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Stop Losing Your Minds Over Vanity Fair‘s Brett Berk Writing The Word ‘Fag’

Hey everyone! Guess what? Gay people get to use the word “fag.” Even gay people writing for major magazines. It’s our word! It’s not for heterosexuals, even your best fag hag. The word is the strict territory of The Gays, and you can choose to use it in the company of friends, or you can choose to never utter it. That’s your call. But you don’t get to tell other gays whether or not it’s banned from their vocabulary, which is what so many have tried to do to Brett Berk, the gay Vanity Fair scribe who’s usually covering cars for the magazine’s Stick Shift blog. Berk used the term in describing Blaine and Kurt in a Glee recap. (“Nice singing. But how can having girls in the audience make these cartwheeling, foam-party fags straight-sexy?”) Now everyone is freaking out about it as if he killed your first born. The overreaction is stupid.

Whether out of pressure from VF brass or all your tweets, Berk now says he’s sorry: “I would like to apologize sincerely to anyone I offended with the use of the term ‘fag’ (now removed) in this ‘Gay Guide to Glee’ column. As an openly gay writer writing in an overtly overblown style, my intent in using the word in this offhanded way was to continue my consistent efforts to confront and challenge stereotype, to unpack the way in which language works, and to deconstruct the clever gender politics at play in the scene I described: teasing out the purposeful incongruity of this (foamy) attempt to make the conspicuously gay Dalton Warblers seem “sexy” to females. Anyone with even a whiff of familiarity with my writing will know that I am, and have long been, a tireless agitator, here at VF.com and elsewhere, for gay rights, as well as a huge supporter of everything Glee has accomplished in advancing a meaningful dialogue about homosexuality in our popular culture—and in our youth culture in particular.”

Do standards change a bit when you’re writing for a national magazine with a majority straight audience? Well sure, that’s a reasonable debate to have. But Berk’s writing, while read by straights, is almost always targeted at a gay audience. A gay writer writing for gays about a gay show: imagine! Which means the f-bomb, while offensive to some, remains completely kosher for him to use. Quit being such fags about it, or you’re going to wake GLAAD. (Oops, too late: “Does the author have license to do this because he himself is a gay man? Among his friends, maybe. But the second this article went live, this f-word didn’t belong to Brett Berk anymore. It belonged to Vanity Fair. So then, does Vanity Fair have license to casually throw around the f-word to describe gay men? Absolutely not. And that’s why his apology wasn’t enough by itself.”)

[photo via]

By:           JD
On:           Mar 14, 2011
Tagged: , , ,
  • 79 Comments
    • patrick
      patrick

      Yay! I can’t believe the incredible sensitivity of some gays.

      Sincerely

      uppityfag
      (follow me on Twitter – seriously am I allowed to use fag in my twitter name or will that make my husband cry?)

      Mar 14, 2011 at 9:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt Ford
      Matt Ford

      I get Berk’s point 100% but do not agree. Sure, people can use the word if they choose, but not in my house. Some people wonder why they have never been invited back (guess I am too sensitive to tell them!).

      Mar 14, 2011 at 10:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh
      Elloreigh

      If gay people use it, that sends the message that it’s okay for other people to use it on us as well. There is no ‘rule’ that one group of people gets to use a word but another can’t.

      Plus there’s this whole inconvenient freedom of speech thing. People can generally say whatever they like (absent their words representing reckless endangerment or incitement) but that doesn’t mean they’re immune from the consequences of using the words that they do. It doesn’t mean they should be shielded from other people using their own freedom to speak in criticism of what was said or written.

      I’m not going to get hysterical about some writer using the word ‘fag’. But I’m also not going to refrain from saying here that he could have thought more carefully about it and used a different word with less pejorative baggage.

      See how that works?

      Mar 14, 2011 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      He was trying to be funny. He wasn’t funny. He wrote a lame apology that insulted his readers, because they aren’t intelligent enough to follow his fabulous satirical writing.

      He needs to man up and admit that what he wrote was offensive. And if he doesn’t see what’s wrong with using a pejorative term in a mainstream publication, maybe he shouldn’t be writing for one.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 10:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WTM
      WTM

      Thank you!!

