Pejorative or Not

Pejorative: - are words or grammatical forms that connote negativity and express contempt or distaste. A term can be regarded as pejorative in some social groups but not in others.

This is something we hear a lot about and in particular over the last few years it has been about the N**** word in relation to African Americans. In Australia it has become an issue with the local Indigenous where in my youth they were referred to as Aboriginals, then it was Indigenous Australian’s and now it’s just plain confusing. Talking to people in the local Aboriginal/Indigenous community it all depends on who you talk to their take on the right term.

But for now I want to talk about my take on words that affect those of us who are gay and the general weirdness of pejorative words and phrases or the perception of pejoratives.

Fag, poof, fairy, fruit, homo are some of the words that people may or may not have a problem with. Personally I have zero problem with any of them. Why? Because they are only words. how they are used is another matter. I think there are many words out there that can be delivered or received in a derogatory way but they can also be used in a joking manner or as a term of endearment. So I have no problem being referred to as a fag or queer or any of them. If someone uses the term with the intent to put down or insult than I have a problem with it. But other than that why would I get offended by someone who had no intent to upset me.

In this day and age people get so upset about the words they use. Political correctness rules. But it’s sad that we have become so negative about words without looking at the context. I saw someone the other day use the word queer as a term that describes all who fall into the gay spectrum and got shot down even though it was not said in a nasty way or with any derogatory intent. Then yesterday I was listening to a podcast of a woman who uses the term to describe herself because she feels that she doesn’t fit into the gay, lesbian, bi labels.

Even though I know my views on this will bring with it ridicule from some, I really feel that we have just lost the ability to accept people and what they say by the intent with which they deliver it and their individual character. People have become way too precious about things that are not that important. I’ve heard the argument that particular words shouldn’t be used because they produce a negative image. But really a word won’t be considered negative if it’s used in a positive way for a while. Get over it and be part of the change for good rather than perpetuate the negative.

I am not going to ramble about this, I just wanted to say my piece.