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Thread: Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS page 223

  1. #2221
    Owly's Avatar
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    A friend of mine just told me about his reframe of "that's so gay". He's started using it to refer to anything that is absolutely and completely awesome, very specifically around people who still use it as a derogatory phrase. So, for example, a very cool car would be really gay.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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  2. #2222
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    Eh, I dunno about that. Yes, there are lots of really awesome gay people - but they're awesome because they're funny or generous or hot or talented or whatever, not because they're gay. And there is probably about the same proportion of awesome:meh in the gay population as in the straight population. It's also questionable whether there's a need for "reframing" since the derogatory use of "gay" was a reframe in itself; gay used to mean lighthearted and happy. That's what they call "ironic" - the initial reframe to refer to homosexuality tended to make those to whom the term was applied anything BUT lighthearted and happy. The fact that the term is no longer derogatory is great, but swinging it around AGAIN to mean "awesome" - well, that's the sort of thing that linguistic term papers angst about.

    Total digression, sorry. Gay Panda, I feel very sorry for your mom. I'm sure a part of her DOES love you unconditionally - as a mom, I can't imagine anything my child could be that would make me not love her. If she grew up to be a raving right-wing nutcase I think we would have some strained conversations, but I would still love her with all my heart. And she already knows that if she wants to have girlfriends instead of boyfriends when she gets older, that is totally ok with us as long as they are nice people who treat her well.

    And of course I feel bad for everything you went through, too - and grateful that you came out the other end, meaningfully scathed but largely intact. It's not true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger (see: malaria) but if you can glean something of use from something that tried to kill you, I think that's called revenge, and that's ok too.
    Last edited by spughy; 04-04-2012 at 09:21 PM.

  3. #2223
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    man, work keeps me away from panda-world, and look what goes down.

    sorry about your mom. i don't get why people are like that. it's sad.

  4. #2224
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    and by the by, there was an adorable black sheep at the one farm/sheep station we visited in queenstown, and she was so cute that I just wanted to take her home and snuggle her up. She was about the size of a medium sized dog.

    What was really cute is that she looked brown. Her black fur was sun-bleached. OMG it was the CUTEST.

    I'm just saying.

  5. #2225
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    Quote Originally Posted by spughy View Post
    Eh, I dunno about that. Yes, there are lots of really awesome gay people - but they're awesome because they're funny or generous or hot or talented or whatever, not because they're gay. And there is probably about the same proportion of awesome:meh in the gay population as in the straight population. It's also questionable whether there's a need for "reframing" since the derogatory use of "gay" was a reframe in itself; gay used to mean lighthearted and happy. That's what they call "ironic" - the initial reframe to refer to homosexuality tended to make those to whom the term was applied anything BUT lighthearted and happy. The fact that the term is no longer derogatory is great, but swinging it around AGAIN to mean "awesome" - well, that's the sort of thing that linguistic term papers angst about.
    Grad student in communication studies here (and on gender/sexuality related stuff in particular), so I completely understand this, and as a queer woman, I also am fully aware that being gay does not always make you awesome. My gay brother can be very annoying--that's not because he's gay, it's because he's my brother who does really irritating things sometimes. Please do not assume that I am buying into whatever sort of stereotypes.

    However, my friend uses this strategy mostly with teens and young adults who are coming from a background where "that's so gay!" is regularly used as a slang term to say something sucks or is stupid. For those kids, using the word differently does have some effect. It makes straight kids think about the language differently, and it lets any kid who might be gay know that at least one adult around them thinks that's awesome. I can't fault him for doing that.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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  6. #2226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owly View Post
    Grad student in communication studies here (and on gender/sexuality related stuff in particular), so I completely understand this, and as a queer woman, I also am fully aware that being gay does not always make you awesome. My gay brother can be very annoying--that's not because he's gay, it's because he's my brother who does really irritating things sometimes. Please do not assume that I am buying into whatever sort of stereotypes.

    However, my friend uses this strategy mostly with teens and young adults who are coming from a background where "that's so gay!" is regularly used as a slang term to say something sucks or is stupid. For those kids, using the word differently does have some effect. It makes straight kids think about the language differently, and it lets any kid who might be gay know that at least one adult around them thinks that's awesome. I can't fault him for doing that.
    I thought the idea was totally gay (his version) before this explination- but this just makes it better! We ARE generally more open-minded and accepting now than 20 or 50 years ago, but we still have a long way to go before these things just are what they are.

