It’s not gay because it’s gay

November 5, 2011 in General

So I woke up this morning and realised I was still raging at the fact that Odd future got pulled from the Big Day Out. To re-cap, Calum Bennachie wrote a letter which got people to sign petitions to get Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All banned from playing the festival and now the Odd Future fans are fighting back with a petition of their own. I have a few things I’d like to get off my chest right now though.

I know that OFWGKTA do use the word ‘faggot’ a lot. As a lesbian I understand the fact that the word has so much power. For years we have lived in fear of the power that these words have because let’s face it, back then when you called someone a faggot, everyone thinks they mean that person is gay and when they find out you’re gay, shit gets real! That was back then. The world is much more of an accepting place now. There may be a few people who are still homophobic, just like there are still a few people who are still racist, but the general population, their ways of thinking have changed. I think ‘faggot’ and ‘nigger’ are terms which are similar to each other. Nigger used to be a derogatory term to call the black community and now the meaning of the word has evolved to different things. To some it still means the same thing, some use it as a word to call their friends and others can use it in sentences like “He a broke as niggah!” One of my favourite rappers and producers once said that the black people took the fear out of that word. He said they took the negative power that word had and changed it to something else. I understand that so many fought for our rights and acceptance but what we gotta realise, just like the black community realised, is that the way people thought 50 years ago, or even 10 years ago, is not how people think now. Straight people, gay people, the new generation have transformed these words and disarmed them. Look at the word ‘gay’ for example. It use to mean happy, then it meant homo, now it means gay, or stupid, or boring. The thing is that the hate behind that word is slowly dissolving. Odd Future’s use of words such as faggot and nigger I find does not hate toward either of the communities and they use these words being African American themselves and having a lesbian in the group who she herself do not find their lyrics homophobic.

But that’s not the only issue that’s in play here. They talk about rape and murder and all that jazz. If we are to ban a band that talks about these things then we should ban movies that come into the country which have similar context. Why is everybody taking OFWGKTA’s lyrics so literally? I’m pretty sure that if these are really what they want to do then they should be arrested right now because they talk about raping Taylor Swift and stabbing Bruno Mars. This group write their lyrics like a screen writer or a novelist would. If you have had a chance to read other interviews of the band, they actually say that what they write is what runs through their heads. Tyler the Creator, one of the rappers in Odd Future, once said that he writes about murder because he is interested in serial killers right now. I agree that rape, homophobia and murder are not issues to take lightly but we need to realise that this band are story tellers. If we think they should be banned then I would like to start a petition to ban horror/gore movies, action movies and drama movies that involve rape.

I know many in the community will not agree with what I have to say. In all honesty I was never worried about homophobia when they said Odd Future was coming. Now that they are banned I actually am. The homophobics have now been given ammo to blame the gays for something new and the general public are also getting pretty upset that “the LGBT community got the group banned”. Hip hop music is a complex genre and some people don’t understand it. I find that a lot of the people who complained about Odd Future are not necessarily people who listen to hip hop music therefore I believe they don’t have an understanding of the music genre. To me, a person can quote countless books on the issue they support but it doesn’t mean that you understand both sides of the topic you are talking about. I may not use big words and it is a little hard for me write things academically but for this issue, I understand both sides and I still feel like this was an unnecessary thing to do. BTW, since Odd Future is now doing a solo show and I can’t afford both, I could barely afford Big Day Out before, can someone give me a ticket? lol
It’s not gay because it’s gay

24 Comments

    1. patrick graham says:

      okay if words don’t hurt write a response to this young woman’s video and tell her she is mistaken

      vapid argument really isn’t it , she’s so wrooooonnnggg
      according to you

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37_ncv79fLA

    2. lesbotron says:

      I never said words dont hurt. I myself have been through the bullying. What I’m trying to say is that think about the context that these words are used for. Its not about the gay population. Neither is it about the blacks or Asians or whites. I just feel we are so scared of the stigma that comes with these words. If there is something we need to teach the youth its that these words are only hurtful if you let it be hurtful.

      • Hamish says:

        I feel disappointed when GLBT ppl go into bat with the ‘words change over time and gay doesn’t mean gay now’ line.
        That and the nigger analogy is just way off. Compare nigger to queer maybe, in a reclaimed for power sorta way sure. But a guy rapping hateful lyrics, using fag
        ‘cos it hurts’ is completely the opposite.

    3. Anna says:

      I’m lesbian and i love ODD FUTURE have people not heard of irony or post modernism? I mean Sid the kid who makes beats for OFWGKTA is lesbian herself…. how the fuck can she be termed homophobic? This is Art if yu dont like it dont watch/listen to it… you have responsibility for yourself.. take it.

