As a gay man who survived the political Culture Wars of the 1990s -- not to mention public school over the better part of the previous two decades -- I've learned it's best not to get too sensitive over other people's poorly chosen terminology.
Sure, I'll vocally object to being called "faggot" by anybody who isn't a fellow faggot.
But when a well-meaning individual speaks in defense of, say, "sexual preference" rather than using the correct term "sexual orientation," I try not to get all prickly about it. Unless that person is actively arguing in favor of reparative therapy, it's best to relax and keep the good feelings going. We're all friends here. And yes, while there is an important semantic distinction between "preference" and "orientation," explaining that difference to a friend involves a nuanced and compassionate discussion that will go down better later during some quiet moment over drinks.
Still, I'm going to get all P.C. and huffy over "Warrior or wimp?" the recent Trib Public Forum letter by Michael S. Holland, M.D.
I support Dr. Holland's 1st Amendment free-speech rights, which fully entitle him to express his opinion in favor of unrestricted 2nd Amendment gun rights. I withhold judgment on his statistic that "guns are used to protect life 60 times more often than they are to shoot with criminal intent" until I can see the study and evaluate its claims.
But it really pisses me off that Holland characterizes gun-control advocates (i.e., those who "cower at the sight of a badge and gun") as "limp-wristed wimps."
We all know what he means by "limp-wristed." It's a derogatory term referring to effeminate gay men. And, while many gays may be in favor of gun control, by no means are all of them.
As a medical doctor, you'd think Holland would realize that there are many gays who, in the face of recurring waves of anti-gay violence, take full advantage of their 2nd Amendment rights. I'm sure a limp wrist may at first make it difficult to aim, but after practice, a lot of effeminate queens have learned they can effectively hit a mark.
I'm not saying there's no valid argument in favor of sensible gun-control legislation. All I'm saying is that anybody who would target gays as victims would do well to remember: In America, there's a good chance the faggot you attack may well be capable of defending himself with deadly force.