Comments

  1. brian says

    Vanity Fair is a homophobic publication. I stopped purchasing it years ago. It’s run by liberal Democrats with an aversion to male homosexuality.

  2. Pedro says

    Personally I think Glee sucks…But this Berk guy is just a gray-haired middle-aged loser who has a job that won’t exist in a decade, when I’m 29. Nobody my age gives a flying f$#k, what an aging hipsters like him thinks anyway! Most people over 35 make me want to puke…DIE ALREADY!

  3. Rob says

    I guess he has just as much right to “take it back” as we have to be offended by it. just becuz he’s gay doesn’t mean its ok for him to use that word.

  4. Grover Underwood says

    I guess the article was trying to be hip. Not sure because it was a struggle to read-poorly written and just asinine. I’m not even sure if “fag” is a word that we want to reclaim. Using it just makes him sound jealous that he’s not one of the “party-fags” whomever they may be.

  5. jaragon says

    As far as the musical number I thought it was a bit of a mess- the use of the f-word in the review just some idiot trying to sound hip but failing.

  6. Sargon Bighorn says

    Yeah Jaragon, I think you nailed it. Trying to be “hip” never works. “Hey Faggot” went out years ago when Dan Savage dropped it as his allowed salutation on his advice column.

  7. Amy Pace says

    It seems like a pretty clear appropriation of the term to me. The article is clearly written by, about, and for queer individuals. If it can’t be claimed and used as empowering in an article like that, can it ever?

  8. Amy Pace says

    Further, isn’t he saying that the production of the scene to imply heterosexuality fails? He’s saying, even with the intentionally placed female fans to assert heteronormativity onto the scene, it still reads as queer. He’s saying: this is still a queer moment, regardless of the ladies. Pretty unquestionably pro-queer statement, if you ask me.

  9. Larry says

    The use of the “F” word should be off limits. Just like the “N” word.
    Now as far as this writer being gay, well shame on him and his publication. He was obviously trying to sound hip, which just makes him indicative of the problem.
    Now whether or not you care for Glee, my first suggestion is to lighten up. We need to appreciate the boldness of including these gay teenage characters and giving them more than “gay best friend of the lead female” story lines, particularly with one of them being played by a gay young man who was only 17 when he took the part! In my book that is brave and he doesn’t deserve the “F’ slur in any context, hip or otherwise.

  10. Rehab says

    Some of you need to untwist your panties. I figured the writer was gay the second I saw this item, and as a fellow fag, I reserve the right to use the word. (And to call the magazine that employs George Wayne homophobic is a little ridiculous—they routinely publish Wayne asking celebrities how big their dicks are.) More specific to this bit on Glee, I saw the episode in question, and the whole point of the segment, in which a nightclub foam dispenser was, indeed, deployed, was that Kurt’s slutty-girly stripper moves were wayyyy too cheesy and drag queeny to make any actual female—or much of anybody else—read him as sexy. Maybe brain-damaged. It wasn’t even so much sissy-ish; his moves were more like a sissy’s idea of how a sleazy, femme-fatale stripper might dance. Which is to say that Brett was quite right.

  11. Mawm says

    Amy Pace,

    That’s a lot of psycho-babble. If you have to say all that to parse what he meant then he’s a piss poor communicator.

    He just comes across as nasty to me.

  12. Carissa says

    Wow…Pedro…it’s a good thing I’m 34 and 363 days old. I wouldn’t want to make you puke or die today.

    I understand the train of thought of “reclaiming” the word but that doesn’t mean I like it. I wish it was one of those words that would just go away forever.

  13. CHILL says

    This is more of an editorial than an actual objective retelling of the episode. It was suppose to be a “gay” guide and I think he attempted to add familiarity by tossing around the fag word similar to way the n-word is tossed around. I see this as a work of art, and whether or not you agree with it it has the right to exist and not be censored by people who say that others don’t have the RIGHT to do things. When did they become the “arbiters of good taste” (yes Hathaway I love you so I quote you)? All the people in the comments will expend their energy being angry at this one guy who said a bad word about their precious chris colfer, and will spend no energy/time actively working to aid the gay community.

