Pookies Is Not A Bear

What can he Lifebloom for you?

Yo, that’s gay May 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pookies @ 19:35

Matticus has made a post about Player A, who had Player B temporarily banned for calling Player A a “fag”.

This brings up a very interesting issue that I wrestle with everyday playing this game. You see, I’m gay. And I’m not really shy about it. As a result, all of my friends on Bonechewer and some of my guildmates do know about me.

In an environment such as an MMO where you have an unfathomable number of people assembled in one place, words are sure to be thrown around. The words “gay” and “fag” are staples.

I’ve had my friends ask me, “Geoff, doesn’t it bother you when people call things gay or call someone a fag? When are you going to stop putting up with it?”

Well, to be completely honest, it does bother me when people throw the words gay and fag around. But what’s a guy to do? I certainly don’t have the energy to blow every single offense out of proportion—I’d never have any downtime.

What I usually do is turn the situation into a joke. I see the trivialization of whatever concern prompted the use of the word “gay” or “fag” in the first place to be satisfying enough. Observe:

Guildie: Such and such a thing is SO GAY.
Pookies: I doubt it.
Pookies: My boss and I fawning over that new guy in accounting, now THAT’S gay.

(True story, BTW.)

… or …

Guildie: Man, Player C is such a fag.
Pookies: In those boots? Bitch, please.

These kinds of responses usually prompt laughter from the rest of the guild and shut the original speaker down. Hey, sometimes he/she even laughs along. And while what was originally said still isn’t right and that issue will never be truly addressed, the situation doesn’t get any worse. Ideal? Hardly. Realistic? Yes.

The bottom line here is that people have a right to get upset. Player A had every God-damned right to call a GM. In fact, I think it’s hilarious that he did and I hope it put Player B in his place. But I hope Player A also realizes that, no matter how offended we get by the things other people say and do, we really have to choose what battles we fight and how we fight them, because our reactions also bear consequences of their own. If Player A felt strongly about this one, then more power to him. I really hope it was worth it.


10 Responses to “Yo, that’s gay”

  1. Anna Says:

    This is one of those things that bugs me too – and I think, by far, that your response is the best I’ve heard for dealing with it. The person gets the point, without having hurt feelings, and the whole thing becomes funny. Good for you for picking your battles – I’m not sure I’ could have that self control 🙂

  2. Pookies Says:

    Thanks so much for your comment, Anna. 🙂 It isn’t always easy to keep a cool head in all situations, but I try to think about the irreversible damage that could be done if I just go apeshit on someone as opposed to trying to play it off as a joke. That usually makes the decision pretty easy, lol.

  3. queerunity Says:

    i just start saying “that is so straight” or “yuck so hetero” and people are like what that makes no sense. and then i retort well neither is thats so gay, and they get my point.


  4. Phaelia Says:

    I appreciate the aversion to derogatory words like “fag” and I’ve been trying to strike the insiduous “that’s gay” response from my day-to-day language because I can appreciate that it’s offensive.

    It’s surprising to see the word “fucktard” in the above post, though. That word, while receiving similarly common usage, has an infinitely worse connotation.

  5. Phaelia Says:

    I do think your way of handling situations like the above is a good one. It points out, “hey, I’m actually gay and I don’t think you understand what you’re saying.” I’m sure it diffuses the situation in a positive manner, too.

  6. Pookies Says:

    Thanks for calling me out on that Phaelia … I was really angry when I wrote this post, and I shouldn’t have said what I did. It was actually really hypocritical of me. I’ve edited my post, but I will, of course, leave your comment up (I realize that I can’t completely undo what I said!). Thanks for your comment. 🙂

    To queerunity: While that is a possible approach, I really prefer the “no one gets hurt” method of dealing with this … the last thing I want to do is create animosity between myself and my guild members!

  7. Aurik Says:

    Nice post – and very much what I was thinking when I read Matt’s article.

    It does irk me that people think it’s alright to use ‘fag’ or ‘gay’ appended to just about anything when using a racist or misogynistic comment in the same context would have people coming down on you like a tonne of bricks.

    I also, though, usually try to use a similar approach to that you use, gently prodding people with silly remarks when they append ‘is sooo gay’ to things. Though I sometimes really do get tired of hearing it over and over again I don’t think any remarks which are anti-hetero or generally nasty really work and, in the end, will just impact negatively on the whole issue.

    Luckily hardly anyone uses ‘fag’ over here except in the context of a cigarette 😉


  8. Pookies Says:

    I’m glad there are people who see eye to eye with me on this … thanks for dropping by, Aurik. 🙂

  9. Blake Says:

    Sort of reviving an old post here but found it after reading your Kara healing guide.

    Just wanna give a thumbs up to your approach. It’s something that crops up quite a lot in trade and even on our guild/officer chat, but unlike you i’ve not really bought it to anybody’s attention, partly through not wanting to create (as you said) potential animosity within the guild, but also through not actually having told most people about myself. It’s worth taking on board, so thanks.

    Good stuff mate.

  10. Pookies Says:

    I appreciate the comment, even if it’s on an older post. Take care. 🙂

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