TW: Homophobia, abelism, racism general excessive vulgarity
I'm sitting here kicking myself because I really should have taken screenshots of this conversation, but I didn't. I'm not a newcomer to being called out of my name online, I mean, it happens. A lot. Just the other day one of my friends sent me a video, from Twitter user @6lecka, where he kills someone in a online game and the person screams, "YOU FUCKING NIGGER" with the hard er. If you want to watch that video I mean, here? But I don't think you have to get the point, people say horrible things online. But the thing that has always stuck me about the things they say is the utter absurdity of it all. I have a story a couple of days ago that was a striking example of this.
I was playing Overwatch, with two of my friends, when we got into a game with no one playing a tank on King's Row. If you don't know much about Overwatch, you really need a tank so that you can push forward and capture objectives. But we didn't have one so over the in-game chat a user by the name of Dot and I have a conversation that went like this:
Dot: "Fucking push, you (insert abelist shit) motherfuckers."
Me: "A. We don't have a tank so how can we push? B. Cut that abelist shit out."
Dot: "So you just sit and don't push then? You fucking faggot."
Me: "I'm not offended by being called gay... as I'm gay."
Dot: "I didn't call you gay, I called you a f*****."
Me: "You do know that that is a slur referring to gay folks right?"
Dot: "I'm aware but you're just a f*****!"
And this is where the conversation ended. After blocking and reporting him we went on to win the game and I had the hardiest laugh I've had in ages over voice chat with my friends. The reason being, oh my god, how utterly bizarre was that conversation? It reminded me so much of in middle and high school when people would call each other gay or say something was gay when they meant stupid. Now I don't want to act like I consider the f-word as an acceptable word to refer to gay people with. Quite the opposite, while I would never advocate violence, people have gotten beat up for less. Just sayin'.
So why go there for no reason if you didn't even want to use the word for its intended purpose? That's something I think about whenever I get called some extraordinarily charged slur online. there are no less than (and probably more than) 100 words they could have used and they would have gotten way closer to what they were trying to call me. And instead trolls insist on using words incorrectly.
Same thing for when one white boy thinks they're calling another white boy a nigger online because they assume only white boys play video games. White people aren't even offended by being called the n-word. I mean, they aren't. They can just shrug it off because it doesn't mean anything to them and yet it's a staple term among trolls. And it just so categorically odd.
I don't really have a grand conclusion to this thought other than to say remembering the absurdity of being called a slur online really has helped me get through the last two days of being called everything under the sun. And I dunno, we all deal with trolls, maybe you'll remember this sometime when it matters.