I’m not sure if it was a gasp that came out of my mouth or a sign of nausea when I read about this, nor will I know if anyone else will be as horrified and angry about this as I am, but we’ll see.
In the last issue of Details magazine, the one with John Mayer on the front, the magazine wrote an article entitled *ahem*, ‘The Rise of the Douchefag’. Okay, so already I’m cringing because that word has such direct negative connotations to it, but then I read what this article is all about. Apparently the premise is, that there are gays, and then there are ‘douchfags’. What? Yeah. So apparently they were trying to be witty saying that a man who “saves up for calfskin briefcase” is gay, but one who “saves up for calf implants” is a …*cringe* …douchefag.
The article goes on further to make further unfunny comparisons between someone who is, let’s say, normal gay, and one who is, let’s say, over-the-top gay according to the magazine.
Well front and center in the middle of the article were amazing Project Runway designer and fierce tranny Christian Siriano with his DJ BF Brad Walsh. Well Walsh right from the beginning was having absolutely none of it, Tweeting about the fact that a magazine referred to him as a ‘fag’, and that it was a ‘homophobia’.
“i don’t mind someone thinking i’m a douchebag or calling me gay. opinion and fact. but calling me ‘fag,’ even if OUT [Magazine] did it, is not right.”
So then Details gets wind of this controversy and changes the online version to the title “Rise of the Gay Douchebag’. Like it makes a difference now right? The proof of this insulting homophobia is in print forever! So Queerty decides to go right to the source and ask Walsh what he thought of all this going on, and he gave this statement:
A friend showed me the article, and in the print version I didn’t really understand why the photo of me and Christian was there. It’s not really explained. But in the online version of the article, they refer to Christian as a stereotypical gay “always with a pocket square” (though he’s not wearing one in the photo, and doesn’t ever wear them), and me as the “douchefag” who is “always with a pocket gay.” I’m not sure why the fact that my boyfriend is shorter than I am is funny. I think it’s a flimsy joke to begin with. But calling me a “gay douchebag” is fine. I am gay, and they are allowed to think I am a douchebag. That’s their opinion. It’s the use of the word “douchefag” that I have a problem with. I don’t appreciate any magazine referring to me as a “fag.” I don’t like that word. I wouldn’t be happy with a primarily gay publication calling me “fag” either. If OUT Magazine called me a fag I would be just as upset. It’s not appropriate, and it is offensive, and you’d think on the eve of 2010 that would be clear by now. It’s a dumb article, and it really stretches to be funny. But that’s their choice. If they have no valuable content and need to fill two pages with an unfunny listicle of stereotypes, that’s their problem as a dying magazine. But why call, me “fag” in the process? I know it’s a tired point nowadays, but really, imagine if they had done the exact same article about black people, and included a punny interpretation of the “N” word. Would never ever have gone to print. It seems like they were trying for controversy for attention, and unfortunately, some people think that while making fun of race is off limits, making fun of sexuality is acceptable.
I’m just in awe and shock and disgust, that a popular magazine would even for one iota of a second, think that it would be okay on any terms to use the word ‘fag’, let alone to CREATE a new negative word like ‘douchfag’ to refer to anyone in the gay community. Hell, this isn’t even a GAY issue. If this was a new hateful word to refer to any group of people I’d be as pissed.
Listen. Here’s the thing. Gay, straight, bi, black, white, brown, yellow, tall, short, thin, fat, WHO CARES! Why is the entire world obssessed with labelling people and putting everyone into categorized boxes. Everyone is a human being and deserves to live their life exactly how they want to. This whole, ‘calfskin’ or ‘calf implant’ thing is just about the [email protected]#ing dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. They’re both decisions that have nothing to do with being labelled, with your sexuality, or anyone elses business for that matter. How dare somebody think that someone is over-the-top gay for ANYTHING THEY DO. And yes, I do think it’s homophobia for publishing the article. Not only is the subject matter HORRENDOUS, not funny, and boy do I ever feel like me and my community are being laughed AT not WITH, but the entire use of a word that has been known for holding ‘hate’ in it’s one syllable, would never, has never, and WILL never be acceptable in any form. It’s a hateful unnecessary word.
If you think that this word needs to be ‘taken back’ to remove the taboo from it, go find another venture. I think you’re an idiot point blank. It will never be acceptable for a black person to be called the ‘N’ word, despite attempts to call each other that word to remove the taboo from it. Some things are just too hatefully charged to be repairable. Go find something positive to do, instead of throwing a word around that offends more people than not in your quest to be controversial.
Details must have a large management team that obviously knew what they were doing when they printed this magazine. They probably had a lot of chances to take it back before it went to print, and they didn’t. Will I pick up the magazine ever again? Not a chance in hell.