Did you know that the top epithet slung on schoolgrounds across North America is fag? Did you know that it is common among schoolage children to say "That is so gay!" when they want to say "That's so stupid"? It's true. Some schools are trying to teach the offensiveness of the word but are receiving flack from (you know who) for mixing up "morality" with "prejudice". I'm steamed. Has nothing changed in 25 years when fag was also the highest insult on campus? And just yesterday, as I was walking home from the metro two 8 - 10 year olds playing were calling across the street to a lonely younger girl "Lesbienne, Lesbienne tu es une Lesbienne" in that sing songy kid way. Forgive me for saying so, but there is no morality in defending the taunting of others with offensive language.
All of my male Japanese students have used "fag" during my lessons. I know they pick it up in school, and I always say the same thing. That's not a nice word, and you shouldn't be using it because it can hurt other people. Then I move on. What is there to get here? Hey, kids are cruel, I know that, but the fact that there are adults out there defending the rights of their children to use the word is simply incomprehensible to me. Are we all so blind that we don't understand that picking on others actually reflects our own insecurities? Isn't that Psych 101? I suppose it all goes back to that base desire to feel superior to others, the great but largely overlooked evil of our society.
Some people will say that homosexuality is a choice. And though it makes me yawn just to broach the topic, it's been so hashed to death, and always ends up something like this:
BEGALA: I do. I believe God makes us gay or straight.
I never sat down with a legal sheet and said, "Do I fall in love with Diana or her brother Ron, who's a real cutie-pie," but I'm sorry, God made me heterosexual.
LABARBERA: That's your belief.
BEGALA: It wasn't a persuasion. Did someone try to recruit you to be straight, Peter?
LABARBERA: That's a canard.
LABARBERA: There are many, many people who've gone into homosexuality and got out of it. It's a behavior...
BEGALA: Do you believe God makes us the way we are?
LABARBERA: I don't believe that God makes anybody gay, of course not. But there are people who go into homosexuality and get out of it. It's a changeable behavior, unlike race. I've never met an ex—black, I've never met an ex-Hispanic, Paul. [But I've met many ex-gays.]
(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE) (This from a Crossfire episode)
And all I can say is the most convincing argument I've come up with (and it only works with hetero men) is this. Imagine you have a really hot naked chick 8X10, and another 8x10 of a hot naked muscular guy. Now, which one makes your dick hard?
Choice? Gimme a fucking break. (forgive my language, won't you)
I also write with my right hand, but I don't remember choosing that. And finally I don't recall choosing to fall in love with the weather. These are the things that we should be embracing, the core elements of who we are. And if one of your core identities is needing to be disgusted by the behavior of others who aren't hurting you, then I respect that, that is what you need to do. But I'm also going to pity you a bit, sorry, but that seems like an ugly focus for all the beautiful possibilities in life.