Hey all, I’m back again with another article for this segment as promised and I will continue to keep posting every two weeks for as long as my editor is happy with me and doesn’t fire me.
So, without further adieu, I present to you this week’s post on terminology and slurs.
First up, the ever-popular term ‘gay’.
‘Gay’ is used to refer to a male identifying individual who is attracted to other male identifying individuals. It is also sometimes used as a universal term for anyone who is attracted to the same sex.
Think Emily Fields from Pretty Little Liars coming out, telling her mom she’s gay.
Correct usage: “Oh I’m sorry, girl, he isn’t going to be into you – he’s gay.”
Incorrect usage: “Dude, are you crying??? That’s so gay!” “Why the fuck are you wearing pink, man, that’s so gay!” “Omg, you’re gay??? Will you be my new best friend and do my hair and nails and-”
Accompanying that term would be its female counterpart – the term ‘lesbian’.
‘Lesbian’ is used to refer to female identifying individuals who are attracted to other female identifying individuals.
Additional information: No, they’re not lesbian because they “just haven’t found the right man” and no, it is not appropriate to ask what they do in bed with their partners. Interestingly enough, lesbians don’t like to be sexualized and harassed.
People who want to be treated with dignity and respect??? Abominations indeed.
Next up is the ever controversial ‘bisexual’.
No, ‘bisexual’ isn’t a synonym for ‘greedy’ as you might have thought! It also doesn’t mean ‘confused’. Trust me, I live in a perpetual state of confusion and I’m not bisexual. It is actually a term used to describe people who are attracted to two genders/sexes (in binary terms, male and female)!
Here is a list of things the term ‘bisexual’ also does NOT mean: People who want to have threesomes. People who like orgies. People who want attention. People who want to pretend to be special. People who are against monogamous relationships and want to uprise against the masses to destroy marriage as an institution and enforce open relationships so that two people relationships become a thing of the past so that their ‘sexual deviance’ can flourish in a brand new era of polygamous bisexuality. People who are attracted to bicycles.
‘Transgender’ is a term that has become quite popular as of late (thanks, Caitlyn Jenner. You are a horrible advocate and can be fucking transphobic sometimes, but at least you brought visibility to the trans community).
‘Transgender’ is an umbrella term for individuals who do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth or conform to the binary genders (male and female) enforced upon them by society. But I will get more into that in the following post on ‘sexuality vs gender identity’.
There’s always a lot of confusion surrounding transgender individuals so allow me to help you navigate these complex waters when interacting with a trans person, not for your sake but for theirs. I mean I have seen people literally stare with their jaws wide open at a transgender person.
This isn’t the second coming of Christ people, it’s just a transgender person.
Trans man/male: an individual who was born ‘female’ but is actually a man! Hence, don’t be surprised if he gets mad should you call him ‘her’ or ‘she’.
Trans woman/female: an individual whose parents said would grow up to play sports but instead grew up to become the Princess of Genovia (forgive me for the gender stereotyping, it’s horrible, don’t do it). As such, she should be treated with respect and should a male pronoun (he/him/his) slip through your lips, well…in the words of another well known Queen, “OFF WITH YOUR HEAD”.
To recap: a trans man is a man, and a trans woman is a woman.
Things the term ‘transgender’ doesn’t mean: Looney, mentally ill, delusional. Sexual predator. Drag Queen. Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl. Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire. Jared Leto as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club.
Seriously, Hollywood, you need to stop.
Also, it has come to my attention that people often conjugate sentences that are grammatically incorrect when using the term ‘transgender’.
‘Transgender’ is actually an adjective so don’t say things like “he is *a* transgender”. You wouldn’t say “you are *a* stupid” now would you? Of course not! Because you are a smart (see how annoying that is).
We are finally at the section that everybody loves – slurs.
I mean, I am pretty vulgar myself and I would tell you to go fuck yourself without batting an eyelash. I once swore in front of a painting of a man by Edvard Munch and caused him to go into shock. That painting was renamed from ‘The Smile’ to ‘The Scream’. True story.
Nevertheless, here is a list of things I would never say, which in itself says something.
- Fag/faggot – calling a gay/queer person a fag is like calling a black person the N word. There is a history of violence and systematic oppression behind that word. Don’t use it, seriously.
- Homo – has really negative, derogatory connotations to it. But who the fuck came up with this anyway. Homo? Homo what? Sexual? Genous? Sapien?
- Sodomite – not only is it rude, it makes you sound like a pretentious William Shakespeare wannabe.
- Tranny – it’s rude. Also, the whole thing about the history of violence and stuff.
- Ladyboy – no you do not get to use that term just because you went to Thailand that one time.
- Shemale – This is a slur used against trans women. It is also a prime example of a pronoun not matching the gender. ‘She’. But… ‘male?’. It really should be ‘shefemale’ you dumbasses, who comes up with this shit.
- He-she – so apparently trans people are confused but you’re the one using two different pronouns at the same time?
- Dyke – okay so I’ve heard that this term might have been reclaimed by lesbians but just don’t use it. It’s not for you to use.
Aside from all that, I’m gonna add in phrases that annoy Queer people because I’m generous or long winded. You decide.
“I respect your lifestyle.”
“How do you know you’re Queer?”
“How did you become Queer?”
“What do you have… you know… down there.”
“Have you had the surgery?”
“You love RuPaul/Lady Gaga/Madonna/Ruby Rose/Laverne Cox/Caitlyn Jenner don’t you?”
“Oh my god you’re so brave.”
Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have come to the end of this really long post. Now, I realize that I’ve only covered the basics but I’m just gonna assume you all are new to this and would not understand if I launched into an essay illustrating how the gender binary is a White, colonial construct enforced by Abrahamic religions.
What I hope to have accomplished is to highlight the problematics that come with each identity as stated above as well as hopefully clear up some misconceptions.
So do comment or send us an email should you have any thoughts because apparently, we’d love it if you pester us by sending in things which would require me to read them and respond. I mean, who doesn’t love doing extra work.
Till then x