    4. tony says:

      If people want to express homophobic opinions that’s one thing. They’re stupoid to do so but if they want to be stupid then that’s their privilege. But let’s not put them on a stage and celebrate them eh? And let’s not shell out public funds to underwrite their activities either

      • Anna says:

        But this isn’t even right? this gig has been cancelled in the name of GLBTC which is not even ACCURATE because a large portion of OFWGKTA fans identify themselves as being GLBT… I myself one of them.. what enrages me is that music I love and respect has been pulled out from a show I already paid money for (to see ODD FUTURE) in the name of a community I am a part of! I mean I’m also a woman and if I took personally every lyric that ‘degrades’ females… then I’d be crying everyday of my life I hear the radio! And largely be left with very few songs to enjoy… I mean Its stupid… people have different tastes in music and art and they should be able to choose who they appreciate.. The BDO is a festival after all… nobody is forced to see a group they don’t like.. they can go to some other stage.. or take a fucking toilet break… I don’t like that a small few can ruin it for many… its a corrupt system, there is no democracy.. there was no dialogue… This is the same bullshit people did with Eminem and Marilyn Manson… Music is a form of Art.. and good music (like Art) tends to be controversial… and there is a transvaluation of wordplay at work in most modern music… Like the word gay, queer, Nigger or Cunt.. faggot too is undergoing a transformation.. words are being disarmed through re appropriation. as a lesbian woman (like Sid the Kid from Odd Future) I believe in a world of free speech and free thought.. if people want to censor then they need to take personal responsibility and censor their own selves… if you don’t like something choose not to witness it. The only backlash I can see coming from this is uninformed people assuming ALL GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL and TRANS-GENDER people HATE ODD FUTURE which is wholly INCORRECT.. and therefore propagating unnecessary drama.

    5. OFWGKTA NZ says:

      What the hell??? Why the fuck would you get Odd Future banned!!! There my favorite musicians in the world? Ive been waiting for them to come to new zealand for over a year now. I all ready bought Big Day Out ticket just to see them, you ruined my life. If you dont like them.. good!! Your not the one that has to go to there concert and listen to them DUMBASS. Your just a angry old bitch with no life so you have to ruin other peoples.. I dont have a problem with gay people neither does Odd Future or tyler the creator.. I seriously hope you get hit by a fucking train. FUCK YOU!

      • OFWGKTA NZ says:

        And even if they did hate gay people (Witch they dont) Seriously. What in the world does it have to do with you?? You dont even have to listen to there music.. It makes no sense. You must hate your life so much and be so disgusted with your own existence that you have to try make everyone else angry and hate life like you obviously do. People like you make me sick.. That you just assume you know a group of people that you never have met or had a conversation with so good that you get them banned for hundreds maybe thousands of fans that would of been glad to see Odd Future play at Big Day Out..

        • lesbotron says:

          Dear OFWGKTA NZ if you read the blog correctly you would notice that I also am upset that Odd Future got cancelled.

          Plus with you saying if they did hate gays it has nothing to do with me? It freaking does coz I’m gay myself. When Beanie man was coming I signed that petition because he is openly homophobic. I understood that his words were against gays and encouraged people to hate. Do you know how many people kill themselves for being bullied coz people like beanieman encourage it.

          There’s a difference between odd future and Beanie man. I loveodd future and I’m upset too.

    6. Anna says:

      “i believe that marriage isn’t
      between a man & woman
      but between love and love” from “we all try” by Frank Ocean (member of OFWGKTA) so tell me…. is that hateful? is that homophobic?

    7. patrick graham says:

      your logic is flawed… how is faggot said by this group any different to faggot used as a bullying word.

      really you haven’t thought anything through.
      good on you for accepting heterosexist arguments that there use of faggot is okay because they have a lesbian in their group.

      How can you differentiate between the usage.

      You yourself are beginning to sound like “the gay best friends” bigots like to troll out to justify their hate.

      so if you think that it’s okay for odd future to use these words, you can tell the young woman in that video to “harden up”, cause they are only words…

      • Anna says:

        Clearly this is generational… words have literally changed meaning.. I would be interested in knowing the ages of people discussing this matter.. because it is safe to say an older person will be more emotionally affected by use of words like Faggot or Nigger or Cunt etc than those of us who have literally been raised in a postmodern world and language has (whether you want to accept this or not) changed… faggot itself originally meant kindling sticks/twigs for burning… Cunt was the original Anglo-Saxon word for vagina.. gay too originally had a different meaning just a couple of generations ago to the one we apply it with today… There is nothing flawed in an argument that clearly points out how language changes over time. It does. Have you listened to any of Odd Futures work at all? For instance The Jet age of tomorrow, or Frank Ocean.. I would suggest you start here “we all try” By Frank Ocean (member of OFWGKTA) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqo_XgtGf8U

    8. patrick graham says:

      I also invite you to post under this video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Pb1CaGMdWk

      and tell this young man to harden up because faggot doesn’t mean anything bad… oh sorry you can’t because he killed himself after being called faggot and worse on a daily basis

    9. Scar says:

      From reading the article and the comments above mine, it is quite clear that people are not aware of Tyler the Creator’s attitude towards lesbian women and the disrepect he shows their identities.

