Monday, January 11, 2010

To Shirt or Not to Shirt?

Gay marriage: uh-oh.

It's been creeping up on us like a crazy witch in a Disney movie. Now at the forefront of legislation in a number of states, we're forced to face the topic in a head-on collision. Now, more than ever, we need to watch what we're saying. We need to come together as a community and fight for what is rightfully [or so we think] ours.

That being said, this post isn't about gay marriage. I hate popping zits in the mirror.

I feel so strongly about negative terminology: fag, dyke, nigger, ginger, spic. The list goes on. I remember growing up in a suburban Michigan neighborhood where "that's so gay" was more common than a barbeque or alcoholic father. One thing I don't remember is ever being offended by the phrase. However, as I've grown older I have realized that it's not the phrase that is shocking, but how prevalent it has become. I never try to let it bother me too much, I feel the only way we're going to get over derogatory language is to forget it even exists; people would stop using the word nigger if nobody reacted or cared. (Right?)

I'd like to think of myself as setting a good example when I refuse to use words like 'fag' or 'dyke' to describe my friends. Working in the gay entertainment industry especially, I see it's become all too commonplace. Bars, clubs, magazines— they're all guilty of dipping into distasteful advertising. A gay bar that advertises a night called "Fag Fridayz" is not cute. It just highlights someone's lack of creativity.

With that being said: I was asked recently to purchase a shirt (below) for a cause that I'll be attending in February. Needless to say, I have some major issues spending money on a 100% cotton billboard that deconstructs my cause and humiliates me.

I'm gay and proud. That doesn't make it alright for me (or anyone, for that matter) to jokingly demoralize myself via t-shirt. How far do you think Martin Luther King Jr. would have gotten in a t-shirt that said "Nigger?"

It's cute, just not my style.

1 comment:

Dan said...

There's an interesting debate that has been going on since the beginning of offensive terms for people trying to gain rights. Do women try to reclaim bitch and cunt? Do african americans reclaim nigger? Do gays and lesbians reclaim fag and dyke?

Some say yes, of course, its empowering ourselves. Others say no, it is only feeding the fire.

I'm not sure where I am on the issue, I'd say I'm in the middle.

Ultimately, I think most people are idiots.