With the recent advancements in the LGBTQ+ community, we've seen a surge of support for the culture throughout various media platforms. We've seen slang and mannerisms from the culture become popular trends. I, like many others, thoroughly enjoy some of my favorite queer social influencers such as Joanne the Scammer (my problematic fave), Kid Fury, Crissle, etc. giving a good, witty read. However, this, like all things, can get ruined once social media gets a hold of it. When people see a new trend, and have no real understanding for the culture of the context in which it's used, that's when appropriation comes into play. With appropriation comes death to the trend. It becomes corny, played out, and just flat out annoying. The masses begin to think that all of the LGBTQ+ community behaves and converses with some loud flamboyant, "YASSSSS! honey slay my life, read them for filth!" attitude. Granted, those are some facets to the culture, but the community is much more than that. The appropriation of the culture begins to create detrimental stereotypes.
To put this in perspective, think about all of the trends and lingo that the black community has made popular on social media. Now, think about the sheer collective vexation we felt as we saw words like "fleek," "bae," "swag," "bye Felicia," and "squad" being used out of context and turned into corny coffee mugs and t-shirt sayings! I've had people assume that I speak, or address me, using Ebonics because of what they associate with black culture. Dances like "dabbing" or the "running man challenge" get completely ruined by corny social media users who don't know how to do it correctly. These are all highly annoying and stereotypical examples of out of context appropriation. So, I completely understand the annoyance of the gay community when people use the mannerisms and vernacular from the culture, such as "slay," "read," "gag," and the like with no clear understanding of how or when it's used.
A prime example of this blatant ignorance is Keke Palmer's recent charade on Instagram posting boisterous, flamboyant, and quite frankly, extra videos using the phrase "...the gag is." She perpetuates the stereotypes of gay, black men quite distastefully and wrong! Her recent hashtag movement #Loveisthegag encourages her fans and followers to post videos doing something positive. The sentiments behind the hashtag are cute, but sis, that's not what the phrase means. There is no positive connotations of the word "gag," and if used in the correct context is used to matter-of-factly state something typically shiesty.
"I visited my ex's mom today, but the gag is...I brought my new man with me."
The announcement of her new "movement" caused hours of laughter on Twitter. Users posted satirical memes and gifs of the hashtag choosing songs with the word "love" in the title, and replacing the word "love" with "gag" in the incorrect context that Ms. Palmer used.
"Step in the name of gag!"
"A scrub is a guy that can't get no gag from me"
"My first teenage gag affair"
"Can you feel the gag tonight?"
Doesn't make any sense, huh? Precisely! Akeelah, girl, you tried to tell a funny joke and it failed miserably. All the attention this "gag" trend is receiving isn't out of support, but out of sheer confusion and befuddlement. "Love is the gag" isn't just improper use of diction, but it sounds just about as corny as those Charlotte Russe water bottles that say "squad goals" or "water is bae" or some lame saying used out of context. All in All, her bad jokes aren't doing anybody any harm, but in the words of Kid Fury "you can't just be loud AND wrong!"