In which The Gay Recluse is vexed.
Lately we’ve been thinking about how much we still kinda h8 the words ‘gay’ and ‘queer.’ Though we know that many in ‘the community’ consider this a ‘settled issue’ — and perhaps this is a vestige of our own self-h8red, which is not small by any measure — we still generally feel uncomfortable identifying with either term beyond the most perfunctory shorthand, like when d-bags in the locker room are talking about how they want to ‘bone some broad’ and they look in our direction for validation we’re like ‘stfu — we’re gay.’
We went to dictionary.com and looked up gay:
1. having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music.
2. bright or showy: gay colors; gay ornaments.
3. given to or abounding in social or other pleasures: a gay social season.
4. licentious; dissipated; wanton: The baron is a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies. [Ed. wait — what?]
6. of, indicating, or supporting homosexual interests or issues: a gay organization.
If you’re like us, none of these definitions remotely captures anything about your life, except maybe numbers five and six, to the extent that it’s synonymous with “non-heterosexual.” But as we all know, “homosexual” is a scientific term invented in the late 1800s and thus cannot be used without sounding like you’re an animal in the zoo, e.g., “Yall, let’s get a grant to study the homosexuals! We heard that they have enlarged brains/thumbs/swirly hairdos/six-packs!”
So what about queer?
1. strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different; singular: a queer notion of justice.
2. of a questionable nature or character; suspicious; shady: Something queer about the language of the prospectus kept investors away.
3. not feeling physically right or well; giddy, faint, or qualmish: to feel queer.
4. mentally unbalanced or deranged.
5. Slang/Disparaging and Offensive a. homosexual. b.effeminate; unmanly.
6. Slang bad, worthless, or counterfeit.
We understand the idea of ‘reclaiming your identity’ — kinda like how all the kids on the subway call each other ‘nigga’ — but do you srsly want to be called queer? We don’t! (Might be ‘too old’.) ‘Columbia University has excellent academic programs in Nigga Studies and Queer Studies?’ What makes one soooo much more ‘acceptable’ than the other?
While many of you may or may not agree, in either case we suspect you’d like to challenge us to come up with something better. After all, these terms have many decades of history/study behind them, and it’s possible to envision a day 100,000 years in the future when they might be entirely divorced from the superficial/derogatory meanings from which they originally arose.
Our solution is vexed.
1. irritated; annoyed: vexed at the slow salesclerks.
2. much discussed or disputed: a vexed question.
3. tossed about, as waves.
4 [Proposed as of 2k9]. non-heterosexual.*
*Although we don’t ever endorse the use of adjectives as nouns except in an ironic context — ‘the gays were upset that Madonna/Cher/Britney canceled her tour’ — we propose the alternate form ‘vext’ to allow for similar uses, e.g., ‘the vexts lobbied hard in Albany/DC yet achieved nothing despite Democratic majorities in both houses.’
Seriously, how much more ’empowering’ and — especially w/r/t definition number three — poetic is ‘vexed’ than any other alternative? It’s basically like saying: ‘Don’t fuck with me/us,’ while maintaining a certain and appropriate degree of intelligence and impatience (but not anger or violence, which we don’t support) for mainstream convention that frankly needs to be a hallmark going forward in any interaction with those str8s who don’t ‘get it.’
Try it out. ‘Yall, don’t talk bullshit to me about _____! I’m vexed!’ In politics. ‘Yall should be able to ‘get married’ if you’re vexed.’ Or for students of literature: ‘Marcel Proust was the best novelist of all-time; not coincidentally, like most great novelists except during the dark ages from 1945 to 2010 — he was vexed.’ Note also that ladies are equally welcome to be vexed, and won’t be appropriating a tired old term like gay, which inevitably makes them (as usual) second-class citizens on the gender front.
We are not gay or queer.
We are tossed about, as waves.
We are vext.
Filed under: Dissonance, Drivel, Gay, History, Language, Quotes, Resignation, Ruins, Science, Search, Sickness | 15 Comments
Tags: Queer, Vexed, Vext