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By Thomas Whitfield

Most of us have been called a faggot at some point. In high school it was scratched into the surface of my locker. No one painted over it. For a while it seemed like things were getting better for the LGBTQ community, but statistics show hate crimes against minority populations are on the rise.

I was walking through Hell’s Kitchen holding hands with someone I’m dating the other night when a few guys walked by us, and one of them uttered, “faggots.” My date spun around and yelled, “What the f*ck did you just say?” The guy just started laughing and said it again. I grabbed his arm and pulled him away; I was afraid he was going to get in a fight. He was pissed that I pulled him away, and we then started fighting about it. He told me I need to stand up for myself more and that I’m part of the problem. We haven’t talked since. Maybe he’s right? – Male, Gay, 23

It’s sad that we’re still living in a time where people throw around slurs like it’s nothing, or warranted. I want to say especially in New York City, but really, everywhere. I’ve had similar experiences as you described, and responded in different ways. I wish that it was safe to always turn around and challenge someone, but sometimes, it honestly isn’t. I’m all for calling someone out on their BS, but know your surroundings. Clapping back at someone midday on a crowded subway is different than a secluded, dark street. I’m not saying don’t stand up for yourself, but pick your battles for your own safety.

Talking dirty in bed is a huge turn on for me. Recently, it upset someone and got me questioning myself. I like to be dominant and call my bottoms names. I’ll call them queer, fag, bitch, whatever. I don’t mean anything by it, I’m just into it. The other night this guy froze when I called him a fag, demanded we stop having sex and tore into me about how “inappropriate” it is. I just left, guessing I won’t see him again. I do feel bad, but it also gets me off. Am I an asshole? – Male, Gay, 31

There are lots of things people engage in sexually that might not represent who they are as a person. You might not be an asshole; however, you could make some changes. Once you’ve started to engage in consensual sex, there are two categories of behaviors: the first, things that are generally acceptable to anyone (i.e., kissing, touching their body, smelling their skin); the second, things you need to ask about first (i.e., choking, slapping, spitting, etc.). Using derogatory language is something I’d put in the second category. It’s not that you can’t do it, just get their consent beforehand. Also, people have the option to withdraw consent at any time, just as this guy did, so kudos to him. No one must continue doing anything they’re uncomfortable with.

Sex/Love/Relationship advice? Send your questions to: ThomasTalksAbout@gmail.com Instagram: @ThomasWhitfield84

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