I’m really adverse to following Twitch or Youtube personalities religiously since I think that leads to unhealthy expectations but Destiny is an interesting guy and I wouldn’t have the mental fortitude or patience to debate wackos all day like he does for a living. What’s especially interesting is his shift in stance towards slurs and context; its a rare story on the internet where everyone defends slurs as freedom of speech without considering the harms it can cause:
Let me tell you a story. Maybe you can relate – maybe you should relate to it but you don’t even realize it, yet.
About a year and a half ago I was chatting with a few friends. These are guys that I’ve been friends with for a long time and, for the most part, they’re great people. We’ve played games together, talked and joked together, watched SC2 tournaments together, so on and so forth. However, after one of them started making a few too many gay jokes, I noticed something about him that I didn’t really pick up on before – he was genuinely homophobic. Not homophobic in a “I want to vote against gay marriage and murder gay people!” sort of way, but homophobic in a “I would never be friends with a gay guy and I genuinely think that being gay is a negative personality trait.” I distinctly remember one of the lines he said towards the end of the conversation, “Wouldn’t want to be a faggot now, would we?” followed by the usual laughter before we all departed and went our separate ways.
I was really uncomfortable thinking about things that night. I’m sure I’ve made similar statements in the past. In fact, I’d wager that I’ve said probably those exact words at one point or another in my life. I’ve used faggot as a pejorative, a term of endearment, a random, nondescript adjective…you name it. I’ve always felt okay saying it because I knew, deep down, that I wasn’t a homophobic person. I have the classic “I have gay friends” card up my sleeve and I can even pull the “I have gay friends who constantly use the word faggot and support me saying it” card, as well. I have all of my views on language that I’ve detailed over and over again in the past to support me being able to use that word, and I’ve never felt out of place arguing its usage in public.
I don’t like the fact that legitimately homophobic people might find comfort in me using the word “faggot”.
I am a very inclusive person. I would never imagine turning someone away from either a fan event or a group of friends or a conversation just because they’re of a certain race or sexual orientation. And I’m saying that because I have always been like that, not because I run some team and I want you to write good things to my sponsors, not because I’m trying to win any public fan contest, not because I support diversity, not because my boss or manager is telling me to say it, but because I legitimately love playing games and talking about music, and if anyone shares those hobbies with me I want to have the chance to talk with them about it.
I’ve said it a few times on stream that I’m working my best to cut some words out of my vocabulary from now on. Of course if you watch my stream enough you’ll still hear me slip from time to time, but I’m only human and this is a really hard habit to break. I’m just not comfortable knowing that there are genuinely racist or homophobic (or transphobic or anti-anything) people out there who feel like they are finding acceptance of their asinine and inane beliefs due to a word I might use. It’s something that’s so upsetting to me that I will go a bit out of my way to avoid it happening.