Friday, January 02, 2009

FAGGOT

Why does this word still affect me? It's not like I wasn't called it enough during my teens and early 20s. I remember my best friend's sister questioning why I took offense to her grown-ass uncle calling me a "lefty" when I was a senior in high school. "It's not the first time someone's thought you were gay," she said. If I didn't love her, I might have put my 18-year-old hands on her. Usually, I felt free in their home; there were times when they would have to subtly let me know that it was time for me to leave. However, when he was around, I felt anxious, paranoid, and every other uncomfortable emotion you can think of.

As I got older and entered the professional world, it became less acceptable for people to say such mean things. People may have PERCEIVED me as a homosexual, as evidenced by the absence of a girlfriend and presence of so-called effiminate mannerisms. However, they generally kept their opinions to themselves. When I was working for a very well-respected scientist, one of my co-workers informed me that he called me "soft." As educated and distinguished as he was/is, he was not immune to harboring negative thoughts about men who were not hypermasculine. Come to think of it, he thought negatively of everyone. Once he accused his nurse of having a "blond" moment after making a mistake, I didn't feel too bad.

Which brings me to today. After returning to work, I learned that one of my clients had become upset with me and called me a "faggot" and a "bitch." Thankfully, one of my other clients checked her, as well as a co-worker. What upsets me is that she did this in the presence of others. Why? Because she did not EARN a privilege she sought. While I have had clients yell and attack me for being young, I have never had one put me on blast. I have not seen her yet, but we will have a discussion. I will not tolerate this type of behavior. No way.

What is it about this word? Although I have only been called a nigger once, it didn't impact me deeply. Maybe it has to do with the fact that nigger is generalized to an entire group of people, whereas faggot can be used by anyone, including your own people. Why can this word negatively impact my mood and make me feel less than human (for a little while)? I have given up trying to determine how people are able to discern my sexuality. Chalk it up to good gaydar, which even I don't have. I guess my biggest concern is the possibility of being treated differently or being viewed negatively. Even as a grown man, I still don't like being talked about or laughed at. There, I said it.

I'm certain that as I continue to recover for a lifetime of verbal and emotional abuse, some of which was self-imposed, my internal reserves will become fortified. Until then, I'll go through the motions and take the punches that are thrown at me. Faggot may be an unpleasant word, but it will not destroy me. Not now. Not never.

Here's the video to a song that's been on my mind a lot today. Now, you have to be grown or into 80s music to remember this one.

Heaven Help Me

5 comments:

thegayte-keeper said...

this word has negative meaning and you know when it is said that it is meant with the full intent on hurting you and bringing you down

KB said...

the word leaves a double bullet wound on us because it's attacking our sexuality and our masculinity. in order words you're not a man and you are abnormal all together. that's bullsh_t yesterday, today, and tomorrow! plz check that bastard about it.

Losojosnuevos said...

Thanks, KB. I plan on it. I am asking God to give me the correct words to use. I do not want to render evil for evil, although the thought has crossed my mind. Please keep me in prayer.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you addressed an issue that gay men, especially ones that may be seen as "clockable", face from time to time. Most black gay blogs that I'm familar with seem to lean towards the superfical.

kennyking78 said...

It hurts because people use it so freely. I am in full agreement with thegayte-keeper and KB. There is nothing more to say about it.