      Also, some much-needed clarification and context:

      The column was targeted by a few rabid GLEE fans who are unhappy with Berk’s sympathetic, but often critical reviews of the show. They have written in before to complain that his reviews are not “positive” enough. Now they have orchestrated a campaign. A great many of these 300-plus comments came in several waves, posted minutes and seconds apart, and largely read the exact same way. They were instructed to post from a GLEE fan site, and indeed, as you can see, many of the posters there have GLEE fan-names. They even congratulate each other in the comments for the campaign.

      So are these truly offended “fags” or are they just angry fans? All evidence points to the latter. At which point the question becomes:

      Why are we agonizing over manufactured outrage?

      Mar 14, 2011 at 10:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim Hlavac
      Jim Hlavac

      It is one thing to use “fag” and the rest of such charmers in a gay setting, in a gay bar, a gay household, party, etc, while talking about the politics against us. And it’s another thing for the No Gays Movement to hurl it with malice. But it’s quite another for a gay guy to use it as real word in a major publication, without even some sort of offset of “quotes.” It’s like throwing gasoline on a fire. It riles people for no good purpose but publicity. and now I know of this man whom before today I had never heard of. However, even serious and important heterosexuals discussing the Westboro decision are putting the word in “..” to isolate it. And they never had before.

      The word has never had a good connotation. It’s Old English for stick, bundles of which — faggots — were used to burn us at the stake. In England it’s still a slang word for a cigarette, precisely because of the burning connection. Our opponents often say we’ll burn in hell. Let’s not give them the “fag” word for kindling. Oh, I’d say it’s time to quarantine that word — not legislatively, just socially. And that starts with us.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      I admit to calling myself a ‘fag’ or a ‘dyke’ almost daily. This makes me want to stop that. Always a way to better yourself…though obviously I, being gay, mean it with absolutely zero malice. It still sends a bad message.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sparky
      Sparky

      No

      I don’t care if you are gay or not – I would in no way shape or form tolerate someone calling me a fag.

      Unless your TARGET is also willing to be described that way, you’re out of line.

      And beyond foolish to use it in such a public setting, where people do not immediately see that the user is themselves gay – it was ridiculously poor judgment

      And that’s before I say that trying to reclaim that word is inevitably giving more and more ammo to the haters trying to justify it’s use

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @WTM: I can’t stand watching Glee. But what your boyfriend said was the wrong thing. Your only “clarification and context” is to blame people who were rightly offended. That makes you pretty much of a self-loathing homophobe.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Devon
      Devon

      Oh fuck off with this “it’s our word!” nonsense. Fag, faggot, queer, they’re not good words. They’re negative words with negative connotations and this asinine movement to reclaim them needs to die a swift death. We should be working to get people to stop using them altogether, not trying to keep them alive and well.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tommy Marx
      Tommy Marx

      One of the reasons I have very few gay friends is because I cannot stand when someone uses words like fag, girlfriend, or queen to describe me or other gays. I also do not like words like breeder or faghag to describe my friends or any straight person. These words are not funny, they will never be funny, and they can be hurtful.

      In my case, I’m not offended. We have a right to free speech, which includes speaking up when offensive language is used. But just as importantly, we have a right not to associate with people that use language like that.

      What irritates me about this specific example is the fact that the writer IS gay, is writing a GAY article, and STILL uses a word that he knows a lot of people find offensive. How fucking stupid can one person be?

      Mar 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      The problem isn’t fags, it’s FANS. Fan is short for Fanatic, someone who is “extremely zealous” or “insanely devoted” to something. Glee fanatics must now kill Brent Berk for using the word.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      BULLSHIT! It may be giggles and shocking amongst friends, but when you are writing for a magazine, its not “cool”. You don’t get a pass. All you are doing is giving ammo to the homophobes. Letting them say “look, it says it here, why can’t say it.” I especially love the ignorant argument of everyone should know he’s gay so its okay.
      Whats annoying are the “cool queens” that then come to the defense saying “I can’t belive how up tight some gays are” tee hee.
      Clue in!

