Homo Seattle Club Embroiled in Anti-Gay Slur Controversy!
No, I’m not talking about Neumo’s or tonight’s big Bufu show.
Someone who claimed to be calling on behalf of an unidentified “gay groupâ€ť—Scissor Sisters? Pet Shop Boys? Limp Bizkit?—called Chop Suey to complain about this month’s Comeback poster. This anonymous caller’s supposed group is upset about the use of the word faggot on the poster.
Here’s the poster…
Here’s a close-up of the offending language…
Here’s the download:
This complaint comes so hard on the heels of the Neumo’s/Bufu controversy that I can’t help but wonder if the anonymous caller isn’t attempting to engage in some sort of meta-commentary on the seemingly selective sensitivities of Seattle’s gay community. It’s not okay for Bufu to toss around anti-gay slurs but the promoters behind Comeback can slap them on their delightfully pornographic posters all over town?
In a word, yeah.
But first: The anger directed at Bufu isn’t about anti-gay slurs coming out of the mouth of a musician (so common an occurrence that it’s hardly worth protesting), but anti-gay death threats and incitement to violence coming out of the mouth of a musician. On Capitol Hill. Across the street from one gay bar, down the block from another, and a block and half from the GLBT Community Center. I’d like to think intelligent people could see the difference but, uh, reading the comment threads on Slog over the last two days makes me wonder.
More importantly, there’s the huge issue of who exactly is tossing this particular anti-gay slur around. Comeback’s promoter—Marcus—addresses this point eloquently in an email:
I don’t think I even have to point out that many persecuted communities appropriate negative epithets and turn them into empowering, affectionate terms of endearment (such as African American’s using that word that starts with “N” that I’m not allowed to say because I’m not an African American), or that many other formerly derogatory terms are constantly used in the gay community. “Queer” used to be an insult, not an empowering umbrella term for the BLT-blah-blah-blah community.
Every hip dance night for womyn on the hill is labeled a night for “dykes and their friends.” I can remember a time when the only people who used the word “dyke” were toothless white-trash homophobic assholes. Well, times change and so does our language.
Presuming the angry caller isn’t a prankster, I’d like to point make two additional points. First, there’s the issue of context. I mean, come on. “You like what you see, faggot?â€ť “Go for it, dude.â€ť Clearly these are two openly gay men talking to each other moments before they get down to some terrifically sleazy, terrifically hot gay action. (And if you’ve never had sex with a gay man who likes to be called “faggot” in bed, in a locker room, or in a sling, well, then you don’t get laid much.)
Secondly, the fags who go to Comeback aren’t the types who will be offended by this month’s poster. A high percentage probably enjoy being called “faggot”—by the right guys, in the right context—and roughly 100% of them would agree with Marcus when he says…
I’ve never felt particularly “gay.” Its so sappy-sissy-cheery. But I do feel like a fuckin’ faggot quite often.
Without a doubt this month’s Comeback, like last month’s the month’s before that, will be fudgepacked with the alterna-queers that fudgepack every month’s Comeback. The fags at Chop Suey on Friday are not going to be upset about seeing the word “faggotâ€ť on Comeback’s poster—or on the “faggotâ€ť swag that Marcus plans to hand out on Friday night:
So whatever side of this big gay politically charged electric fence you’re sitting on, I say come down to Chop Suey this Friday the 29th and represent. We will be handing out free “faggot” accessories—t-shirts, tote bags, yoga mats, head bands, and nap-sacks (in case you get sleepy).
Finally, the folks who are upset about Comeback poster are going to have a stroke when they see The Stranger’s full-page ad in the 2006 Lesbian & Gay Film Festival’s program.