    Did you know that in some Native American cultures (can't remember which ones off the top of my head) that men who dressed and acted like women were in fact revered? They were thought to hold two spirits instead of one- one male and one female.
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  7. #2227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owly View Post
    Grad student in communication studies here (and on gender/sexuality related stuff in particular), so I completely understand this, and as a queer woman, I also am fully aware that being gay does not always make you awesome. My gay brother can be very annoying--that's not because he's gay, it's because he's my brother who does really irritating things sometimes. Please do not assume that I am buying into whatever sort of stereotypes.

    However, my friend uses this strategy mostly with teens and young adults who are coming from a background where "that's so gay!" is regularly used as a slang term to say something sucks or is stupid. For those kids, using the word differently does have some effect. It makes straight kids think about the language differently, and it lets any kid who might be gay know that at least one adult around them thinks that's awesome. I can't fault him for doing that.
    Oh, I didn't assume you were buying into stereotypes - sorry! Maybe I'm just peeved at the whole expression in general because there's a poster up at my daughter's school that says "That's so gay... is so yesterday" with smaller text saying something to the effect of how words can hurt etc. etc. The thing is, while I know that it's a sadly common expression among kids in general, I've NEVER heard it in my daughter's school, and because it's an independent semi-private school that's generally attractive mainly to parents who lean towards the open-minded, independent-thought, give-your-kids-some-credit way of being AND we live in one of the more gay-friendly places on the planet, it's kind of... I dunno, out of place. Most, if not all, of the kids at her school would probably never have thought to use the phrase in the first place. But maybe I am just being hopelessly pollyannaish and there IS a good reason to have that poster up. I just can't help but think it makes an issue where there wasn't one, and potentially makes any gay kids feel singled-out needlessly. But, I am not gay and would certainly defer to the thoughts and feelings of actual gay folks on things like that. If you went to a school where sexuality wasn't an issue and gay kids' perspectives were as accepted as straight, quietly and without fanfare, would you want to see a poster like that up? (That's not a rhetorical question - I am legitimately curious as to whether my sense on this IS skewed.)

  8. #2228
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    I suppose you'd have to ask the kids there to really know if they use that language, but I would think that it might be out of context if that particular phrase isn't used around there. I think "safe space" signs are still helpful even in a more gay-friendly school because kids need to know that the adults they are dealing with will be supportive if they need it, but a poster targeting slang that isn't used sounds silly.

    I live in a part of the world where it's not only kids who use "that's gay" in a negative way pretty regularly--lots of adults I've met use it too. In that cultural context, shifting the language is really critical. A lot of people don't even realize what they're saying--they're not overtly homophobic, just not thinking. But thoughtlessness can still hurt, so calling attention to it in a more fun way (like my friend uses) can makes someone think without them feeling like they have to be defensive in the same way as if you confronted them over it.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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  9. #2229
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    Quote Originally Posted by naiadknight View Post
    Normal is a setting on the washing machine.
    I love that. It no longer bothers me as much to be my family's version of the black sheep, because when one is expected simply to become exactly what a parent chose for you, then you are more or less destined to be a black sheep. Even my future career (as a musician) had been mapped out without any consultation from me, and I had no interest in music whatsoever. But it didn't matter that I had no interest, all that mattered was what had been chosen for me to do with my life, and my task was to fulfill it.

    I reclaimed the black sheep title because it was so ridiculous to get saddled with it in the first place - I'm the one in the family without drug or alcohol issues, I'm the one who put myself through college and don't have an arrest record, I'm the one who hasn't married four times in eight years or assaulted anyone. If that makes me a black sheep, then hell yeah! Go black sheep!

  10. #2230
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gay Panda View Post
    I reclaimed the black sheep title because it was so ridiculous to get saddled with it in the first place - I'm the one in the family without drug or alcohol issues, I'm the one who put myself through college and don't have an arrest record, I'm the one who hasn't married four times in eight years or assaulted anyone. If that makes me a black sheep, then hell yeah! Go black sheep!
    I love your attitude! <3
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