Don’t Say the F***** Word

Dannon Sanders

In today’s changing times, it is common for people to use derogatory words and slurs as insults or for comedic effect. However, it does not excuse the fact that they are still using an immensely insensitive phrase. One of these words specifically should not be used in any sense because of the connotations that the word holds and the ignorance toward these connotations.


This word is the slur used against homosexuals or other members of the LGBTQ+ community. It begins with the letter ‘F’ and rhymes with maggot.


For those who don’t know, this word originated as early as the mid-sixteenth century where, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, it was associated with “the burning alive of heretics.” It is not difficult to imagine why this word soon became associated with gay men and later the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.


This horribly disturbing context is often unknown to those who support the use of the word. There have been many instances where people, after being told what the connotation of the word is, choose to stop saying the word that very moment. It is an outrage that more people are not aware of the history of the word, mainly because this knowledge would serve to diminish how often it is used.


The ignorance doesn’t just stop at the definition of the word, however. People who use the words for comedic effect or claim that it is acceptable if they ‘have a gay best friend’ are still ignoring the fact that the discrimination isn’t completely gone. It is often forgotten that same-sex marriage was only legalized in America four years ago, on June 26, 2015; while the first state to legalize same-sex marriage was Vermont in 1975 (Georgetown Law Library). Being aware of this knowledge is beneficial in preventing people from using the word because it reminds them of the very recent and still current discrimination that the LGBTQ+ community had to endure.


Finally, for those who aren’t convinced yet, it is wrong to say the slur because it makes less open-minded people believe it is acceptable for them as well. This is evident in a survey carried out by GLAAD in 2017 in which 31% of Americans said they would be uncomfortable seeing a same-sex couple holding hands. Even worse, the percentage of LGBTQ+ members that claim to have faced discrimination during another survey by GLAAD rose 11% in 2018.


It is obvious that the pejoritve slur should not be used because of its widely unknown connotations and the fact that the fight for equality is still persisting.