  14. Mawm says

    Rehab, you may reserve the right to use those words, but it makes you sound immature and self-hating.

    Let me ask you something. Would you say “untwist your panties”, “fellow fag”, or “sissy” at work? Would you say it to someone you love? Would you accept being called that by someone else? What if the person calling you that were straight?

  15. CHILL says

    MAWM are you even gay? Or are you just one of those people who likes to get offended at this that don’t concern them and feels better when they call other people out on things. If fag is a bad word of course they wouldn’t say it at work, and maybe not even to someone they loved. But this isn’t what we are dealing with here, this is an authours own opinion, so he can say whatever the hell he wants. I think he is just a piss poor at communicating, like that guy said. Spend your energy making sure I can marry in Maryland and not on something as trivial as this.

  16. Chris says

    I really don’t see the point in “reclaiming” those words. Self-stereotyping sucks just as much to many of us. But maybe I am just being a bitchy queen *rolls eyes*.

  17. hugues-francois says

    i really don’t give a s**t what some guy writing in a mag says. i do care what the person sitting in the oval office thinks in his heart and as he said recently “struggles” with. we thought he would be on our side. then, i also care what the supremes think. that couls be scarier than the guy at 1600 penn.

  18. Amy Pace says

    Psycho babble? Dude, that’s the result of an undergraduate degree in English. Trust me that my thoughts are about as basic as they come. Although, you’re probably right. Re-reading it makes me think I’m giving him too much credit.

    BUT, here’s another great example of reclaiming terms of hate.

    http://www.slutwalktoronto.com/

  19. Drew says

    You know, maybe gays should start using a very distinctly straight word as their own to give back some medicine. If ‘faggot’ works against us, let’s adopt ‘football’ or ‘Republican’ as slang for having gay sex. That would kill the opposing straight men who have to use the same words, but we bring a new meaning to it.

  20. Francis says

    OK, this is all about context. Now, do I think the word is acceptable? No, it shouldn’t really be used, and all the “taking back” words ideology to me is not a justification. However, let’s not even go there right now. Let’s not make this into an issue of someone being flagrantly homophobic and assaulting us as a community. Because clearly, this isn’t. It’s an inappropriate usage of words, and nothing more, so while he should be called out for his language, we should not be getting overly hostile or emotional towards this situation.

  21. SKOC211 says

    Oh leave Pedro alone. He’s probably just one of those tweaked out twinks that falls over himself at the foam parties at Rush because he can’t handle his e and spends half the night staring at himself in the mirror before stumbling home with the nearest trick. He just doesn’t know any better.

    Lord I hate that people like him are part of my generation. I promise everyone, we aren’t all like that.

  22. Leo says

    I see the Vanity Fair police are trolling all the blogs covering this story for damage control – couldn’t be more obvious. We all know the word is powerful in the context given to it, i.e. a kid getting beaten up while the attacker is shouting it. Off-hand at a bar between friends – fine. In a nationally distributed magazine, absolutely not.

  23. Frank says

    The hope that life will be better for the next generation is central to the lives of all well-adjusted adults. Add ego-dystonic homosexuals like Mr. Berk to the short list of freaks like Mormon fundamentalist patriarchs and child molesters, who don’t give a damn about the next generation.

  24. Francis says

    The VF article is updated with an apology from Mr. Berk.

    I still think this is definitely an overreaction all over the web to this, but I do believe he should have apologized and I’m glad he did. He using the word gives justification to actual homophobes to use it themselves and disenfranchises gay men.

