Of all the names the Pizzaman has slung at me, these hurt the worst. I grew up as a homophobe, and feared and hated the concept of homosexuality. I ended up in an experimental play in college with a guy named Frank. He was gay, and he had a boyfriend bigger than me. Frank and I did the full Artaud repetoire of acting work together; actually, we did the full Steve Hart Repertoire, much scarier, a great deal of prolonged physical and spiritual contact and partial nudity orchestrated by a genius in a silver bodysuit, Steve Hart, who was possibly one of the most manly heterosexuals I have ever met. A True Man, not a fake man. No bluster, no dominance-games — just Power. You know what I mean. Anyway.
I was frightened to touch Frank at first, because he had AIDS, as did his partner. There was no room for hesitation, though; Hart was like a demon, a loving monster of professional creation-passion. He's directing off-Broadway in NYC now. Made a couple of movies. Even back then, he could not be disobeyed. We were his dedicated crew. I dispensed with my homophobia quickly. And then for five months, seven days a week, five hours a day, I got to know Frank really, really well. And I loved him dearly.
He was a nice person. He did all sorts of good things with his life. But he had one trauma that dominated — he was the youngest son of a large family, all of whom had ostracized him for his sexuality. His fundamentalist-christian older brother was the most virulent about Frank's enforced rejection. The ironic and hard-to-speak truth of Frank was that he had been sexualized from age four on by this very same brother. Frank was heartbroken by the rejection. It was the greatest disappointment of his life.
I once sat knee-to-knee with Frank for about three hours, staring into each other's eyes, chanting back and forth, "I can be hurt by you". Sounds strange, but after about twenty minutes, you sort of merge with the other person; after about three hours, you'll never be the same two people, ever again. Frank was a wonderful human, witty, well-read, downright excellent as a friend. He helped cure me of my homophobia, once and for all.
Frank died a couple of years later, and his boyfriend soon after. He's part of the Quilt. One of the women in The Cast, Valina, made it.
To the point: The use of the terms 'Puto', which is a anti-homosexual slur , 'Phaggot', which is a mispelling of a anti-homosexual slur, and 'Galpal', which implies that there is a homosexual relationship between Max and I in which I represent the female side — are unacceptable terms to be used in public discourse. Using such words as epithets indicates a deep and undealt-with fear and hatred of homosexuality. and implies that the speaker or writer has an emotional/philosophical disability about it. It's not O.K. It's wrong. It is a bad way of thinking. People should change, and grow out of it.
Names, names, names. Racist slurs. Anti-homosexual slurs. They're the worst, they hurt everyone. None else penetrate, for where there is no honor in the issuer, there is no impact in insult. But I hear 'puto', and 'phaggot', and I think of Frank, and lose my temper a little bit. That's just All Wrong. It's Bad Thinking. Bad Living. No Wisdom. No Truth. You Have Nothing To Say That Means Anything, If You Say These Things. You're Ignorant. No one should listen to you, if you say these things.
Presupposing a soul in some fashion — a clean soul is a happy soul, and a clean soul means overcoming hatred and prejudice, and reaching out to all humans as a way of living. Helping. End of story.
Anything else is bullshit, and needs to be dispensed with. Like those terms.