Strong language

On NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday, a StoryCorps segment by Nathan Hoskins, on growing up in rural Kentucky and knowing from an early age that he was gay — preceded by the warning:

Listeners should know that there is strong language in this conversation.

The strong language in question is one occurrence of the word faggot, in a shocking story: his mother intercepted an affectionate note to him from another boy, took him (and a shotgun) out in the car into the country, stood him up against a tree and told him she’d blow his head off “if he ever decided to be a faggot” — so he got good at concealing the truth. (Even after he came out to her, years later, she never admitted she was wrong; apparently, she believed she’d done the right thing.)

The shotgun story is, as I said, shocking, and the word faggot seems to me to be a crucial element in it.

At least they didn’t bleep it.


One Response to “Strong language”

  1. Jenny Says:

    I don’t think strong language has to be either vulgar or a pejorative slur like “faggot.” In my opinion, a mother threatening to blow her son’s head off is very strong language too. Either one would make me decide not to share it with my 7-year-old daughter.

    But I suspect you are right, and the warning was entirely because of the one slur.

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