then maybe Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane fame who was married to cinematographer and drummer Gerald “Jerry” Slick from 1961 to 1971 should have her music cancelled. Why? you ask. Is there a statute of limitations for using the offensive word? If so, what is it? Ten years, twenty, forty? Does it matter who used it, a woman, a man, a liberal, a conservative, black, white, gay or straight? Does it matter if it was spoken or written in an email? Please tell me, I’d like to know. When does all this cancel culture end? Maybe the coach should have stood up to it to set an example.
In 1968, I had never heard the slang word until Grace (who was ten years my senior) introduced it to me. How? you ask. Well…I’ll never forget it. I was working as a hostess for ten bucks an hour at a wedding fashion show at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco selling tickets and filling out applications for engaged couples that wanted to attend. Well…low and behold as a mere 18-year-old and unbeknownst to me I was graced by having Grace Slick come to the front of my line.
She was garbed in an antique diaphanous wedding gown with a necklace of old skeleton keys and her hair dyed a dark henna. She was a vision. How do I remember this? I was into antiques from the age of 18. Her necklace and dress intrigued me. I was also into coloring my hair. Her fiancé wore a black leather jacket and matching leather pants. I was also into leather like the kid from movie Annie Hall. I can picture the couple to this day.
So I sold her and her fiancé two tickets and began to fill out their application. “What is your name?” I casually asked.
“What’s your fiancé’s name?”
“What does he do?”
“He’s a faggot actor,” Grace said with a straight face.
(Notice there was not a question asking what she did. It was the 60s after all and gals weren’t expected to hold serious jobs.)
“How do you spell faggot?” I stupidly asked as I never heard it before. I was a stenographer during the week and heard just about every business-related word. This one threw me for a loop.
I’ll admit I was naïve for working in San Francisco, the gay capitol of the world, but I studied Business English, not rock star English. And I still lived at home. I knew of the queer and homo words but that was the extent of my gay jargon aside from Castro Street.
A more worldly hostess next to me leaned over and whispered, “That’s Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane.”
Oh shit, I thought to myself. I knew of the band. I have their album for gosh sakes! Jeepers! I went along with Grace’s charade as she was already married; and it soon became clear that they only came to crash the fashion show as they later got hauled out by the police for disturbing the peace. They were into crashing events back then. The original wedding crashers. They were both high on something. LSD was her drug of choice according to her.
Point of the story is: In 1968 the word was used in certain circles. I’ve never used it. No reason to cancel her or any coach of a football team. Freedom of Speech was honored and respected back then. We have to be more forgiving to past generations and the words used back then. I’m sure Grace Slick would be abhorred now knowing that she used that word in front of an innocent 18-year-old (or not). I won’t hold it against her. She made my day.
People need to lighten up. Maybe they should read the book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Way too many people looking through the past of people to cancel them. Liberals or wokes or whatever they want to call themselves need to leave the rest of us all alone. We don’t look into their past or their parents’ pasts. Or maybe we should. Could be why they are like they are. I’m quite sure their parents may have said this word back in the day at some point. Would they cancel their own parents? Probably not. What we have here is Selective Generation Discrimination.