Tuesday, September 04, 2007




Fag, fag, fag, fag, fag.

Faggot. Faggie. Faggie-assed. Fag-Lovin' Faggoty Fag.

F. A. G.


That's the word, folks. It's not "The F Word." It's not "The OTHER F Word." It's not "A Derogatory Term for Homosexuals." It's fag. A word.

And as I see it, if Jerry Lewis - - in his 18th straight hour on live television raising money for muscular dystrophy - - makes a joke that uses a word - - like fag - - that hurts your feelings, GROW THE FUCK UP!

This isn't the playground anymore. Jerry Lewis isn't a homophobe. He didn't call for a ban on gay marriage. He didn't say that God Hates Fags. He didn't say that we all were sick and immoral. He said a word...


I am not afraid of that word. I AM that word. I am a fag.

I'm more afraid of people who tie up Matthew Shepard to a fence, pistol-whip him and leave him for dead.

But Jerry Lewis saying the word fag, doesn't scare me. It doesn't upset me. It doesn't hurt me.

Because I'm an adult. Grow up and get a life.


Shirley Heezgay said...

Where did you stand on the whole Isiah Washington thing?

Just curious, not criticising.

Stephen Rader said...

Shirley Heezgay - Well, I know that I am WAY in the minority on this issue, but I believe the whole flack about Isaiah Washington was WAY overblown. I mean, come on - - Isaiah Washington is the greatest threat to homosexuals in 2007?!?!?

I lived through the worst years of the AIDS epidemic. I've walked in Pride parades where people were spitting on me and condemning me to Hell. I was thrown around the boys room in middle school and high school because I was gay. Isaiah Washington says the word, "fag?" I can deal with it.

And if T.R. Knight had never, ever been called a fag to his face, all I have to say is: What cave does he live in? And can I join him there? Cause if that's the first time anyone ever called him a fag, then get in line, sister. I got in line when I was in elementary school. There's a long wait behind me.

I seriously just think that condeming one man for saying "fag" takes us away from serious issues that need to be addressed by our community. And I, for one, think that language - - all language - - should be availble to all of us - - and used!!! - - at all times.

When we start saying that certain words are "bad words," we are going down a path that leads to censorship in the form of "bad books" or "bad movies" and then, all of the sudden, other people are telling me what I can or cannot say or what I can or cannot read.

It just seems ridiculous to me that we scream and yell about the smallest, little things that hurt our feelings, but George W. Bush lies, bombs Iraq, maintains a war that is killing on average 100 American service men and women every month and destroys our relationship with nearly every country on the planet and nobody bats an eye.

What does that say about us and the times we live in? I'm not sure what it says, but I don't like it.

Shirley Heezgay said...


I myself was not offended by Jerry's use of the word faggot.

Really, my worry, just like with Isaiah, is that people will get distracted. The Art of Distraction. It's what has kept this war going and Bush in office.

I called for Isaiah's dismissal because I thought he was an arrogant asshole. And stupid.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephen:

I am new to your blog (just discovered it and have been reading it for a couple of days now), so I hope I am not off base here. BTW, I am also new to Chicago...moved here last Oct.

I feel compelled to address your comments regarding Jerry Lewis using the word "faggot" on television this weekend.

I, like you, know that Mr. Lewis is not a homophobe, will not beat-up or kill gay people, or try to take away our civil liberties.

What is unfortunate, though, is those people who ARE homophobes, who WILL beat up gay people (like Matthew Shephard), and who WILL persecute gay people in society, can (and will) use Mr. Lewis's use of that word as justification for their position and use of that word. It is the mentality that believes that, afterall, if someone as respectable as Jerry Lewis can call someone a faggot, and it is OK, then surely they can as well.

I admire the work done by you, and countless others, in regards to AIDS and other worthy causes. I have marched and volunteered right along there with you. And yes, that should be our focus.

But words do have consequences. And ugly words have ugly consequences. The sooner society stands up and shames people who use those words to promulgate their ideology of hate, the better all of us will be.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Yes! It is not words we should fear so much as actions. Words are often epmty, actions are not.

Stephen Rader said...

Shirley Heezgay - The Art of Distraction - - I absolutely agree! Thank you!

Dollar - Thank you so much for your comments and first and foremost, WELCOME TO CHICAGO!!!! I hope you're loving it here! And thank you for finding my little blog and reading it (I'm still amazed that the things I write are actually read!!!)

I completely see your point and as I said to Shirley earlier, I know that I am WAY in the minority when it comes to this issue, but to me, words are just that - - words.

I don't think that banning a word like fag will lead to a lessening of hate crimes against gay people. In fact, I think that banning the word gay will HEIGHTEN the number of hate crimes against gay people.

You see, I want to know who hates me. If you don't like homosexuals and think we're all sick and perverted or whatever, I want to know. So I can avoid you. So I can be sure not to support you. But by banning the word gay, we're making all of those hatemongers hold in their hate. Then, it will boil over and by actually not saying what they feel, they will go out one night, find one of us alone in an alley and beat us until we die. I want them to express their feelings in words, so that they don't hold in those feelings and have them explode into violence.

As you can see from my blog, I love words. Not fruity, intellectual words, but base, crass, blue-collar words.

I love "fuck" and "cocksucker" and "asshole" and "rimjob." I love them because some people think they are inappropriate and improper and unrefined. I love them because they hold some small sense of being taboo. "Fag" is slowly becoming a word that our community believes is inappropriate, improper and should be taboo. And it isn't. Because it's our's.

I've told story before, but my high school boyfriend, Robbie, asked me why I was upset one day and I told him that, once again, someone had called me a fag in school. Very matter of factly, Robbie asked me, "Well, are you a fag?" And I said, yes. He said, "Well?" That's when I really understood it.

I am a fag. And they can't hurt me with the word unless I allow them to hurt me with the word. I understand that you believe that Jerry Lewis using a word will give others the thought that they can use the word, but in my mind, those people are going to use the word and try to do damage to us until they get to know us as individuals. It isn't GLAAD that will change the views of middle America towards the gay community - - it's each and every one of us coming out of the closet and being true to ourselves, so that everyone knows someone who is gay and loves them and begins to vote through the eyes of that love.

Taking away the word fag from me would be like taking away my memory of my friends who died of AIDS back in the late 80's and early 90's. The pain and the sadness I feel from losing them is a part of who I am and I never want to live without that pain. It gives me strength.

Being a fag gives me strength. Being a fag makes me unique and fabulous and wonderful.

I used to pray that I would be normal. Now, I celebrate that I'm a fag. I love that part of me.

Thank you so much for your comment. I hope that this little post will cause more people to give their insight on this issue. It's extremely complex and as you can tell from the post, I was hot as all get out when I wrote it!!! I hope it doesn't turn you away from my blog.

And again, welcome to Chicago!

Stephen Rader said...

Whim - "Words are often empty, actions are not." Brilliant! Well put and I'm going to copy it down and quote you on it. I love it!

Lance Noe said...


From a FAG!!!!

Stephen Rader said...

Lance - Thanks, baby!!! I greatly appreciate it!!!!!