  25. LD says

    Update. The word was removed and the writer expressed the following thoughts:

    I would like to apologize sincerely to anyone I offended with the use of the term “fag” (now removed) in this “Gay Guide to Glee” column. As an openly gay writer writing in an overtly overblown style, my intent in using the word in this offhanded way was to continue my consistent efforts to confront and challenge stereotype, to unpack the way in which language works, and to deconstruct the clever gender politics at play in the scene I described: teasing out the purposeful incongruity of this (foamy) attempt to make the conspicuously gay Dalton Warblers seem “sexy” to females. Anyone with even a whiff of familiarity with my writing will know that I am, and have long been, a tireless agitator, here at VF.com and elsewhere, for gay rights, as well as a huge supporter of everything Glee has accomplished in advancing a meaningful dialogue about homosexuality in our popular culture—and in our youth culture in particular.

  26. JimSur212 says

    He had a point. There was nothing straight-sexy about them. And as a gay man, he gets to use the “f” word the same way blacks get to use the “n” word. Personally, I hate the “f” word, just as I despise when certain gay activists use the word “queer”. If they can “own” queer, he can “own” fag.

  27. alex Parrish says

    The “N-word” is hateful — never hip — even when spoken by black people. The “F-word” is hateful, even when spouted by LGBT people. Some folks perhaps think it is cute in private conversation, but in any kind of public forum like a magazine it is simply unacceptable. Those of you who think this is “Getting my panties in a bunch” need to grow up and realize the hatefulness behind this word regardless of who says it. You may think that the world is “post-gay” and words don’t matter, but you’re just plain wrong! Unacceptable!

  28. Greg says

    The writer of the author has now edited the f-word to read “guys.” he posted an apology for having used the word. I think it was a poor choice of words, but he did the right thing.

  29. says

    Most people over 35 make me want to puke…DIE ALREADY!

    Posted by: Pedro | Mar 13, 2011 5:19:39 PM

    Well Pedro after your Mother is deported back to Mexico maybe one of the MS13’s will shoot your sick faggot ass in the head and you’ll DIE ALREADY!

  30. jo says

    I’m sorry that Towleroad.com fell victim to the insane internet campaign of some bitchy Glee fans that decided to multiply themselves and their outrage. Shame on you for falling for, and participating in, the smear.

  31. Zach says

    I’m not really offended by the use of the word fag in this context. I am tired of ephemeral criticism though. Is it even remotely possible for someone to offer intelligent insight into the show without lapsing a) into stereotypical sassiness, or b) Queer theory that was dated 15 years ago?

  32. Zach says

    Actually, while we’re on the subject, if there’s a word I want banished, it’s heteronormative, and all its derivatives. It’s intellectually bankrupt and unlike patriarchy, corresponds little to reality.

  33. johnny says

    I wonder if Rehab would feel the same about being called a fag if it was being screamed at him while his pretty little face is being punched into a bloody pulp? Or perhaps while he’s being kicked in the groin by a very forceful jackboot somewhere in a dark alley? Or shouted at him while he’s being drug behind a car with a very nasty rough rope? Or perhaps mockingly yelled at him while his corpse is being pelted with burning cigarettes as he dangles from the end of a noose?

    Gee, Rehab, still feel good about that f-word?

    Because that’s the word most gay-bashers love to yell at us most while they’re doing their dirty work. And for your pretty lips to fling it about like it was a piece of gossamer seems a tad filthy to most sane people.

  34. Rob says

    It’s the new N word. There are many racial and ethnic slurs whose publication would never happen. This one is surprising, unless you assume they want the buzz. Media whores.

  35. Wil says

    FYI, for those who don’t want to let VF off the hook. (Remember, it’s not just the author, but also his editors):

    “Christopher Tennant has joined Vanity Fair as Online Editor for the magazine. He most recently served as the Executive Editor of the Daily Front Row. Christopher can now be reached at christopher_tennant@condenast.com

  36. Docportland says

    My GOD people…chill a bit, will you? Brett Berk is a columnist who writes delightfully sharp articles not only on Glee, but also automobiles. While his humor and intelligence may be lost on people like Pedro (who will not live much longer, since aging makes him puke), most of what he writes is spot-on. And to the person that brought up FagBug–that’s what it’s called! It says FAGBUG on the side of the car, and it was recently vandalized. If you don’t like the word fag, fine. That’s your issue, but at age 41 (gasp!), it means nothing to me. But may I recommend that before you lambast Mr. Berk, you go to the VF site and read some of his articles?

