I’ve come to muse at the fact that often the jargon and terminology in our society is either good or bad depending on who says it to who. As a kid growing up I heard adults around me using terms like cocksucker and ass kisser in the derogatory. They usually meant to cast a negative dispersion upon the person they were referencing.
In school my classmates often called others things like faggot, buttlicker, dicklicker, etc. These terms all meant as negatives by those tossing them out into the mix. If you were the unlucky cluck getting called these things you probably wanted to shrink away or ball up your fist.
I’ve worked in construction most of my career and found that in close tight circles of straight men, it’s common for them to even call each other homo, cocksucker, or fag as a form of male bonding. They even role play at times when cutting up or letting of steam. But make a move on one of them, prepare to get your jaw broken.
That’s another whole column actually. But oddly enough, after having grown up and become quite comfortable in my sexuality most of these terms in my mind are now complimentary. I mean yeah, I’m a cocksucker. You aren’t? Sorry to hear that. You are missing out in life. Buttlicker? I hope you are, love to have them in my life too. Both labels in my mind are the highest and most intimate acts one man can share with another. HMMMM!
Point is, between gay men most of these terms are often bantered about in love, ribbing and psychological petting. We call each other fag, bitch, cocksucker and more as a badge of honor. Its not unlike the very same racial vernacular being used among their own. We hear often African Americans calling each other the N-word in a way of camaraderie and love. But don’t do it if you are not.
Which leads me to one curiosity in our modern lexicon. The term teabagger has been used as a derogatory toward those in the modern Tea Party movement. OK. Well that’s fine. But I have to laugh when I hear people I know are gay using the term in a derogatory sense. After all, I love teabagging myself and most gay men love a teabagger in their midst right?
I watched Anderson Cooper once use the term “teabagger” with a smirk in a newscast about the Tea Party. For reasons most of us in the gay community know or believe, found it a bit rich. But I digress.
People love to have their own badges of honor. And if you are in a social group that has to bind together to fend off the derogatories of the others, we tend to wear them proudly. Perhaps its an act of rebellion. Perhaps it’s a tacit acceptance of terms. In either case It’s an oxymoronic phenomenon at best.
Our language and social interaction has gotten to a point now where a single word can have completely different meanings, powers, and effects depending on the person who is saying it, their intent behind it and who it is being said to. Faggot whispered in my ear by my lover after a steamy session of sex makes me feel completely different than it does to the cornered kid in the locker room being yelled at by a hazing crowd.
Bottom line is that words are powerful. How words are heard by someone you say them to more often is based on their own pursuasions, how confident and comfortable they are in their own skin, and how much they know and trust you. We all have varying levels of skin thickness and resistance to verbal attack. Some of us shrug it off, others put up the shields. I for one have come to not really give a damn, not taking much very seriously in life any more.
Whatever the case, call me a cocksucker, buttlicker, faggot, queer, ass kisser, fudgepacker or whatever you got. Chances are I won’t be all that offended. That is unless you are straight and have a malicious intent. Then my reaction might depend on whether your are good looking or not.