In the past year, sports stars and celebrities have been throwing around a gay slur with reckless abandon (you know the one -- starts with an F and rhymes with "maggot"). Kobe Bryant, Joakim Noah and Wayne Simmonds muttered or screamed the word in anger during games this past season. Last week, Brett Ratner used the word flippantly at a film screening Q&A. The responses to these actions were swift, but were they enough? Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000, but taking 100 grand out of Kobe's paycheck is like taking $1.59 out of mine. Did that really teach him a lesson? Brett Ratner was fired from being the producer of the Oscars telecast, but if he is the kind of person who uses words like "fag," he probably didn't want to work on the Oscars, a.k.a. the Gay Super Bowl, anyway.
So... what's to be done?
I have a solution. I want to reclaim the word. You have probably heard of other people reclaiming offensive language to remove the sting, and now it is the gays' turn. I have never done this before, but I think I have a pretty good idea about how it might work. Here is what I propose: designate one day a week, say, a Friday, as Fag Friday or, simply, Fagday. During the course of the day, substitute words that have positive connotations with the word "fag" or "faggot." For instance, instead of saying, "Have a nice day!" say, "Have a fag day!" "Nice" = "fag." Get it? For lunch, order a "faggot, lettuce and tomato" sandwich. I know, I know, bacon is bad for you, but everyone secretly likes it, so the subliminal message given is of something delicious and satisfying.
I cannot do this alone. I need the help of all the other fags and their supporters. If we all do this all day long on Fagdays, then the whole nation will be equating "faggots" with happy, joyful things. The general public will overhear statements like these all day long:
- "Fag morning. How may I help you?"
- "You look absolutely fagtastic today!"
- "Oh, Karen, your baby is just faggy! Look at that faggoty face!"
- "Would you like fags with that?"
- "Today's forecast: bright fagshine and clear skies."
Why stop there? This can be fun! We can reclaim popular TV show titles: America's Got Faggots, It's Always Faggy in Philadelphia, How I Met Your Faggot, Two and a Half Fags, America's Next Top Faggot. The possibilities are endless.
It is difficult to erase this word as a slur, I realize. Originally meaning a "bundle of sticks," it is said that hurling the word as an insult may come from burning gay people at the stake. That story is a myth, but no matter what the derivation may be, the word's negative history is longstanding. In the 16th century, it meant a worthless woman. In the 19th century, it referred to a lowly schoolboy. Not that long ago, former House majority leader Dick Armey referred to his colleague Barney Frank as Barney Fag (and then tried to blame the media for reporting it). Conservative commentator Anne Coulter called Vice President Al Gore a "total fag." The cartoon boys of South Park managed to change the meaning of the word once, only to replace it with something equally unfavorable: "an extremely annoying, inconsiderate person most commonly associated with Harley riders." In England, "fag" is slang for cigarette, but in America, our Surgeon General warns us against cigarettes and tells us they may kill us. Do we gays really want to be associated with a word this harmful?
Our Fagday campaign could bring new, positive, subliminal messages to America. Imagine the change if we can pull this off. When the Westboro Baptist Church holds up a sign at a funeral that reads "God Hates Fags," onlookers may turn to each other and say, "Why does God hate something so fabulous? That doesn't make any sense. I don't think these people speak for God." Now, that would be nice, wouldn't it?
I am going to officially propose this idea at the next Gay Agenda meeting. But those meetings are bi-annual ("bi"! how ironic) and we will not meet again until April. Maybe you all can help me start something now so there's no waiting? A sort of grassroots, Occupy Faggot kind of movement? There's no time like the present. The holiday season is upon us. Think of the opportunities: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Faggot," "We Three Fags," "O Holy Fag," "Hark! The Herald Faggots Sing," "The Little Drummer Fag."
It's just a word. It will hurt you only if you let it.
May the Fag be with you!
Follow Domenick Scudera on Twitter: www.twitter.com/domscud