Identity and Awareness
Mentoring and Support
Spirituality and Religion
Spokane in Perspective
I was taking care of [my grandmother, when I was young]. One night out of the clear blue she said “Marge I want you to be careful of the homosexuals.” And I said “Why is that grandma?” [knowing] I was gay. [She said,] “Because they want to recruit.” I said, “I don’t believe that for a moment.” She said, “You mark my word.” “Okay grandma, whatever.” [Laughs.]
There is so much negativity that goes on. You know who’s racist. You know whose anti-gay. You know who doesn’t give a crap about old people. You know who those people are just by the stupid, dumbass things they say.
I’ve been chased. I’ve been assaulted. I was a fast, fast runner. I was! [Laughs.] Not so much anymore . . .
I hate to use the word “flaming.” Do you know where that term comes from? And “faggot?” Faggots are twigs. They used to pile them around [homosexuals], tie them to a tree, and light them on fire. That’s where the term “screaming faggot” came from. I really don’t like that expression. That’s what they did in England. They just torched them up. The terminology itself has been around forever, but some many people use it without knowing what it means. If you hear someone use that expression, please inform them of what it actually stands for. It’s really necessary to watch the nomenclature that you use. It’s very offensive to some people. It is to me and I’ve never been burnt up. It affects me personally because it affects part of our community.
There are also other explanations for the origin of the term.
Source: Interview with Maureen Nickerson in December 2006, held at the Northwest Museum for Arts and Culture.