No! Not That Word, Not Even for Trump

This is a plea to my homies: a request for the DJ of your tongue to remix its beats. I ask because what you are doing is throwing off my rhythm with that phrase 'F*ck That P*to' or FTP! This is a hateful phrase that I don't want to repeat, so from now on I will just use the acronym FTP.

Whether you use it during a fútbol game, or when you are hanging with your amiguis, or if you use it to tell someone off, this insulting phrase (FTP) stands for more than what a lot of liberal, progressive,-down-for-the-causa-homies think they mean when they use it.

I'll tell you what happened to me recently. I was with some friends at a gathering.
It came out of nowhere without a warning. This otherwise conscious hermano blurted it out, hate to use the baseball reference here but, out of 'left field'. All of sudden that ball was hitting me in the face. "Did he just say FTP?"

We were having a socially conscious conversation about land use and politics. I was tired from an all-day work session. I was about to walk out the door when in came the conscious homie with his well-intentioned good heart. He spoke passionately about the current candidates and their politics and he started in on Trump. I was with him for most of this, glad to listen to someone I agreed with.

"How dare people say we have to be bi-partisan with Trump," he exclaimed. Yes! I'm with you!

"He is plain racist and we can't have hate be what drives a candidate's campaign," he says.

"He wants immigrants in a concentration camp, f*ck that puto!!!!"

That FTP hit me in the gut. Similar to the way Trump's hatred of immigrants hits you in the gut. Here we were, two 'progressive-homies' in pain.

I was on your side, cheering you on and then you bust that on me, and I am sure you consider yourself an LGBTQA ally.

Some would like to argue that FTP is equivalent to 'that is so gay' which is bad enough. I think it's more like "f*ck that fag."

Lots of friends do not see how it triggers LGBTQA people. They argue it means sissy or I've even heard male prostitute. Let me get Wanda Sykes on you.

It's not funny when you're in that group of people against whom it's been used as an insult, and a really hurtful one, forever. Or when you grow up hearing it because everyone assumed you were gay.

Some comedians don't help because they perpetuate stigma by using the word too to take stabs at people they don't like during their routines. I know, as a standup comic myself that there are ways to be funny without repeating damaging language.

And the word "puto" is used as part of a chant by fans of not only Mexican soccer, but of fans of other Latin American teams. They use it to get under the opponents' skins, because it implies the soccer player is weak.

Whatever the interpretation, use of this word throws LGBTQA people under the bus once again, making us more susceptible to violence.

Some gente, argue that saying FTP for Latina/os is in their genes, passed down from their grandmama and papa. I know how it is, I'm an Argentinean who gave up meat. Although it may feel like part of your DNA because you grew up doing it, if it's hurtful to you or others, you do have a choice to discontinue doing it.

So I ask you to give up the word 'Puto', not for a limited time like lent, but forever. When you are at parties and your friends say it. When you are at a gathering and people use it. I offer you a new word. There is enough hate with the word Trump alone, you can just use his own name to curse at him or anyone else.

These are the stakes: here in the US, a transgender person is killed every 29 hours.
There are many struggles against discrimination and for LGBTQA rights that you as an ally could pay attention to.

Yes, some queers/LGBTQA folx are reclaiming some words for themselves. Some are using these words to ward off shame, to heal, to build community. They want to celebrate the flexibility of our lengua by taking away the power that the word had in their lives. But that is different-in this case queer people are removing the hatred from a word and finding a new positive meaning. But when you use it as a way to communicate your anger, rejection and hatred you are using it the way that it is often used by perpetrators. This word is often the last thing a gay or transgender person hears before they are beat up or killed. If we have to create an insult then let's make "Trump" itself that word.

Or you could just not send that negativity back to anyone, even him. After all, that negativity is just a symptom of the multitude of diseases we have in our society stemming from capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, imperialism, neoliberalism, resulting in xenophobia, transphobia and homophobia.

So next time you think you're about to use a word to hurl back negativity, stop and think of the root and the source of that hatred and then, don't use it, especially when it is a word like this connected to violence against gay and transgender people.