Nothing makes my blood boil more than gay male misogyny. Yes, we are gay men and we like to have sex with each other, sometimes in groups of three or more. But this doesn’t mean that all that testosterone needs to gang up against anything that isn’t male, male-centric and, frankly, white gay male centric. Comedian Mark Brennan Rosenberg wrote an article on The Huffington Post Gay Voices called 8 Things Gay Men Need To Stop Saying. Of course I clicked! And I definitely agree that gay dudes all over the world need to stop saying they are “straight acting” because a dick in a mouth is a dick in a mouth my dude. And, yes, I do think it’s wrong and weird to say that a girl is “too pretty to be a lesbian.”
But half of the things on the 8 item list are pieces of slang from black gay male culture:
“This is giving me life!”
“This is everything!”
Calling each other “girl.”
“You are living!”
Sooo I probably use all these phrases at least once a day. In fact, one of my favorite television shows is the short-lived black gay comedy Noah’s Arc, which was an exercise in black gay slang. I can’t tell if this dude’s list is supposed to be humorous or not, but I’m assuming he’s dead serious because no one would joke about the “straight acting” thing or the “being too pretty to be a lesbian thing.” I hate to be that guy but w/e: why are half the things on his list things that started in black and latino gay communities and, through media exposure, have made their way up to mainstream (white) gay male culture?
Girl, bye, and while you’re gone have several seats. Gay slang exists for a reason. It creates community, it creates bonding, and every subcultural group in the history of like everything has had their own kind of slang they use with each other. Because language is play. But this isn’t so much about things that gay men should stop saying — it’s the fact that gay men have an effeminacy problem, a misogyny problem, a problem with any form of expression that isn’t blatantly and correctly masculine. Why can’t gay men call each other girl or GURL? Or maybe the question is really: why does it offend people so much? What is wrong with saying, “Yaaas your new haircut is giving me my life!!!”
Also? Black gay slang is HILARIOUS and fun, so that’s a thing to think about, too.
Anyway, gay men need to focus less on how certain of us fabulous queens express ourselves and more on tackling internal homophobia, misogyny and racism. Can we do that, please?