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I only saw and heard the term faggot (usually as fag) in American novels and films until around the mid eighties. I recall someone telling me that it came from us being burned before the witches, but I still don't know if that's true. I like the idea of being queer, or nowadays, genderqueer, and have to remind myself of the cruelty behind being called it years ago. Faggot, for me, never entirely loses this resonance, even when gay men say it. It seems ridiculous, along with fairy, sissy, and poof, when used as an insult to gay men you wouldn't 'know' were gay men as, in my experience, all these words are just about naming and shaming effeminacy in gay and straight men. And that's quite enough from me. Thank you for yet another brilliant article, Huw. Hope you have a fabulous New Year x

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