      Mar 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mike128
      mike128

      @Spike:

      Absolutely agreed. I’m also not up for hearing the word “fag” tossed around in Vanity Fair. I guess that makes me “sensitive”.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gomez
      gomez

      You may be a self-loathing homosexual, Queerty, but many of us are not.

      How old are you, 13?

      Mar 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rodca
      rodca

      If it was in fact a Glee campaign then I, for one, thank them. I can’t help but think that those who feel its no big deal particularly from a gay writer have either lived a very sheltered life in the closet or are shills!

      Take a look at this video. what “gay slurs” do you think were being used? Have you ever been a victim of such an attack? Can you have any empathy for those ho have. The word is NOT harmless.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Francis
      Francis

      I do think it’s a bit of an overreaction—-the outrage about this has been pretty huge, gay and straight alike. I’m a context guy, and in the context he used it, I knew what he was saying was not homophobic in itself. But, yes, the word is a negative one, and carries with it a lot of power. By using it publicly in this way, it gives actual homophobes justification to use it publicly. So I’m glad he apologized for his mistake, but I hope this issue dies now.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      That means women should get used to the word cunt.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      It shouldn’t end. There was a review of Vanity Fair for the word Fag in past articles, and its pops up more than once. Vanity Fair is only reacting now. Vanity Fair needs to step up and do editing control. Like the other poster said. If a women writer refered to the House Wives of Atlanta as CUNTS, then I’m sure it would make the national buzz.
      I sent Vanity Fair an email last night about it. They nor writer gets a “pass”. We can’t have campaigns on stopping people from using the word GAY to reference something stupid and then turn a blind eye to the usage of Fag.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      Is this what you learned at #hass11?

      Thats its okay to use the word “Fag”?

      Wasted invitation

      Mar 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      what a bunch of hypocrites!!

      Mar 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AC Walker
      AC Walker

      It’s funny- back when I was in college, I was a member of the LGBT Union, and then some new leadership came in and decided to rename it the “Queer Union” in order to be, I don’t know, more “in your face,” or something like that. At the time I was offended and and angry- I was just creeping out of the closet at that point and I kept trying to make the point that there was nothing “weird” (ie, queer) about me and explaining that I thought one of the reasons I was at a liberal school in a liberal city was so that I didn’t have to be called “queer.” I didn’t win. I don’t know if it’s still called the Queer Union or not, now, but the fact is, I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more comfortable with myself, and I’ve gotten to understand that words are words and context is everything. I sometimes use the word “fag.” People who know me know where I’m coming from, and as far as I know, no one’s feelings have ever been hurt. Black people call themselves things I wouldn’t personally say out loud, either. It’s context.

      I find it ironic that we’re on a site called “Queerty” being up in arms about the use of the word “fag.”

      Mar 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hemp
      hemp

      Justice. Wow. When your own prior comments on this very site indicate that you are, in fact, a rabid Gleek, it’s probably not a good idea to claim that you “can’t stand watching Glee” (itself a bit of a giveaway). How telling, though, that you felt the need to lie about not liking the show in order to defend your persistent whining.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      The one thing that I would not do, is verbally harass a gay person for using the word “fag”. Because that’s exactly what we are trying to stop, verbal (and physical) harrasment of gays. GLAAD should be more careful with it’s rebukes.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @hemp: Rabid is a term applied to a dog. You must have me confused with someone who is a Gleek, whatever that is. Then again, the way you write, you’re confused about everything.

      I don’t mind you defending your friend’s stupidity (or your own if that’s the case) but keep your facts straight.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hemp
      hemp

      Justice, from the archives of Queerty…. on February 14, you wrote this in a comment on a post called “Glee’s Blaine is Not Bi…”

      “He has been “weird about plating a gay part”? How? He seems to be having the time of his life on one of the top-rated shows in the U.S.”

      On March 6, you wrote this in a comment on a post “Gays Forgive Lady Gaga….”

      “If you watch Glee every week, there’s still hope.”

      Please do not bother with further madcap attempts at erasure of your internet history as a Gleek. You have been exposed as an unhinged and angry fan, once and for all.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • francis
      francis

      And also a liar? You mean its all just pissed-off Glee fans?

