- June 15, 2003 at 12:00 am #11009
I’m 15 and gay. I came out of the closet a year ago, and my best friend was very surprised and kind of stayed away from me for a while. Six months later we started talking again and now he acts like my being gay doesn’t bother him. Every time we talk on the phone, though, he makes comments like ‘shut up faggot’ or ‘queer.’ It bothers me, but we play around like that – I will now and then call him ‘bitch,’ but we’re just playing around. Is this normal behavior (e.g. playing around with insults), or is it really derogatory, and should I tell him to stop?
User Detail :Name : Josh M., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Race : Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Age : 15, City : LA, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : Less than High School Diploma, Social class : Upper middle class, June 22, 2003 at 12:00 am #17194
since it bothers you, i think you should speak up and tell him you don’t like what he says. and as he’s your friend he’ll stop it.
User Detail :Name : Chris, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Religion : Christian, Age : 21, City : Sydney, State : NA Country : Australia, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, June 22, 2003 at 12:00 am #30972
IF HIM CALLING YOU NAMES YOU SHOULD ASK HIM TO PLEASE STOP BUT IF IT DOESNT BOTHER YOU THEN YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO CALL EACH OTHER WHATEVER YOU WANT. THAT IS LIKE WHEN IM WITH FRIENDS AND WE CALL EACH OTHER BITCH I AM NOT OFFENDED BUT IF SOMEONE I DIDNT KNOW CALLED ME A BITCH I MIGHT FEEL OFFENDED. IT IS NOT THE WORD IT IS THE INTENT BEHIND THE WORD THAT MAKES THEM GOOD OR BAD.
User Detail :Name : DEBRA-SCHNITZER, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Buddhist, Age : 48, City : COLUMBUS, State : OH Country : United States, Occupation : RN, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, July 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #14868
I went through this with my best friend (straight male). It’s a habit for some people. I told him to knock it off. I know he’s kidding, but other people might not, and he could wind up getting his hiney kicked if he said it at the wrong place and time, so he could practice watching his mouth by not saying that stuff to me. If your friend makes any comments like ‘they wouldn’t do that,’ or anything else implying gays are weak or complacent, then maybe his comments are not just out of habit. I’ve also told my friend that I won’t bring him around any of my gay friends if he makes comments like that, so he knows he’s isolating himself from my life with those comments.
User Detail :Name : Betty Blue, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Lesbian, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Wiccan, Age : 29, City : Southern California, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : administrative, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, July 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #14953
I don’t think it’s necessarily offensive to have jokes like this within one’s own community. I think everyone does this on some level, whether it’s in regard to race, gender or, in your case, sexuality. It is different, however, if an outsider decides to make these types of jokes, especially if the outsider may already have prejudice toward whatever group. If you feel the jokes are being made because of this reason, you should tell your friend to stop. Keep in mind that it sounds like your friend is treading on new ground having a gay friend. You must let your feelings be known if he seems to go over the line with his jokes, comments, etc. He will only joke as far as you will let him if he’s truly your friend.
User Detail :Name : Kristina26245, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 22, City : Washington, State : DC Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Upper class, July 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #15593
Yes, it is normal behavior to ‘play around with insults,’ and he has probably done this with you before, even before he knew you were gay. This form of sarcasm is often used between close friends and usually is not derogatory. In fact, it is almost a sign of closeness. For example, you and your friend would probably not call a stranger bitch or queer, but because or your friendship, you are comfortable using those terms with each other. However, the real issue is this: if your friend’s comments make you feel uncomfortable, tell him to stop. But my guess is that he is not doing it out of hate.
User Detail :Name : Rashid, Gender : M, Race : mixed race, City : Washington, State : DC Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, July 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #27775
You are very wise to question you and your friend’s behavior, because it is not clear at all whether it is derogatory or just funning around. The answer rides on how it makes you feel, and involves how he feels doing it. It speaks well of your friend that he returned to the friendship after coming to some sort of terms with your gayness. If his calling you names is his way of dealing with still being uncomfortable, then over time he may well stop on his own (especially if someone else joins in and he has to defend you). However, if he is dealing with your gayness by showing hostility in order to demonstrate that he is superior to you, though still willing to be your friend, then it sounds unhealthy (and he would be unlikely to defend you when someone attacks you for being gay). Then there’s the question of how YOU feel about it. Does it hurt you, even a little, when he calls you a faggot? If it does, it needs to stop. Friends don’t deliberately hurt friends. If it does hurt you, can you tell him and ask him to stop doing it, or are you afraid that that might harm your friendship? ‘Faggot’ is a mean word when applied to a gay man, just as ‘bitch’ is when applied to a woman. They can be funny in the right context, when everyone knows that the speaker is not intending any harm, but if your father called your mother a ‘bitch,’ do you think she would think it was funny? I don’t. Think about what you are feeling, and if you are feeling bad at all when he calls you a faggot, then you should mention that to him. Not in a mean way, but just let him know that it makes you feel bad. If he dumps you because of that, then he wasn’t really your friend to begin with. If he makes an effort to stop, then you are truly lucky, because you have a good friend, and they are hard to find.
