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Smear the Queer

November 17, 2013

When I was little, my brother and I, along with our neighborhood friends, used to play a game called Smear the Queer. Really. For those of you who don’t know this game, it’s a real thing. I like a lot the Urban Dictionary definition, actually, because it does make a case for how the game is not inherently homophobic, but some of the definitions are deeply flawed.

1) I knew plenty of girls who played this game growing up.

2) When I played this game, I knew “queer” in the LGBTQ sense. While the UD explanation discusses the bravery required to voluntarily become the next queer, I have to respectfully disagree that it is not a homophobic reference. For me, I understood the game to be “gang up on the one who’s different, beat the ever living hell out of them if you catch them, and if they give up the ball before we catch them, call them a fucking queer and sissy faggot girl for being a chicken.” That last part, especially, is left out of the UD definition.

Because here’s the thing – growing up, I was homophobic (I may have previously mentioned this).  I don’t know how it happened, how I came to understand what gay meant in the first place, but I hated that my older brother constantly made me the “queer.” He and our “friends” would constantly force the role on me, call me a faggot or beat me up, and keep at it until I’d leave, crying. Then they’d play whatever game they actually wanted to play. I suppose it was just a cultural norm in my small, Italian, Roman Catholic community. I remember being on a family vacation and seeing a gay couple at the beach when I was about 9 or 10. I made fun of them. I was an absolute little shit.

What goes around comes around, hey?

Every day, I feel like I should be doing something to raise genderqueer awareness. But I don’t want to have to. Because I’m still a scared little shit. In particular, you know what I want? I want some fucking pronouns, dammit. For the love of god, just use “they” and “them” since a) people are doing it all them time because we lack a third person gender neutral pronoun and having to say “he or she” all the time is a pain in the ass and b) if we can use “you” as both singular and plural second person pronouns, why the HELL can’t we use “them” for the blessedly gender neutral third person singular and plural?

Stupid ass outdated prescriptivist grammarians. You can all suck it, where it is my unclear antecedent. Fuck you.

And for your entertainment: Lous CK on “faggots”

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From → rants

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