      Mar 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JT
      JT

      This guy is a tool and I could care less about the stupid show Glee and the poor plots that get put into the show.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oprah
      Oprah

      The question is NOT about who can use the “Fag” word. The question here is– the lack of professionalism. You are not writing to a gay community, you writing to a mainstream readership. Such queen slang vocabulary should be checked at the door when you clock in. Get professional. Apology accepted.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      Context is everything. However, the word is not a nice one, and it does send bad messages. It should never appear in a mainstream publication. Its one thing for this dude to sit around with his maters and say this stuff in a private gay circle. Quite another for him to print it in a publication read mainly by heterosexuals, who, IMO NEVER have a pass to use that word. EVER. But printing it like that will surely make some of them think they do.

      And what is with the digs at GLAAD every chance you get Queerty? In case you hadn’t noticed, they are on our side.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • francis
      francis

      Now its just sad. “JT,” of course, is “Justiceontherocks,” a Glee fan who is running scared when called out on being a Glee fan. Why? Because being a Glee fan calls into question this entire bogus campaign against this column.

      And judging by the rapid-fire responses from some of his “defenders” (alternate personalities), I would venture to guess that he is the lunatic fan behind this whole thing.

      Can we all now see how easily one schizophrenic queen can start a fake internet scandal?

      Mar 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ummmmmmm Bitterness
      Ummmmmmm Bitterness

      No. 29 Oprah : That gets snaps AND a curtsey!

      No. 31 francis : Thanks for this:

      “Can we all now see how easily one schizophrenic queen can start a fake internet scandal?”

      I could hear the 36 slow queens who hadn’t figured that out yet running off to make new emails. lolz

      Mar 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • francis
      francis

      Don’t even try to slink away with a shred of dignity intact, “ummm bitterness” (JT, Justiceontherocks). All we need from you now is silence.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      Awww c mon guys Justice is sweet.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @patrick: So right. When gays pile up on someone who uses humor to destroy the word’s destructive meaning, the last thing we should do is attack him. I get that people are offended by terms like girlfriend, homo, fag, etc…but if you allow them to hurt you, you’re doing more to hurt the gay cause than Brett could ever be guilty of. Get over the word, stop bashing him, and realize the context- it’s a column about a gay show written by a homo in fucking Vanity Fair. Ugh.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • francis
      francis

      Now we are learning even more about our friend “Justice.” He can turn into a girl (Shannon1981) and he is so utterly devoid of true indignation that he can fabricate a sympathetic personality, too (Jeff). Please, I asked you nicely before: silence.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      I don’t use the F word, I don’t like the F word. I am a gay man so maybe I’m unduly sensitive, but I think Vanity Fair should have put quotes around the word to highlight its one-off use. Or better yet, used something with less baggage.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • francis
      francis

      I’m sorry. This is like shooting fish in a barrel “Jeffree.” Do you see that what you are doing is showing everyone how easy it is for one single angry person to make up a big swarm of fake outrage? I’m sorry, really I am, for whatever has caused you so much harm in your life. But don’t you think it’s time you gave up being mad at the wrong people? I think the first step is to stop hiding behind lots and lots and lots of fake names. After that, if you do want help working through your issues, there are plenty of people here who could help. We have been through many of the same things. But it’s not right, you have to know that it is not right, to make up a whole bunch of fake names and fake public outrage. There are a lot of people that can help you. But first, you have to be honest about who you are and what you are going through.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Migoli
      Migoli

      Another “straight acting” inescure, internalized homophobe trying to attack a fellow fem. What IS it with you “masculine” mos that enables you to think you are entitled to the same bullying that hetros subject our youth to? How is any of the words you use to attack the Kurts of our demographic ANY different than what bullies systemtically do on a daily basis?

      GET OVER YOUR INSECURITIES.

      This piece of dirt has no reason to be speaking on behalf of our cause. Folks like him are the reason there is so much division within our bracket. You can’t request other people accept you for who you are while you tell people part of your own community to CHANGE who they are because of your discomfort, all while hurling F bombs at them. Got that Brett Berk or is your pompous tude too large to grasp it?

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • francis
      francis

      Migoli, please see my previous post.

      You don’t need to keep this up. No one will be mad at you, no one will even remember or care that you did this.

