What’s In A Word? Context, Ya Fag!

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I know I have this obsession with words. I’ve never particularly liked Queerty.com because it’s posts on transfolk generally border on bad taste/transphobia. The most recent edition sports this headline:

queerty.jpg

When I think of the use of the word tranny, I think of the words of George Carlin:

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://lads.myspace.com/videos/vplayer.swf” width=”430″ height=”346″ fvars=”m=598001949;type=video”/]

The point being, if you are a transgender person and you say tranny, it’s acceptable because the intent isn’t negative or hateful. But if your not, it’s a bigoted and derogatory thing to say. My son is gay, and I hear him call his gay friends “homo and fag” all the time. I know he’s not homophobic, BECAUSE HE’S GAY!

“You throw that football like a girl!” The previous sentence has no “fag,” no “queer,” or any other “bad word” in it. But the connotation is that being a women are weak, frail, and unable to physically throw a football. It is the person saying the words and the context that they are used that make them “good” or “bad” words.

While I don’t suggest that anyone should use words like fag, tranny, or any other “tainted” words, I don’t think that when they are used by someone in target group the word is supposed to represent, they aren’t meant to hurt.

As always, context is king.

35 Comments

  1. DonnaLee June 16, 2007
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  5. Marti Abernathey June 16, 2007
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  22. Marti Abernathey June 16, 2007
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