      Tegan and Sara, noted lesbian singer/songwriters called out Odd Future for their language and receieved this response from Tyler:
      “If Tegan and Sara Need Some Hard Dick, Hit Me Up!”

      I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like someone I’d want to praise for his inclusiveness with regard to gender and sexual minorities.

      • Anna says:

        Yeah they called him out for his language.. what did they expect?.. Like you up there telling me about a fucking hyphen… like it matters… like its breaking your fucking heart… Its condescending, passive-aggressive behaviour that just out and out attracts sarcastic response… I can tell you right now as a lesbian woman I’m not going to let people like YOU antagonise me from your high horse like you are more superior to me because you have invested a great deal of your time researching various forms of feminist theory.. I am LESBIAN, I AM A FEMINIST, AND I LOVE ODD FUTURE.. This does not make me less of a lesbian, or feminist, or woman… than any hating on OFWGKTA it just means we have different opinions, probably different ideologies… and that’s OK with me… Be who you want to be… I do not adhere to YOUR idea of social constructs or YOUR emotional response to them.. Take personal responsibility.. form your own opinion.. I have listened to their entire discography.. have you Scar?

        • Scar says:

          I don’t see why calling someone on their problematic language justifies them invalidating and attacking your sexual identity.
          Perhaps you could explain to me why it’s okay to knee-jerk at people with immature and spiteful comments when they make reasonable and appropriate commentary on the language you use?

          (The comment about the hyphen was purely to educate/inform, by the way; there was zero social commentary or even the slightest indication of how it may or may not affect my ‘heart’)

          I gather from your response that general disagreement is fair reason to attack other people; so I’m guessing you won’t take offence if I were to use deeply homophobic language to refer to your person?
          Or would that be wholly unacceptable?
          (For the record, I don’t think it would be acceptable under ANY circumstances to use slurs to refer to you).

          I also think it is hypocritical to ask me to listen to the collected frothing rantings of Odd Future before I can pass judgement on them, yet you’re happy to pass heavy judgement on me after scanning a couple of pages of my blog – and not reading the entirety of all 120 posts.
          (Ironically, my blog is free, whereas I’m unwilling to part with cash to listen to the collected works of Odd Future, due to not wanting to support their work).

          • Scar says:

            If you find my comments antagonistic, then it’s best if I leave the discussion.

          • Chaz says:

            I was led to believe there was something clever about Odd Future, but his response to those Lesbian artists was so abhorrent it lost them any chance they had of gaining new fans or respect from people. If you are going to respond to someone calling you out on the use of that language, at least have the decency to explain it and make them be the ones who look silly – instead, turning to insults is nothing more than being a bully – not exactly great role model material.

    10. Craig says:

      Lesbotron, I agree with you on this subject for anti-censorship reasons. It’s called ‘media effects theory’, and what it means is that there are more causes than just the alleged effects of media (or in this case, Odd Future’s lyrics) behind antisocial and violent behaviour.

      I think one solution to this would be to have out LGBT rappers and hiphop artists sing about how homophobia and transsphobia poison our lives and how we don’t have to put up with this crap anymore. And diss Odd Future right back!

    11. Chaz says:

      Personally, I have no problem with Odd Future playing a solo gig in Auckland where their fans who know their music can choose to go and see them.

      Big Day Out has all kinds of pop/rock acts and attracts a teen audience (albeit 15+), I don’t think it’s the right place for them to have these kinds of lyrics flying around. As adults, we can appreciate that certain words have different meanings or that it’s some kind of comment on society, but when you’re still in your mid-teens and you may be hearing these words used hatefully towards you at school and then hear them at an event like this on stage – what kind of message does that send?

      I don’t think this is a case of extreme censorship or PC gone mad, banning them from playing in NZ at all would be that.

    12. Craig Young says:

      Incidentally, does anyone remember the LA Zombie case earlier this year during the OutTakes film festival? I seem to remember the Society for Promotion of Community Standards arguing that our freedom of expression should be interfered with in *that* context.

It’s not gay because it’s gay

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