This week was pretty colossal coming out wise. What with Anderson Cooper’s statements starting us off and then Frank Ocean’s letter about falling in love with a man going public later in the week.
I was actually more interested in the latter since it was by far the more surprising. It isn’t everyday a rapper comes out- if we can call it that, he doesn’t ever necessarily self-identify as gay therein. Still it is a brave and bold move especially considering that his group Odd Future have been charged with misogyny and homophobia more than once.
I found myself on the roof of my apartment wednesday night watching the fireworks, and asking whether they(Odd Future)may, in fact, be the most progressive group on the hip-hop scene. They are certainly the only group with two “out” members ( along with Frank Ocean, their DJ Syd tha Kyd is a lesbian). What does it mean when that is combined with a front man whose favorite word seems to be faggot?
As a kid growing up with gay moms that word had serious bite. If I heard it used by someone it meant they were no longer a potential friend. I often lectured children on the playground against using it.
“Do you know what that means?” I’d ask them.
“It is a bunch of sticks used to burn people in the middle ages!”
The etymology is still the same. I still cringe most times I hear it said, even in the gay community I’m wary; I wouldn’t ever call someone a fag. But my younger, hipper friends and Gawker suggest it is perhaps slowly losing power. That it doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing it did thirty years ago. I think this is all up for debate since I have yet to hear a usage that isn’t interwoven with some sort of misogynist intent. Try me though- For serious…
Look, we all use harsher language these days. We swear in front of our mothers. At least I do.
So is using the word so frequently while in life setting an example of tolerance by including gay people in your peer-set possibly subversive? Maybe when the older generations are long gone and progress has come all these words will be less touchy? They will be properly reclaimed? All the gay kids will wear cute baby tees proudly proclaiming themselves “Fags”? And be safe doing it? That seems like a pipe dream but if so then Odd Future might be the right name for them afterall. Is this what the beginning of progress looks like? In which case, I’m sorry I’m so P.C. but when I was your age….