Owen Welsh – "Faggot"

PYONG!
2

You pyonged “Owen Welsh – "Faggot"”

Save Note No Thanks
Follow
Caution: You are now annotating this song as

We know what they say about sticks and stones, and the word comparing me to a bundle of sticks that should never hurt me. The word that is shouted at me by men from behind the coward’s shield of two tons of steel riding four wheels, making damn sure I know I’m not welcome in their neighborhood. The word high school boys hung over my head to keep me from striding too pridefully down their hallways as if gays were welcome in their realm. The word… that I just shouldn’t let bother me so much.

But words are not impotent things. The same power in your favorite song whose lyrics move you to tears, the power that made your high school love letters more than just letters on the page, the power of your favorite novel to pull you to the edge of your chair with no rope or wind, is the same power that can break more than just my bones. Sticks and stones sit and moan that they can’t break a person as entirely as words can. Stones and sticks can miss their mark, but a man need not worry about aim or proximity when he can throw the word “faggot” at me. He can’t miss when he throws that stone.

And my fellow gays would throw this stone at me as if they were hurling harmless glitter to celebrate our commonality. And should I raise my arms to defend myself from the assault, I’m assured it’s alright because, “We’re taking it back!” Well I don’t want it back! What we’re taking back the battle cry of our own destruction, the rallying call of those who would happily see us wiped from their precious country. It cannot be taken back like stealing from the undeserving rich to give to the poor little queers downtrodden by their circumstances.

When you conjure syllables that call back to discrimination, you are not firing blanks. The word “faggot” is the warning shot that precedes the shots riddling the bodies of gay folks with hatred made metal penetrating their flesh. Maybe it’s the kind of hatred that packs pistols and looks for queers to kill, or maybe it’s the hatred they harbor in their own hearts for having to fear those killers their whole life. But either way, I refuse to wear the shell casings of the bullets that fell these gay men as accessories.

Edit the description to add:

  • Historical context: the work's place in history, how it was received
  • A summary of the work's overall themes (example: "Here, Byron evokes the classic struggle between virtue and temptation...")
  • A description of the work's overall style and tone
This text has been changed by someone else. Copy your work to your clipboard and click here to reload.