Ask the Flying Monkey! (October 5, 2009)

Have a question about gay male entertainment? Send it to! (Please include your city and state and/or country.)

Q: I´ve been reading the Kathy Griffin book and while it was much less fun than
I was hoping for, there was something that really annoyed me — besides the
fact that in her world "the gays" is a synonym for hair dresser or shopping buddy. Kinda makes me wish
she´d actually let me at her hair to change that attitude. Anyway, in the book
she says that Andy Dick got punched in the face
by Wesley Snipes for using (and I quote) "the n-word" in a club.
Later there is another Dick story about one of his stand-up appearances where
he called the audience repeatedly (and I quote again) "faggots.” So why
isn´t it "the n-word" and "the f-word" OR
"nigger" and "faggot"? — Thomas, Hannover, Germany

Andy Dick and Kathy Griffin

A: I’m reading Kathy’s book now, and I’m actually loving it. Then again, I’m
totally in the tank for her. It was quite touching to me how when she watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show, she thought, “I could never be
Mary.” But then Rhoda walked onto the stage, and Kathy thought, “Who is this
fantastic woman who worries about her weight and gets all the funny lines! I
could totally be Rhoda.”

Are there different standards for the “n-word” and the “f-word”? I actually
think there are, mostly because the respective communities have chosen to
create different standards.

First, let me get one thing clear: I don’t think it’s ever okay to use
either of these words as insults. But the African American community seems to
have gone one step further and collectively decided that the actual “n-word”
should not be spoken or written in any context, even a scholarly or purely
descriptive one (and I’m on record as saying I think they’re making a mistake, but hey, it’s their choice).

The GLBT community doesn’t make nearly the same stink about the descriptive
use of the word “faggot.” Kathy, being so tuned into our community, probably
sensed that.

Regarding your funny comment about Kathy’s equating gay people with
“hairdressers,” I think that also stems from her close association with us.
She’s joking, not talking literally – just as we gay people joke among

True, we GLBT folks might talk differently if we were on television. But I think a big part of Kathy’s appeal is her authenticity –
that she talks in her act (and in her book) the same way people talk to each
other when they’re joking among friends.

I know I’m being a total apologist for her. Like I
said, I’m in the tank.

Next page! Inappropriately Touched by an Angel.

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