      Please just stop lashing out and reach out for help.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • IonMusic
      IonMusic

      He basically intended to call a teenage feminine boy a F*ggot….I’m so confused how we get off DEMANDING heteros treat us with respect and dignity and tolerance OR ELSE, yet we claim that it’s perfectly acceptable if not “cool and hip” to turn and call the feminine men, especially younger of age, a f*ggot. Are you kidding me? No, that makes you a vile hypocrite who should know better. His tone was not mean to be endearing but insulting. Taking a jab at someone while hurling out the F word is pretty deplorable considering our community is the one trying to promote respect. You’re not going to get rights until people respect you and this movement to make the F word “hip” within our own community is the sadest, most pathetic, lonesome, sorry thing I’ve ever seen. You’re still part of the joke, even if you repeat the very punch line that is about YOU. Work out your Daddy issues Mr.Berk

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      LOL Francis nah im not Justice, sorry…but I’ve talked to him on here for awhile, that’s all. Sorry I said anything. If you look on AfterEllen,AutoStraddle, and any number of lesbian sites, you’ll see this name. I don’t do sockpuppets.

      Mar 14, 2011 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • IonMusic
      IonMusic

      @francis: Francis, I adore most of your postings and think you are one very rational poster but in this case you are extremely out of line to the point of surprising me. Instead of accusing everyone of being the same poster, listen to our words. There’s a great depth and truth behind them that, for whatever reason, you are choosing to ignore.

      This word has a great deal of history, sadness and pain behind it. Be it from every LGBT who has heard it on a daily basis and had their childhood emotionally detached as a result, or the grown LGBT who have heard that word as the very LAST word they heard when alive. Do you know how many hate crime victims died in vain hearing that word shouted at them in their last moments alive? How can anyone, especially those seeking to serve our lives with dignity, be flippant to such a hate laced lingo? You’re better than that Francis. A lot better than that.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 12:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Francis. I have only one name on Queerty. You are paranoid. You also don’t know me if you think I would do such a think. Pick on someone else.

      You may want to look into textual analysis soft.ware that compares writing samples for register, syntax, etc. Very helpful when troll spotting [and seeing who quotes Wikipedia on term papers].

      Mar 15, 2011 at 12:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • francis
      francis

      And now I would posit that we have a very scary kind of schizophrenic here, one that doesn’t want help at all. I’m not sorry for offering you my sympathy, but I am done offering you my help. Feel free to talk with yourself for the rest of the night.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 12:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michelle
      Michelle

      To GLBT who use f-g or d-ke or tran-y:

      You’re no cooler for (very conciousley) using them in your vocab

      You’re no more hetro, or less threatening to bigots, or closer to attaining equality.

      You’re neither funny, cute, nor original or nearly as “Look how sassy and trendy I am. I’m using a pejorative against my very own”

      You want to know what people *really* think about you when you use that word? Straights actually pity you, although they’ll laugh with you, deep down inside they are thinking how tragic you are. Ask them. Really sit your straight friends down and ask how they feel when you use that word and if they think you’re nearly as cute as YOU have yourself convinced you are when you use it.

      As my hetero girl friend says “It’s sad. It’s like a female who likes using the C word. Uusally those females are found in the casting line for The Bad Girls Club reality t.v show.” And that’s exactly what GLBT who use those pretty outdated words to describe other GLBT are the equivelent to.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 12:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The sane Francis
      The sane Francis

      No, don’t listen to that Francis. He’s sullying my name with bullshit!

      Mar 15, 2011 at 12:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dynex
      Dynex

      I’m entirely confused. We’ve spent 5 devoted months advocating the message “It gets better” all while each and every one of us works tirelessly to eliminate gay slurs and then we have a prominent gay writer use the most offensive slur in a well publicized article?
      It gets better kids: you get to grow up and be belittled by people in your own community.
      This guy was trying to pander to a straight audience, thinking if he said this word it would cozy up to them $$$$$$……….it back fired. Some people in society don’t take to well with vulgarity just for the sake of being vulgar? How dare they.

