Anonymous asked: What's your take on people using homophobic slurs? Obviously they're bad, but for example, on the commentary of the Botch DVD, one of the other guys, jokingly, calls you a fag. Is it okay as long as you know the person and know that they don't mean it?
My bandmates are allowed to jokingly call me a fag because I know where they actually stand on the issue. I know the joke isn’t about my orientation; the joke is about homophobia. However, the joke requires a precedent in order to be acceptable. I haven’t seen the Botch DVD or listened to the commentary since we were mixing the audio, so I don’t remember the context of the slur. I do recall that I dedicated a song to my partner, Reno. So I assume the slur was a response to that moment of the set. Botch was a family. We were like brothers. And I think that bond is obvious on the DVD. So the slur is obviously a joke because the band obviously accepts me.
That said, there have been moments where I’ve had to remind friends that just because I can see the humor in a gay joke, that doesn’t mean other people see it as such. A joke that’s really funny in the van isn’t necessarily funny around strangers. A good rule of thumb is to assume everyone within earshot is struggling with their sexual orientation and sensitive to humor that might be seen as demeaning. So while in the privacy of the van it might be funny to ask if I’d rather bang Kevin James or Kevin Spacey (Kevin James, obvsly), that same question could come across as confrontational, crude, and accusatory if overheard by someone in the club who doesn’t know that Russian Circles has a gay guy in the band and two gay guys in their crew.