Queer as Folk

I was bullied from the moment I first flounced through the school gates. Nothing physical, you understand. That would be unseemly at a traditional grammar school with a 400-year-old charter granted by the Virgin Queen. Besides, beatings were reserved for the teachers to dish out. I suppose I hardly helped my cause by being a bit lippy and totally rubbish at rugby.

Poofter, bumboy, shirt-lifter, homo, pansy, bender – you name it, I got called it, often accompanied by a teapot impersonation. We all fell about at that one. Kids can be cruel and the cruellest jibe of all was the word ‘queer’. Back in the buttoned-up seventies it was the nasty label of choice – in the playground, on the street, in the pub, in the redtops, on the box, everywhere. I hated it. I still do.

But we’re all queer now, apparently. It’s all queer this, queer that. I get the point, I really do – turning a negative into a positive can be incredibly empowering; just like me perking my pansies. And I can see the convenience of a one-word-fits-all. But who got to decide? Whoever it was didn’t bother to ask me. So just for the record, I’m not queer, I’m gay. God knows I earned that right. End of.

5 thoughts on “Queer as Folk

  1. It’s weird, my 18 year old and all his friends use it as if it’s no biggie. In fact they couldn’t believe my horror when I first heard it, after all these years. And I think that’s the thing – it’s been non grata for so long, the youngsters now don’t even know it was ever as bad as it was.

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    1. Forgive them for they know not what they do. I’m just an old fart who wants to be asked before I get relabelled. It’s the polite thing to do 😉

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