      Remember, the same freedom of speech that enables him to use that word enables his detractors to speak against it and say they find it to be offensive. Freedom of speech works both ways.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dynex
      Dynex

      @AC Walker: I’m sorry to hear that, and how your outlook has “evolved” It’s not a mature word to use in any context. It’s a juvenile term best left in the 6th grade playground recess. You may claim it’s never hurt anyone, but you using it does hurt all of us. It triggers a response from others who overhear it that it’s okay to poke fun at us with that terminology and other terms. It’s not. Not when we’re so discriminated against. Not when our kids are passing on in such horrific ways. Not when a good majority does not have respect for who we are: it’s our job to respect one another. Being the joke and laughing stock by many others does not mean we need to adopt that same role and be a walking laughing stock and by you endorsing that word, regardless of context, you take yourself and your rights as well as that of your community less seriously. Please rexamine the message sent by saying that word. It’s never a positive one.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 12:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle S.
      Kyle S.

      Most woman do NOT refer to themselves as the C word.

      Most Latino folks do NOT refer to themselves as spics.

      Most overweight people do NOT refer to themselves as slobs.

      Most black people do NOT refer to themselves as the N word (who are the black folks y’all are hanging around? What a bunch of hogwash. No, a major majority of black folks not only NOT use that word but refrain from the company of folks who do. Stop quoting Dr.Laura on right wing talk radios)

      It’s the classic clown syndrome. That smile, laugh and use of such a self destructive word isn’t masking the internal hurt. It’s a ploy to, but it’s all too transparent. No self respecting individual uses derogatory slurs stemmed from their own makeup, in their every day speech. No matter how you spin it.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 12:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mattybear
      Mattybear

      @hemp:
      Wow….ok. I read your post and went to check out what you claimed about Justiceontherocks, being a glee fan.

      The February 14th comment means nothing. There are a lot of interviews with the actor playing blaine on glee, as well as other sources. Justice’s comment that the actor seems to enjoy working on a top rated show, actually makes more sense in that context. Instead of watching the show where he is playing a character.

      The March 6th comment was in reply to a previous poster. If you bothered to read…..Justice was joking with the other poster. Who made the comment, “I don’t like Lady Gaga or Madonna, does that mean I’m not gay?” Justice jokingly said, “not if you watch Glee every week.”

      So your claim is a bit weak. As well as your claim Justice, Shannon1981, Jeffe, etc and probably myself now….are the same person. Look at the time stamps on various posts if you doubt. Unless Justice is some sort of evil mastermind with four computers all posting at once……he can not be all of those people. Unless you really are a evil mastermind Justice, in which case I apologize.

      So get a grip Francis and take your meds, the crazy is showing

      Mar 15, 2011 at 1:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Everyone in this thread should ask themselves what they can do to make less drama, be less judgemental and not jump on others. What can you do to have a life, a sense of humor and be happier people? That sounds like a worthy goal.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 1:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reality Check
      Reality Check

      This FAG and self-appointed spokesman (is there any other kind) for the gay-community hereby gives permission to ALL heterosexuals, bisexuals and anyone else to use the words fag, faggot, queen, queer, cocksucker, knobgobbler, buttpirate, or whatever else you want, any time you want.

      Cus this fag is sick to DEATH of whiny perma-victim bitches playing the victim card and deigning to speak for others.

      Fuck the PC fag police! Remember, sticks and stones may break my bones but fag will never hurt me. 1st Amendment!

      Use them in a friendly manner, and I wont care, use them in a mean-spirited manner, and I will exercise my first amendment rights and disassociate myself from you.

      Seriously, I am really sick of this victimhood crap. Stop being such pussies!

      Mar 15, 2011 at 2:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      As a gay guy I agree with Reality Check. There are some really spineless folks out there; man up already.

      On a side note, anyone yelling fag or faggot at you is a sign of an impending assault. Exercise your 2nd Amendment rights, get a concealed weapons permit, and defend yourself. Don’t need any more gay folks killed by phobes so pro-actively take your self-defense seriously.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 3:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Shannon1981: Hey did you hear? I’m your sockpuppet! Lol. Now I get to be a beautiful 30 yr old Southern, Black, butch-ish lesbian, & *you* get to be a moderately attractive (?) mid-20s, midwestern, multi-ethnic, semi-butch, gay dude ! Sounds like fun for maybe 24 hours.

