Columnists in the metropolitan glossy magazines aimed at metrosexuals (as opposed to mere homosexuals, or bisexuals) have been, for some time, chewing the fat about the use of the word ‘gay’. Apparently it is, (or was), all the rage in school playgrounds. And other places where young persons gather. ‘Gay’ is used to describe anything limp, or second rate, or just plain bad. What is worse, middle class kids are using the word in this manner. This is a dreadful insult to us… queers. ..And there lies upstart’s problem. We, non-heterosexuals, have ‘reclaimed’ the formerly, in the ‘Anglosphere’ anyway, most grosSeand insulting word used to describe us. Why is it illicit for young people who have probably never heard the word ‘queer’ used in the old, coarse manner, and are not benders themselves, to reclaim the word ‘gay’?. The English language is flexible mainly because it is something of a shotgun marriage between two disparate tongues. English as she is spoke in
The twee phrase ‘gated community’ is a poIitism for a kind of ghetto, a place where the very rich gather for their own protection (and that of their goodSeand gains -well-gotten, or otherwise). It is also the reason why boys (and some girls, mostly complete innocents) who should be running Scout and Guide troops are being shot and killed on a regular basis. An element of racism, real and inverted, has been introduced into this because most of these children have been ‘West Indian’, as even third generation Londoners are described by the media. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows quite well that this cohort of ‘immigrants’ have become not’ British’ but specifically English. They are responding to the same stimuli as the men who got obscene ‘bonuses’ in The City [the ‘square mile of
That may sound an oddly pompous way to describe such people, just remember that generations of sound chaps (George Orwell’s father, for example) administered the trade in opium between the proudly-entitled ‘British India’ and
It’s true to say that the cohort who use ‘gay’ as ‘not good’ have been joined by the likes of Chris Moyles (seen on the telly being ‘interviewed’ by CharIotte Church and behaving like a dirty old man whose wa*k’ fantasy has just come true). That’Sean extremely coarse image – but we are not ashamed of using it – he iSean element of the coarsening of English, or metropolitan, culture made flesh. (Lots of it.) The metrosexual glossies are also affected by this style. Their columnists bemoan the use of ‘gay’ as a put-down, but the word ‘c*nt’ is scattered throughout them like confetti. And it is used as a much more crude ‘adult’ form of put-down, than kids using gay’.
We are ‘right to be worried by this trend to use a word with which we chose to describe ourselves (apart from having sexual connotations since it entered the language in Plantagenet times, it usefully contained the acrostic Good As You’) being used aSean insult. But we clearly have the odd mote in our collective eye. This is not (more’s the pity) a Gay Liberationist call to the barricades but if we cleaned up our own act it might encourage others to clean up theirs.