There are a lot of words for gay. Some of them are loaded and hateful. Sometimes those ones are ‘reclaimed’, made a badge of defiance and an expression of solidarity exclusive to to those who are judged to be entitled to use it. Even the relatively neutral ‘gay’ is so dependant on usage and intent. It can be derisive or descriptive with only contextual cues separating a slur from a common word.
The Blonde is very verbally adept, and when he fights, he doesn’t fight fair. He loves to accuse me of using gay as a slur without provokation to see if I will become defensive or apologetic. So far he hasn’t caught me. I know what my words mean when I use them.
The Brunette uses it as a slur, and worse. If being gay is a 1-10 scale with the Guy In Your Office That You Never Suspected as a 1 and RuPaul as an 11, he’s at about a 2 or 3. Maybe a 4 when he holds the leash of Fighter Pilot’s pomeranian. 5 if he’s on rollerskates, while simultaneously holding the pomeranian’s leash.
He uses the f-word. When we went dress shopping, the glitter-and-rainbows-gay salesguy had him grinding his teeth. “No one needs to be that much of a f-” he growled as we left. It was funny because The Blonde is… more than a 4. The thing about this sort of scale is that it is subjective and context sensitive just like language. Someone called The Blonde by the f-word in high school, and The Blonde punched him in the face and broke his nose. -3 to gay? Then cried. +3?