This post might be a bit awkward and I can’t figure out how to write it without bumping up against a few stereotypes, but I’m gonna go ahead with it anyway. If I offend, please let me know.
I keep hearing people – mostly women, mostly straight – referring to the queer guys in their lives as “my gays”. I get the sense that it’s generally intended as an affectionate, term of endearment. Nonetheless, it makes me uncomfortable. Something about the possessive article in combination with the use of “gay” as a noun makes my brain twitchy. I wonder how I might feel if a white pal referred to me and their other friends of colour collectively as “my blacks”. I’m pretty sure I’d feel uber-generalized and kind of slavish to boot.
But that’s just my perspective on the phrase. It’s totally possible that my discomfort is about my own historical/social baggage around ownership and identity. I can’t imagine a context where I would ever feel okay referring to people as “my gays”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people aren’t okay being referred to that way.
Has anyone ever referred to you as “my gay” or “my gays”? If so, how do you feel about it. Is there specific ettiquette around its use – i.e. a phrase that’s cool, but only coming from a close friend? If you and I are friends in real life, is it cool if I just refer to you as “my friend” or barring that, some hilarious nickname?