I just lifted this video from Lori; it speaks volumes about how fear controls us, manipulates us, directs us, pushes us into the dark corners of other peoples minds who uses fear.
We recoil when anyone uses words which might hurt us, which have been used to inject fear, shutting us down, making us withdraw from the fight. When we withdraw from the fight when words of hate and fear are spat at us then they win, and we shouldn't let them control us with hateful words.
Jon's recent post "Mudblood and Proud of It" after years of being called “Mudblood Granger,” Hermione chooses to embrace the phrase. It is no different when the heroine in Hawthorn's "The Scarlet Letter" has to wear the letter "A" as a sign of her 'sin', a sign which tell everyone she is an 'adulteress'. As time wears on she accept the label and people begin to really know of her strong courage and character.
So it should be with us; yes, we are 'fags', 'homos', 'queers' but those words only create fear and rejection when we enable and empower those who use the words to extract fear, and retreat. When we let others define and create pejorative meaning of these words, we are wronged. We must reclaim and re-define these words for ourselves, we must wash the hateful connotation from our language so that they are turned around and become our shields which deflect the arrows of poison.