Straight Up | Issue 16
Recent life experiences have taught me something interesting: Christchurch is the progressive centre of the South. It seems wherever I go these days Christchurchians go out of their way to welcome my return to our fair city with my favourite nom de slur: faggot.
This word is routinely hiffed at me from speeding cars as I am walking alone at night, or even more delightfully out of an ugly Holden rolling past as my partner and I hold hands at the traffic lights, on his birthday. It often comes out slowly, like the speaker savours having my rude word all over his tongue (I say his, as I am yet to be addressed in this way in public by a woman).
I am doing something right. Obviously my faggotry is flaming.
There are two things I notice when people yell homophobic shit at me. The first I notice in myself. It is a feeling of fear mixed with defiance. I often respond by blowing kisses or giving the fingers, or both, if my partner doesn’t stop me. Yet inside I am shaken that my quiet Sunday stroll through the central city has been interrupted. I am afraid. What if they turn around and come back for us? My lover has had a full bottle of beer thrown at him in the past…
I also notice the witnesses. The people who watch this verbal assault and act as though nothing happened. It is as if their day has not been affected one bit by our shared experience. Not once have I had a person wander over to check in about how I am feeling, or comment that the haters are douchebags.
Often the cars are moving so fast that I can’t see their registration number (they’re so tough they have to speed away). But if you get a chance I suggest you note it down (this message is not only for queerbos, but everyone). The Police are interested in hearing about people being threatened, harassed or intimidated. Even if they don’t press charges, a phone call to the owner of the car might stop them doing it again.
The thing is, I really like the word faggot. Not when it is spat at me by homophobes, but as a word I own and use for myself. The bestest thing, that makes me warm and gooey, is that when these dicks yell “faggot” at me they don’t know how right they are.
Yours with unrepentant faggalicious excess,