  37. Bryan says

    Let’s all rant about a single word without regard for context, history, the writer, his past work, or his apparent intent. Let’s ignore what he wrote when questioned about his choice of language.

    This, after all, is a traditional part of the righteous moral imperative of the tragically misunderstood self-designated victim, as well as being great fun and much easier than thinking.

    Of course the hundreds of thousands of idiots who live with their hands over hovering over the buzzer in hopes of playing game show host are why public discourse now resembles just that… Endless repetitions of Groucho Marx crowing at the Secret Word with no content at all in between.

    I know. Math is hard. Much harder than taking umbrage at imagined slights and passing off whining as criticism.

  38. just a guy says

    i love the pedro-hate comments, hahaha. Pedro don’t deserve that, peeps.

    oh, and, hey y’all fag studs, i’m not opposed to reclaimin the word, but I don’t think “fag” as used by this random VF writer did that. instead, it’s use merely supported self-loathing OBSESSION with what was “straight-sexy.” whatev. get over, self-loather.

    also, none of this makes me want to read this Berk guy. And “Vanity Fair” used to have a foriegn sort of cachet in my head, tho I haven’t spent time with it. i now think vf and have simple mild disdain.

    good reporting, andy and team. this SHOULD be a topic of conversation here :–).

  39. G says

    Is this really news? The writer was gay and using the word to make a point (as some of us gay guys do sometimes). It was not homophobic and it seems like you just printed this to incite the masses (so to speak)…

  40. will says

    The gay writer of this VF article posted an update. Seriously, some of the gay community (HERE!) need to stop being so goddamned sensitive at every seeming slight.

    ———–

    UPDATED: I would like to apologize sincerely to anyone I offended with the use of the term “fag” (now removed) in this “Gay Guide to Glee” column. As an openly gay writer writing in an overtly overblown style, my intent in using the word in this offhanded way was to continue my consistent efforts to confront and challenge stereotype, to unpack the way in which language works, and to deconstruct the clever gender politics at play in the scene I described: teasing out the purposeful incongruity of this (foamy) attempt to make the conspicuously gay Dalton Warblers seem “sexy” to females. Anyone with even a whiff of familiarity with my writing will know that I am, and have long been, a tireless agitator, here at VF.com and elsewhere, for gay rights, as well as a huge supporter of everything Glee has accomplished in advancing a meaningful dialogue about homosexuality in our popular culture—and in our youth culture in particular.

  41. will says

    Also, Towerload needs to apologize for jumping to incriminate what is essentially a gay writer using the word “fag” sarastically IN THE CONTEXT OF A GAY-FRIENDLY REVIEW.

    So many people are becoming holier-than-thou and overbearing and militant in the very worst way.

    By the way, if I (a gay man) say someone is a screaming queen is that still acceptable or am I going to get tarred & feathered for that?

  42. will says

    Hey, maybe next we can all get collectively militant and self-righteous about “Queer as Folk” using the word queer!

    Or — let me get this straight. Queer is still okay (this year at least), but fag is out. Also, I don’t want to hear any of you queens saying “Fabulous” because that is a gay stereotype and I am admonishing gay stereotypes today!

  43. Asher says

    DAVID EHRENSTEIN, you are a vile human being. First you suggest that the author in question is a “C-WORD”, and then you tell an ostensibly female commentor to get lost? Misogynist much? Why don’t *YOU* get lost. You are hateful, and mean, and we’re all tired of bullies. Oh yeah, and you’ve never made an interesting or insightful comment on TW in all the time I’ve seen you here.

    ZACH, I’m curious to know what your credentials are to suggest that “heteronormativity” is bankrupt as a concept. Unless you’re any one of a dozen world-renowned Critical Theorists writing on this and other related topics–and you’re clearly not–I’d say it’s your rant that is actually bankrupt.

