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07 Apr 2006

Words
I sometimes browse this forum because my son is gay and I find many comments here insightful. Following on from post 333 I notice (and respect) your indignation at the term 'moffie'. My son has used terms I would have thought offensive to gay people, including fag, queer, queen and moffie when he speaks to his friends. My questions then are:
1) Is it OK for gay people to use these terms themselves when speaking to other gay people?
2) I have heard that some gay people have claimed back the word queer; while this terms was previously offensive, the fact that many gay people have started using it, by for example talking of queer rights or queer theory, has made the term more acceptable and has also removed the negative value of the word. Would it be possible to somehow claim back the word moffie, away from straight people, to negate the stigma associated with it?
I look forward to your responses.
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Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
gay, lesbian and bisexual expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi Dad and thanks for your interesting question. I think you have posted before?

Certainly some gay people do use terms, when speaking to each other, that they would find offensive if used by heterosexuals. The emotional response to a word is often determined by the context of use.

The word queer has become acceptable, but again subject to context. We do speak of queer rights, queer literature, even queer studies (as opposed to 'gender studies') and queer culture (I'm not always sure of that one). The term moffie is not offensive to everyone, particularly in some parts of the Western Cape where being gay is often associated with drag, but most people find it very offensive. I'm not sure how we could go about changing the value of the word 'moffie' - any ideas anyone?
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