fact that you either like to give it / or take it up the ass. And you can’t get any gayer than going anal, right? That’s way gayer than a limp wrist, flamboyant vocal inflections, or over accessorizing. So if you’re not into feminine guys, fine, but why publicize it and put others down as you do?
In dodgeball alone, there are some very attractive, feminine acting guys. And often, they’re much more secure with themselves than some of these “masc” other guys.
So what – they’re the real f#%gots, and the rest of us, “masc” guys, we’re not?
As a community that has long had troubles being accepted or fitting in, why don’t we lead the way and accept and respect all our community, fem, masc., or somewhere in between.
And if we do take care of ourselves and each other psychologically, then hopefully this will lead us to make better choices about our health. Which is a win-win for all of us.