Faggot

Faggot, often shortened to fag, is a pejorative term and common slur used chiefly in North America against homosexual males. Its pejorative use has spread from the United States to varying extents elsewhere in the English-speaking world through mass culture, including movies, music, and the Internet.

Etymology
The word meaning “bundle of sticks” is ultimately derived from Latin fascis. The origins of the word as an offensive epithet for homosexuals are, however, rather obscure. Although the word has been used in English since the late 16th century as an abusive term for women, particularly old women, the reference to homosexuality may derive from this (female terms being often used with reference to homosexual or effeminate men i.e. nancy, sissy, queen). The application of the term to old women is possibly a shortening of the term “faggot-gatherer”, applied to older widows who made a meager living gathering and selling firewood. It may also derive from the sense of “something awkward to be carried.”

Faggot or fag is not a word I ever use. It’s just not part of my vocabulary. I have been guilty of saying, “that’s gay,” in the past (and even joke about it now a little), but I’ve never used that f-word. It is such a vulgar and harsh word that should not be a part of any vernacular.

I cringe every time I hear it. In my mind, the word has a violent visual attached to it. I’ve been fortunate to never have been truly harassed with the term, but I can visualize someone being cornered in a threatening situation while having the slur screamed at them.

In this instance, they never use the term “faggot” but their actions are equally deplorable: warning, this can be a little hard to watch

During my holiday party, one of my best friends, while arguing with me, shouted, “Stop being a faggot!” The whole room was silent for about 3 seconds. I felt all eyes on me. They were looking my reaction to guage their own.

I FAILED MISERABLY. I pretend the offense never occurred. I just turned a blind eye to his unacceptable behavior. I kept on doing what I was doing never called him out on this.

This wasn’t the first time he said this to me. The last was before I came out and was over the phone. I immediately hung up on him and cut off all communication. A week later, I confronted him about it and he apologized. I regret not putting him in his place the second time around. He was a repeat offender and has no idea the ramifications of his language. He, and many others, need to be educated.

Silence is not acceptable. Standing by while someone else uses this word is just as offensive as the person uttering the term. We can’t let people have this word anymore, especially children. If we don’t teach them this is wrong, how will they ever learn. So often, you hear kids making fun of each other or bullying another with the word.

So I encourage you to do your part by standing up against “faggot.” I made this mistake once, but it certainly won’t be made twice.

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  1. #1 by Jay Conway on May 12, 2011 - 8:05 PM

    I am equally repulsed by this term. I put it right up there with with N word.

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