User Detail :Name : James D., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 47, City : Summit, State : NJ Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, July 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #29771
Your friend says things like ‘”shut up faggot’ and he knows you’re gay? I would tell him it makes you uncomfortable. When I hear a comment like ‘That’s so gay,’ I always say something. I find it very offensive. Explain in a nice way that this kind of language is offensive to you, and hopefully he will stop. If not, he is much more homophobic than you think.
User Detail :Name : Bil, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 31, City : Ft. Dodoge, State : IA Country : United States, Occupation : student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, July 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #30086
If you feel that his ‘playing around’ is actually just a way for him to express hostile feelings, you should talk about it and tell him to stop. Are his comments limited to gay-related epithets, or does he also call you ‘dumbass,’ for example (as my friends and I often did at your age)? If you think he really is just joking around, you might want to let it go, unless it makes you too uncomfortable to talk to him. In this case, I would couch your request in a joke by saying something like, ‘your ugly straight ass isn’t allowed to call me that, bitch.’ (Or something that doesn’t make you sound as old as me!) I lost some people that I thought were ‘friends’ when I came out. Others remain my friends, but they avoid mentioning anything about it or acknowledging it. Given the choice, I’d prefer a straight friend who jokingly called me a fag.
User Detail :Name : Benjamin C., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 31, City : Brooklyn, State : NY Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, July 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #33687
Josh, you have to accept that what used to be considered derogatory is now known as ‘playing around with insults.’ Times have changed, and it is common and OK for, among friends, insults to be used in a manner of just joking around. I am sure you have heard the word “nigger” used in a common sentence that does not signify any bad meaning toward that person. It may be hard for you to get used to the gay-slangs because you are gay, but if you just remember that you and your buddy are good friends, then it’s OK for the name-calling. I have been called someone’s bitch a few times in my life, and it does not bother me at all. So don’t let it bother you.
User Detail :Name : Leo, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Religion : Catholic, Age : 25, City : Washington, State : DC Country : United States, Occupation : Finance, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, July 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #42896
I’m going to guess that you’ve seen South Park. The boys are all friends, and call each other ‘butt muncher’, etc. When asked about swearing, the creators said that when they were in fourth grade, you always called your friends things like that, but you never meant anything by it. Let’s face it – straight guys aren’t going to call you ‘sweetie’ and are usually busy being hypermacho during high school. But part of the names is also part of him dealing with it – a way to distance himself, a way to keep proving he’s not gay, too, or make you think he’s hitting on you, or the part of him that still has a problem with it. I know that there are others I’ve kidded in similar ways, but it’s done in the way your brother would give you noogies. But if it bothers you, say so. It’s ok to tell him it hurts you if it does.
User Detail :Name : Craig31905, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Age : 39, City : Minneapolis, State : MN Country : United States, July 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #45921
It depends on how it makes you feel. Lots of friends ‘insult’ one another with the understanding that it’s all in fun. Your asking the question, however, suggests that you’re somewhat uncomfortable with the name-calling. If you feel the intent is derogatory, then it probably is, and you have every right to tell him to stop (provided you’re willing to stop, also).
User Detail :Name : ED25465, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Age : 46, City : Kansas City, State : MO Country : United States, July 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #46238
First, congratulations on having the courage to come out at such a young age. To this day I regret not coming out when I was a teen. I hurt a lot of people by not doing so – but that’s another story. I often hear teenagers downtown refering to each other as ‘faggot’ or ‘queer,’ and I am highly insulted by this. But I do have straight friends who jokingly call me ‘faggot’ on occasion, and it doesn’t bother me because I know they are, as you say, just playing around trying to get my goat. The decision is really up to you. If you feel insulted, tell him to stop, explaining that you have to face enough hate in the world because of your orientation and you don’t appreciate it coming from him. Ask him how he would feel if you called him some racially derogative name all the time. I have had friends who have taken it a little too far, and I have asked them to stop with the ‘faggot’ and ‘queer’ stuff. On the other hand, neither I nor any of my gay friends have issues about calling each other ‘faggot’ or ‘queer’. – much like some blacks seem to have no problem calling each other the dreaded ‘n’ word. When used between gays, the word ‘queer’ is somewhat a badge of honor. As in ‘I’m here, I’m queer, deal with it!’
User Detail :Name : Mike, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 42, City : Ben Lomand, State : CA Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, July 20, 2003 at 12:00 am #23790
I am not gay, but my girlfriend and I insult each other all the time, and she even called me gay last night! If your friend is saying it in a horrible manner, then it’s offensive. If it’s just in a joking way, then laugh.
User Detail :Name : Tim24597, Gender : M, City : B/S, State : NA Country : United Kingdom, August 7, 2003 at 12:00 am #19151
Josh, I’d definitely say that this is a call you will have to make on your own. In college, my friends and I used to go around everywhere calling each other ‘bitch’ or ‘ho’ or whatever other bad name you can call a woman. For us, it was our way of asserting our closeness and level of comfort with one another. We knew when someone meant it in a hostile way as opposed to in a joking way. When we felt uncomfortable about it, we’d just ask ‘Are you angry or upset with me?’. If he seriously has an issue with it, hopefully he’ll be honest and tell you.
User Detail :Name : Jane, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Atheist, Age : 32, City : San Diego, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Legal Assistant, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class,
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