      Well, all I can say, is I don’t use the f-word, the c-word, the n-word or the d-word. And I wish I had one half your energy !

      Mar 15, 2011 at 3:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Real Talk
      Real Talk

      Anyone defending the use of this word also thought that when the kids on the playground were making funny of them, that they were in on the joke and not the butt of the joke? No. Sorry. Using this vile word doesn’t make you less the butt of the joke. It just makes you deluded.

      Agree with “no self respecting person who is LGBT uses this word”

      Now self loathers….I’m sure it’s a major part of their speaking style. You can tell a great deal about someone based on their vocabulary.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 4:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Real Talk
      Real Talk

      @Reality Check: Yes, cuz “butt pirate” coming from a hetero is sooooooooooo friendly and hilarious. You’re no man buddy, you’re a walking punch line. And you’re more than cool with it. Don’t ask the rest of us with some dignity to be a walking joke with you. That’s all you man. Enjoy having people scream “butt pirate” at you and pretending like you still have their respect. Clown.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 4:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PaperMate
      PaperMate

      When we’re not treated like second class citizens, and we don’t have to beg for rights that should be inherent, and when our gay kids aren’t commiting suicide due to homophobic taunting….THEN we can talk about how harmless this word is. Until then, we’re second class citizens who have a hateful word attached to our name and now that word is being asked to be incorporated to mainstream language, even by professional publications. Do you expect people to not lash out? I’d be quite disappointed in not just the gay community, but anyone with class and compassion who doesn’t resent the use of this word.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 7:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brandon
      Brandon

      There’s nothing more lame than a gay man who thinks he’s being cutting edge and funny by using the word f-g or f-ggot. Lame as hell. And you can always tell when a gay guy thinks he’s so cool and different for saying it. Like the kid at school that just learned a new ‘naughty’ word and obnoxiousley uses it all the time.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 8:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete
      Pete

      Gay-bashers usually yell “FAG” while pummeling your face or kicking you in the stomach, while their macho friends restrain you. “FAG” is not a nice word, and it is not used by gays with good self esteem. Kill the word.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 8:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robbie K
      Robbie K

      I don’t watch Glee, I am a bad fag..(insert hysteria here)

      Mar 15, 2011 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Mattybear: Thank you for making the point better than I could. Don’t you find it amazing that people have nothing better to do than track the history of some anonymous person’s online postings? And then of course read into them something that isn’t there.

      @francis: @hemp: For the record: I watched half of one episode of Glee. It’s not my thing. if someone else enjoys it I’m happy for them. I don’t judge people because their tastes in entertainment differ from mine. That’s called “immature.” So, Mr. Berk, in your two personae, grow up. Instead of making an ass of yourself on here, get a job or a pet or something. Stop calling people “fags,” stop being a bigot and get over your uninteresting untalented self.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 9:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • francis
      francis

      I wish I could say I enjoy your attempts at deflection, Justice, and that it is fun to watch you scramble so hard. But it’s actually just pathetic.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 10:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @francis: Dude, you actually make me sort of sick. That you’d think you’re so absolutely righteous that I’m Justice is pretty incredible narcissistic and laughable. That you have resorted to thinking that several people who don’t share your point of view is telling of how your brain works, and I’m actually sort of sad for you. It ironically gets back at the point of the use of gay slang like fag in the first place- for people like you who can’t wrap their brain around the concept of destigmatizing language, you have a myopic view of how the world should treat you as if you’re some special being. It’s time to face reality man.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 11:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mattybear
      Mattybear

      As for the topic. I’m not a fan of the word. I still winch whenever I hear it. I came out early….or was forced out early, to be truthful. I was called f*g and variations of that word from junior high until high school. Even after school. Was attacked by a group of frat boys; who felt the use of the word was fine.

      So. In my estimation and experience. Those who feel using words like that are fine; usually are the same people who have never really experienced the real hate that is attached to the word. It may not be the case with everyone, but the majority of those who I’ve met grew up living sheltered lives.

      And Francis, I’m really Justices’ evil twin from an alternate universe…..in case you were wondering ;)

      Mar 15, 2011 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @francis: I wish I could say I enjoy your stalking, and that it is fun to watch you scramble so hard. But it’s actually just pathetic.

