Someone once said to me, “OMG, ur so [expletive deleted] GAY!!!!!!”
What he really meant to say was, “Look, I object strenuously to being kicked out of your raid. I really don’t think my behavior was outside of the norms set by the game, and further, I would like to point out my awesome abilities, clearly indicating that I am much better than you or your guild at raiding.”
I was in a cheerful mood so I feigned obliviousness and responded, “What has my sexual orientation got to do with anything?”
I’m talking about an in-game (World of Warcraft) thing by the way, for those of you that are lost. Here’s a read on raids if you’re interested
This resulted in a diatribe that ended with “FAG!!!!!!!!!!” (he used more exclamation points I’m sure…I didn’t count though).
It often irritates me when I see homophobic slurs tossed around, and despite the fact that acceptance of LGBT folk is common place in most of Western society, it sometimes seems that every jerkwad with a keyboard and WoW account is not clever enough to come up with anything other than “fag” or “gay” to describe someone or something they dislike.
Even bland “That’s gay” in response to someone talking about something negative gets under my skin.
Why? Because when something bad is “gay”, then anyone who is gay (and by extension bi-sexual, lesbian or transgendered) is bad. And yes….you are absolutely correct when you say, “You know what I mean…”.
But think about it….lets say your name is Bob (and if your name actually is Bob, even better). How would you feel if, while, trying to enjoy your favorite game, everywhere you went you’d see:
[General][Imapally] OMG, did you read the patch notes?! They’re nerfing Pallies!
[General][Notbob] Really? Damnit, that’s so frickin Bob!
[General][Anonjerkwad] Hey, Ima…didn’t you pug with us the other night?
[General][Imapally] Oh yeah, you’re that frackin Bobby Raid Leader of that Robert guild full of Bobblehead ninjas!!!
I don’t have to keep typing to get my point across do I?
I had actually started writing this rant a couple of weeks ago, but other events popped up. But, something caught my attention that brings this to the foreground. At Blizzcon…a huge annual convention put on Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft etc.
If the guys in the video were typical of gamers, even me, someone who cares very little what people outside of a select few thinks, would become a closet gamer. The initial article I read had no linked clips, so I thought that perhaps a video montage of gamers aping for a camera wasn’t scrutinized closely enough. But no… The Level 90 Tauren Chieftains…a Blizzard supported band backed this entire play.
Now of course I’m willing to bet heavily that they didn’t intend to sound homophobic, and that when they put together their little act that it likely didn’t occur to them that it would come off sounding homophobic. Now…even with the slurs aside, the fact that it sounded remarkably similar to Ogrimaar trade chat, and the fact that they appear to be older than 12 alone, should’ve embarrassed them.
Hey look, I haven’t digressed yet, but I will do so now. I’ve been a metal fan for decades…speed metal, heavy metal, death metal…yeah…(I would’ve said “f— yeah” but my mom has scolded me for swearing here…) ….so it is with that experience behind me that I say that as a band the Chieftains suck Hair whipping……seriously???? Dude…if you’re going to whip your hair GET A FRACKING GUITAR AND DO IT TO THE BEAT (if you can find one in that caterwauling). Oh yeah….and wear some mascara, and make yourself all pretty….google the band Poison and look at the images for pointers…or…wait…Adam Ant…yeah, him. (I wrote an app for one of my co-workers named Adam. I dubbed it “Adam Ant” and put a picture of that singer all decked out in purple leather on the gui…being a straight laced sort of fellow he asked me to take that off).
Let me get back on point…being gay isn’t bad….not matter what your parents, your clergy or your god says. If you disagree…you’re allowed to and its perfectly acceptable for you to show your disapproval of gayness by simply not being gay. But, if you go around using the fact that god (through his self-anointed messenger on earth) told you that being gay is bad, ask yourself if instead of “Bob” in the imaginary general chat conversation above if I had used the name of your religion? Then, when you objected I came back with “You know what I mean…sheesh chill dude, I didn’t mean nuthin by it”…
We, the gaming community at large accept this behaviour….for a variety of reasons. Most of us have the general and trade channels turned off. Many of us do not read raid/guild chat closely, and interestingly enough…not a lot of people use “gay” or “fag” on Ventrilo (our voice chat program we use for raids). Doing so excessively will get you kicked from most raids.
The result is that dunderheads like that one in the video suddenly think its acceptable language to use at an event like Blizzcon.
In closing, I want to briefly address one more semi-related topic. I read a forum post where the poster related a tale where his wife was assaulted at Blizzcon. She was minding her own business, wearing a Night Elf Alliance t-shirt with a lanyard or some such and some fools thought it acceptable and appropriate the yell For the Horde! and try to rip it off. Now, this was a forum post, so whether it was true or not I can’t say…but I will say this….I could see it happening.
So, if you’re of the opinion that a WoW player who prefers playing the opposite faction of you deserves to be derided, or assaulted while minding their own business irl…then you are a fracking loser. Its a game, and if you have so little going on in your non-game life that factions are important while not logged in then you’re sad…and destined for a future episode of hoarders or something.
And…if you’re the kind of person that thinks homosexuality is bad…I have two things to say to you…
i) A person’s expressed homophobia is usually proportional to their repressed homosexual desires, and;
ii) Your descendants will be ashamed of you…just like no one talks about their racist relatives now a days.
Hmmm…I wonder if we could get Blizz to give us pink Anti-Bullying tabards…I’d wear one…