I admit it, I'm one of those people who think it's perfectly okay for one faggot (me) to call another gay person with whom I'm friendly, a "faggot."
For decades I've likened it to the way some blacks talk to other blacks, referring to each other in the conversation by casual use of the "N" word.
I believed that both oppressed groups would co-opt the hurtful words and, by expressing them often, and with love, the words would become "defused" of their hurtfulness and, instead and in time, become playful expressions of care and concern by the very oppressed minorities they were originally meant to hurt.
I used to imagine a bright, shiny world of someday when one of my black friends would be able to see me on the street and call out, "HEY, FAGGOT!" to which I would gush in response with, "YO, NIGGER!" and we'd fall laughing and hugging into each others arms.
Yeah, right, fat chance.
The closest thing we have to that sort of blind camaraderie is on the comedy series Scrubs. "Hey, Brown Bear!"
And, of course, it's dramatic antithesis on Grey's Anatomy. "FUCK YOU, FAGGOT!"
Let's face it. Everybody could stand to get a sense of humor. But we also need to develop some stress-management techniques that don't include outbursts that denigrate an oppressed minority.
And Now for Something Completely Different
And speaking of gay bars... check out my friend Steve Schalchlin's web-site today for his piece on "Marie's Crisis", a cozy piano bar in Greenwich Village which, in the 1870's, became my "home away from home" when I first moved to New Yawk City. I loved hanging around there from 1978-1980. It was a wonderful time (lots of alcohol but pre-alcoholism).