  44. Mark says

    Insightful commentary here – making me proud to be gay. To sum up an individual’s entire worth in one pejorative word is just shallow and mean. It doesn’t matter that the writer is gay. There was nothing in the context that alleviated the negative, hate filled, content.

  45. bilitis says

    @brian
    Vanity Fair is owned by the Koch brother’s company. Not exactly liberal, and the distinction between corporate Republicans and Democrats is non-existent.

  46. Ish says

    Hey Pedro, so what’s your plan for when you turn 35? Trust me you will get there, you won’t be young forever. Are you planning on dying before? What an asswipe!

  47. redball says

    @Asher: TELL IT! (Re: Zach’s sad and misguided disdain for the concept/word of heteronormativity.)

    Zach, try holding hands or showing other signs of physical affection with a same-sex partner outside of a gay enclave or big city and get back to us on your experiences. If you aren’t gay-bashed first.

    That’s just for starters.

  48. Pedro says

    @Chrischocolatebearcub: I’m not Mexican, I know that you think everyone with un nombre castillano is Mexican, but it’s not true. I was born in Argentina (as was my mother), my father was born in the province of Léon, which is in a country in Europe, you can figure it out yourself. My mother cannot be deported because she has an American passport you idiot! Based on your name, I could say something stupid but I have too much class for that.

    As to everyone else upset that I stated that I despised most people over 35, please notice that I didn’t say all. There are some older people that I have great respect for (my parents included). However, it’s extremely hard to almost impossible to deny that if every person over 35 dropped dead today the world wouldn’t be a better place for it. Finally, to the idiot who stated that I’m probably a twink who takes drugs, please get a better imagination. I’ve never taken an illegal substance in my life, and I don’t ever intend to. I intend to be a successful and fully functioning member of society.

  49. Mike says

    How sexy does it have to be? Maybe sometimes girls just like to dance and then have sex later on? Way to go Vanity Fair. Go rub one out and then you can stop obsessing over whether a Glee song is sexy enough for you. 😛

  50. says

    What one says in private conversation and what’s acceptable as the product of a professional journalist are two very, very different things. This writer was wrong on every level, and the apology (which actually was a “sorry anyone was offended and by the way I’m a gay activist” non-apology) was appropriate.

    else.

  51. says

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2011/03/a-note-to-readers-of-the-gay-guide-to-glee.html

    Both the author of this column and the magazine have APOLOGIZE noting that the Author is GAY and repeatedly uses this word – just as black men continue to use the “N” word with each other.

    The Supreme Court just allowed the GAY HATING Westboro Baptist Church to continue with it’s GOD HATES FAGS…it is there we should point our ANGER for THE HATE that prevails from that church on not on one word in a magazine that is losing readership.

  52. Derrick from Philly says

    LOL@ ‘However, it’s extremely hard to almost impossible to deny that if every person over 35 dropped dead today the world wouldn’t be a better place for it.”

    I’m ready to go, Pedro. That’s a classic line to go down in Towleroad history…mean, but classic. Oh, my. LOL!

  53. steve talbert says

    @pedro:
    >>I intend to be a successful and fully functioning member of society<<

    Until, I guess, he turns 35 and then follows his own advice.

  54. fagasincigarette says

    no one ever flinches when a black rapper uses the n-word. i think the issue here is that he uses ‘fag’ in the same derogatory way that it’s known for. the only way ‘fag’ can be ‘taken back’ by the queer community is if we re-appropriate it in a positive way. i know it sounds crazy, but for some gay men, ‘fag’ can be used with the same sense of brotherhood as ‘n-gga’ is for some people in the black community.
    just my opinion.

  55. Danny says

    @Carissa and others: Cut Pedro some slack: he’s 19. You know–a kid. Would you want to be held accountable for all the stupid things you thought and said when YOU were 19?

    God willing, one day he’ll be 35 and look back on his words at this time of life and wince.

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