Homophobic slurs are used all too often at GHS

Bailey Bates, Editor in Chief

  Many matters regarding the oppression of the LGBT community are sensitive, but the use of the word “faggot” as a slur by straight people is a serious issue.

  It is not uncommon to hear this slur used in the hallways of Gresham, where it is not unusual to hear many different slurs used off-handedly. The casual use of the f-slur as an insult gets problematic when confronted with the history of the word.

  The f-slur was, at one time, used to refer to women. As the use has developed, the word began to be used to refer to gay men, because it is popular to feminize gay men to insult them. Today the f-slur is used to universally insult all members of the LGBT community, dehumanizing and hating on them.

  “It’s been normalized as a synonym for stupid,” junior Bec Esparza said. “it’s just kind of wrecking the progress that has been made over the years.”

  It is true that some members of the LGBT community use the f-slur as a term of endearment or with a positive tone. This is the act of reclaiming a slur, when a person in a minority group decides to reclaim an offensive slur and use it positively. It happened in the LGBT community with the word “queer.”

  Only the minority group that the slur targets are okay to say that slur, if they so wish. The utilization of the slur if you are not part of the group is never, under any circumstance, allowed.

  “You can’t reclaim something without a thorough understanding of where it came from and the problem surrounding it,” senior Christi Armstrong said. “It’s a word used to put people down just for being themselves, and that’s never okay.”

  Overall, unless you are a member of the LGBT community who is set on reclaiming the f-slur as your own, it is never okay to use that slur. It does not matter if you know someone who is a member of the LGBT community and they give you permission to use it, the heavy connotation associated with the slur is just reinforced in their use by non-LGBT people.