What’s the big deal, right? It’s just a word.
How can three little letters do so much damage? We even use it as a term of endearment among friends within the LGBTQA community sometimes. We probably shouldn’t, but we do.
It’s certainly not being used as a term of endearment when I’m standing in my front yard where I display a rainbow flag, and cars drive by and passengers yell it at me.
It wasn’t a term of endearment when it was yelled, followed by a beer bottle thrown at my partner’s head many years ago. Many of our trans brothers and sisters weren’t feeling the love as they lay on the ground, being kicked, punched and left for dead.
(Back row, left to right) Saul Caplan (Branch Rickey), Robert Culpepper (Clancy Hope), Edward Hill (Paul Robeson), (front row, left to right) Robert-Wayne Waldron (Joe Louis), Shaun Diggs (Jackie Robinson), and Franklin Johnson (Bill “Bojangles” Robinson) comprise the cast of the Dayton Theatre Guild’s production of “Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting” slated Jan. 24-Feb. 9. CRAIG ROBERTS/CONTRIBUTED
It wasn’t endearment on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming, for Matthew Shepard as he was beaten and tied to a fence.
Maybe losing one’s job for their words isn’t an appropriate punishment for people like Thom Brennaman. Maybe they should spend some time talking to gay teens who have attempted suicide, or families of dead members of our LGBTQA community whose lives were violently taken. Maybe if they could see the results of their words, they might actually change who they are, not just apologize for PR damage control.
Robert Waldron owns Catering By Rob! He is vice president of the Greater Dayton LGBT Center board.