“The FAGS are back” – Are the haters too?

Luis Bahena

LIVE AND LEARN
By Luis Bahena

It’s hard for me to look at a big white poster with the word FAG on it and not get a reaction.

Does it matter if it’s in a poorly made poster that looks like it was vandalized? Maybe?

Even still, the word resonates in my brain and I have to wonder. I have to take a closer look at the poster and quench my inquisitive mind’s thirst and find out what this is all about. And so after reading a few e-mails and discussing it with my fellow staff workers I figure out what the poster is actually saying.

FAGS, or as the former LGBTSU (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Student Union) is now called, I was a little shocked. Of course, they’re not just calling themselves FAGS, it’s an acronym for the newly selected name of the club organization more properly named The Fellowship of Associated Gay Students.

Having thought about the name change and acronym, I was perplexed, allured, torn and proud, yet at the same time slightly defensive.

Sure, it ‘s a known fact that many words have double standards. Words that can be hurtful are often at times okay with peer groups and circles. Among my friends and in my home, the use of bad, offensive words are used on a daily basis. Our favorite being “bitch!” We don’t mean to offend anyone, and one might gasp at our nonchalance in the use of the word, but as said, it’s used among my circle of friends.

I wanted to find out more about the poster and of course the answer to the obvious question, why the name change?

I can’t really say that I was offended at the use of the word considering I’m not easily offended, but I know that I did question it, and even raised an eyebrow.

To change the name of a club to reflect a word that has been used to impact negativity and hate just seemed so wrong to me. Yet I had to applaud the gents that had the balls to make such a change. And such a statement too!

To empower a word that has been used to promote hate certainly has a response of irony for me. How ironic that those who have been called a fag in the past in a context of hate have turned that around and empowered their group by identifying themselves as FAGS.

It almost feels as is they’re saying, “Yeah, where here, we’re queer, deal with it.”

I do abide by specific morals and ethics and I still have to question, why change the name? In a society where progress is happening, where people are moving forward in various ways, I think use of the word feels like a step back.

I have to admit that I am torn. Perhaps it was the poster that did it for me? I mean come on. If you’re going to make a statement, make it worth it. Make it pop.

The poster failed. I personally thought that the poster looked like crap. For a club to make such a statement with their new name change, I would’ve thought that they would really make it stand out with a magnificently made poster. I don’t mean to pick on stereotypes, but aren’t the gays usually known for their natural knowledge of style and “fabulousness?”

As Nina Garcia from Project Runway often says, “It was poorly executed!”

So much to ponder, so many questions to ask. I will definitely be attending the first club meeting. I’ll salute them on this, they sure know how to raise one’s curiosity.

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Luis Bahena is City Times’ feature editor