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In Defense of My Existence

25 August 2005

faggot

7:45 pm--A gorgeous summer evening in Portland, Oregon...

I'm walking up SW Montgomery Avenue into the hills that surround downtown, a habit of mine most nights as I begin the drawn-out ritual of relaxation that follows dinner.

"FAGGOT!" fills the air as the SUV drives past.

(God help the little people.)

Normally, I greet the drive-by "Faggot!" with a shout of "Fuck you!" or, in a lame attempt to fight fire with fire, "Breeder!" If the "Faggot!" is extended by a passerby on foot I may even get playful and offer an attitudinal "Your point?" or "You better believe it!"

Other times--especially, like tonight, when i haven't been confronted with that situation in a while--I sink a little... get frustrated a bit.

When a gay man is gay-bashed (calling someone a faggot may seem like gay-bashing lite but it is gay-bashing all the same) it puts him in a situation similar to a rape victim: there are those who will say he brought it upon himself by flaunting his [immoral] sexuality and, should he complain more than is deemed comfortable, he will be accused of holding an unhealthy grudge against [normal] straight people.

If I was an African American in the same place and time that SUV would not have shouted "Nigger!" Nor would they have shouted "Trash!" if I looked poor or "Kike!" if I wore a kepah. "Dothead!", "Chink!", and "Spic!" would have likely been left alone as well. If my perceived Irishness had trumped my apparent homosexuality do you think they would have spouted "Mick!"? Most certainly not.

But even in Portland fucking Oregon, this bastion of liberalism... in the Southwest Hills, where education and fiscal comfort are presumed to equal open-mindedness, it is in no way shocking or surprising that someone should call me a faggot.

When MP and I were in Chicago this past May we were enjoying a lovely stroll in the Lincoln Park neighborhood when a darling little car of twentysomethings hurled a "FAGGOT!" our way. There was a thirtyish-fortyish, white yuppie--typical of the residents in this area--behind us when this happened and he asked, with a puzzled look on his face, "That really happens?" "Yes," we replied. "All the time."

I bet he told his wife of that encounter when he got home. I hope he told people at the office the next day. Whatever the case may be, he now knows first-hand that this really does happen... all the time. And now you do, too.

To all the allies out there:
THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO CURB THE HATE!

To all who have ever casually drop-kicked an insult to the sissyboy with the great fashion sense:
FUCK YOU, YOU INBRED PIECES OF SHIT!

5 Comments:

  • You have to wonder what the point is, of yelling something like "faggot" out a window like that. It's not only bigotted, it's cowardly.

    But I have to disagree with you, love, that you wouldn't hear slurs thrown out the window if you'd been a different color or religion.

    When I was a kid, whenever we'd leave the reservation to head for "town," there was always at least one smartass yelling "prairie niggers!" or war-whooping out their car window. And I remember our old classmate Kareem getting "nigger" yelled at him in the parking lot at our high school. And heaven help you if you're fat...as any overweight gal can tell you, having nasty comments yelled at you about your dimensions from drivers is a pretty routine occurance.

    In short, there are assholes everywhere. Such is life.

    But the end of your post was utterly brilliant. Stop the hate, and fuck you to the haters.

    By Blogger Zen Angel, at 11:10 PM PDT  

  • I agree completely with your assessment that many a bigoted slur is still bandied about. Nonetheless, in the context of this post, I am making a hypothetical comparison in "the same place and time" as my encounter with the SUV, specifically a summer evening in the Southwest Hills of Portland, Oregon. Though assholes are indeed everywhere even an anti-gay remark seems out of character with the overreaching vibe of that neighborhod.

    BTW, it happened again today though this time I was on Burnside near Lube Lane and I think it was some out-of-touch suburbanites on their way to the Hood to Coast relay.

    All hail the Queers and Injuns... and Jews and Blacks and Mexicans and all y'all!! Your slurs shan't kill our moxie!!

    By Blogger Fizz, at 11:47 PM PDT  

  • Oh Fizz, I'm so sorry :(

    As a fat gal, I've had it happen a few times, thankfully not many.

    By Blogger Angel, at 4:26 PM PDT  

  • Grrr. If you believe in karma, then believe that someday they will get theirs. Signed, An Ally.

    By Blogger allison, at 11:23 AM PDT  

  • I just came home from high school, and while walking someone just randomly yelled FAGGOT out the window. I felt like throwing my grape Fanta at them, but decided I wouldn't want to get to a lower level.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:40 AM PDT  

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