Gay men have complicated relationships with the word “faggot.” While we’re at a moment in time where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are slowly gaining rights and visibility, that doesn’t mean the stigma surrounding gay identity has dissipated. And, for some, the words that have historically been used to inflict pain on our community still hold a lot of power.
Some find power in taking back or reclaiming words — like “queer.” We use the word queer because we find it the best way to describe the vast spectrum of experiences and identities that receive visibility in our section — and because we think the word is the most inclusive.
However, the word “faggot” still inspires a mixed response among gay men, and that response is often due to context and intent.
Cut Video brought 30 gay men together for a word association exercise and asked them to respond to the word “faggot.” Predictably, their responses were mixed and often times emotional.
“[It’s] the last sort of acceptable kind of dirty word that people still say in public a lot,” one middle-aged gay man says. “Not even if you’re apparently gay but I guess if you’re just suspected to be gay, it’s very common. So I look at it as a very abusive, vocal assault.”
Check out the video above. What are your thoughts about the word “faggot”? Let us know in the comments below.