“What Did You Just Call Me?”

Guest Writer: R. L. NORMAN

      A few weeks ago on a Saturday evening, I was with a couple of good friends on the subway train, on route to Dupont Circle here in D.C. Even though it was a chilly night in June, we decided to hang out at a neighborhood bar, the Fireplace. It’s the place we go to drink, meet and greet men.

      As we exited the train, I accidentally bumped into this guy as he was trying to get on. I turned and apologized, even though I thought no one was at fault, considering both the train and platform were crowded.

     “I’m sorry.” I said. “Excuse me.”

     The man looked dead at me. After hesitating, he said, “Hmmm, Faggot.”

      Honey, I was about to take off my earrings and beat that ass! However, my friends held me back. Then I looked down at my outfit of tight blue jeans and a sweat shirt that read “Sleeps Well With Others. “ You see, I figured he should have called me a whore before he called me a faggot! Go figure.

      As we left the metro and walked down P Street, one of my friends pointed to a guy walking across the street.

      Sarcastically, he said, “Look at that faggot.”

      As I looked at the guy, I will admit he was a little flamboyant and dressed in wild colors. And, he was switching like a woman as he proudly walked down the street with the air of confidence that some of us lack– but wish we had.

      He was a real man in his own right.  And that got me to thinking.

      Faggot, sissy, queen, butch queen, lipstick queen, bull dagger are some of the names we call each other within the gay community. These are the names that we call people who are different from us. These are the derogatory names that we call our fellow gay brothers and sisters. The same names that we would get upset over if a straight person called us that.

      Yes, let a so-called “non-gay” person call us one of those names–such as that guy calling me a faggot–and we’re ready to fight!   But then, we turn around and hurl those same so-called slurs toward our fellow brothers and sisters.

      But if you think about it, that’s just like the word “nigger.”  We can call each other that and think nothing of it. We say it to each other as a term of endearment to an extent. But let a non-black person say that and we are ready to fight.

      There are a lot of people who think that we shouldn’t call each other nigger because of the origin of the word. As we all know, that word goes back to the days of slavery. But here we are today, using it as a positive word. Honey, go figure.

      But why do we NOT use the words faggot or queen as a positive? Why do we feel the need to down our own gay brothers or sisters?  Why do we call each other those names and think it’s okay? Why do we judge each other? Aren’t we being judged enough by the so-called straight community?

      We in the gay community have enough problems to deal with without putting each other down.

     So, I think people should not judge someone for being more womanly or manly than ourselves. We should always accept our gay brothers and sisters for who they are; a strong confident man or woman. Not a faggot, sissy, queen, butch queen, lipstick queen, or bull dagger. If we use the word “nigger” as a term of endearment, we should do the exact same with the aforementioned words. Most of those people you are calling those names have more self-confidence in themselves than most of us have. They are just being themselves just like you are.

     Actually, you should be careful. First of all, someone may be calling you the same name that you just called someone for being gay and different. And secondly, the person that you called a name may be more of a man than you ever were–and more man than you’ll ever be.

     He might even make you assume the position. Face down, ass up.

     Honey, think about it.

R. L. Norman is a writer, performer and author of the popular series of novels entitled, “Honey Let Me Tell You.” The fourth and latest installment is “Love Is Complicated.” Currently, R. L. is finishing the sequel. As well, he performs “Norman’s One Night Stand,” a one-man show he conceived and wrote, showcasing the main character of his series. R. L. also is writing a play based on “Honey Let Me Tell You.” All of these endeavors are part of the production company he’s forming.  You may reach R. L. at his on line home, www.rlnorman1.wix.com/honeyletmetellyou; by email at: rlnorman@aol.com; on Facebook at RL NORMAN; on Twitter, @rl_norman; and on Instagram: rlnorman1.