      You need to move along now. This discussion is for the grown ups.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Jeffree: LOL. This thread is beyond bizarre at this point. But I think someone hijacked the real Francis. No way is that the same person posting.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 11:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drake
      Drake

      How many young gays enjoy being called “fag” by their classmates? Brett Berk claims to be a child-development expert. He owes the gay community a big apology.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @Shannon1981: Hello to my black lesbian alter ego. This truly is a WTF thread.

      BTW – if I ever hear anyone call you a fag they’ll be missing teeth.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @justiceontherocks: Hey babe. And thank you, I feel protected. You are a darling. And I can fight pretty good myself, we’ll gang up on them the way they do us. :)
      Like I said upthread, in gay circles, I’ve said it myself, but have realized that it’s not a good word to use, for any number of very powerful, hurtful, painful reasons, and in a straight publication, NEVER. In fact, any number of straight people I have known my entire life have never heard me say that word, because it just isn’t something they ever need to, even for a second, think they get to use. I know Brett meant no harm, but, in the current climate, stuff like that has the potential to do plenty of harm…

      What has happened to this website. It seems to be a haven of trolling and sock puppeting and that scares me. People are terrorizing our home. Michael Letterman is here today too.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The sane Francis
      The sane Francis

      Fuck you troll Francis!

      Mar 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      All you bitches are crazy.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      How funny is it that we need to have people called “TheRealAdam” and “The Sane Francis” on here?

      Goes to show what happens when trolls breed, sockpuppets mate, and no one from Queerty ever actually looks at the comments section.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @Jeffree: Yes, but remember, Jeffree: I was the original.

      And until Queerty makes a policy where you HAVE to sign up to post using an original name, there are going to continue to be imposters.

      Mar 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark snyder
      mark snyder

      I agree Queerty. I debated for a long time on if i should get fag or sissy tattooed on my arm… i went with sissy. But still. It’s our word and he was using it in a way that made that obvious. To spend so much time getting all up in arms about this is a slap in the face to the suffering people here and abroad that need our actual attention.

      Mar 16, 2011 at 1:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bubba
      Bubba

      Oh right, just like how black writers for mainstream publications love to refer to black characters and celebrities as “niggers.” Because it’s THEIR word, see, and therefore anyone who’s offended by use of the word is totally not legitimate in his/her feelings.

      Sounds about right to me.

      Mar 16, 2011 at 2:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AC Walker
      AC Walker

      So far I@Dynex: When did I ever claim the word never hurt anyone? Where? I simply said that adults generally should learn how to understand context rather than immediately clutching their pearls when they hear a “bad” word. Nobody reading Vanity Fair is on a school playground calling kids “fags” and making them suicidal. When was the last time you met a teenager or kid who reads Vanity Fair?

      What nobody has yet addressed is why it’s horrible to appropriate the word “fag,” when it was apparently completely okay to do the same thing with “queer.” Which was kind of the point of my post, if anyone had bothered to read it rather than kneejerk it.

      I guess everyone on this thread self-righteously calling those of us who aren’t bothered by the use of the word in context self-loathing, tragic, unfunny, etc (way to take the high road when you’re ostensibly against hurtful words) has never used the expression “fag hag,” right?

      And don’t get me started on the “C” word. Why a slang term for vagina is supposedly violently misogynistic when calling someone a slang term for penis is simply perjorative I will never understand. Nor will anyone in the UK.

      Mar 16, 2011 at 11:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      Nobody?….

      FAGS
      HATE
      FAG

      :P

      Mar 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mikey
      Mikey

      Really it comes down to whether or not any other prejudicial/racial epithet would be acceptable. Think what would have happened if instead he’d used a slur for black people, asians, jews, muslims, etc.
      No apology necessary. He’d be fired, and his career would be extremely damaged.

      When I consider that, I wonder why I am being called ‘sensitive’ because I am offended by this. That’s what people say when they want to humiliate me in a bar, that’s what Phelps says when he protests gay funerals, and now its okay to say because its edgy?

      Please. I’m perfectly happy being sensitive if it means I get to keep my self-respect.

      Mar 21, 2011 at 1:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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