Glee is pretty gay.  OK, it is REALLY gay.  Vanity Fair is pretty gay.  OK, Vanity Fair is REALLY gay.

So, when Vanity Fair’s resident gay homosexual “fun and faggy” writer Brett Berk drops the f-bomb in a a “Gay Guide to Glee” review on the VF website where he says:

Nice singing. But how can having girls in the audience make these cartwheeling, foam-party fags straight-sexy?

there is going to be some upset people. is it ok because Berk is gay himself?  The over 300 commenters on the story seem divided.

I am so insulted by all the comments “just because you’re gay doesn’t give you the right to use the term fag”. Excuse me, yes it does. Many of us have reclaimed the terms “fag”, “dyke”, “queer” and reappropriated them into our everyday language. It’s oppressive of you to tell I can NOT use those words. I’m not asking you use the terms or even like them, but rather to accept that they exist as an empowering term to some to some of us in the gay community.

. . .

Bett Berk is a disgusting example of being a gay male and has reversed all the progress Ryan Murphy has accomplished with an influential series such as Glee. The show inspires viewers and it reflects very poorly on Vanity fair that it recruits a so-called ‘writer’ edit that to ‘wanker’ in publishing such a disgusting word and allowing Brett Berk to be so casual when throwing around words burdened with hate? Shame on you for being such an ignorant, vile man lacking in morals or principle I hope the youth of America learn from your stupidity.

. . .

The article is titled “The Gay Guide to Glee”. It’s written from a gay man’s perspective so I’d assume he used gay-speak in what he’s writing. Would it be less offense if he wrote in PC-sort -of-way? Would it better that he censor his “gayness” and not use the term “fag” and replace it with “homosexual”? Maybe he should eliminate the faggy-tone and cattiness he’s writing in. Many of you are essentially asking him to “straighten up” his writing. Way to go for being a straight allies.

. . .

I find it amazing that with such a wide marketing span, no doubt including gay men, that you’d even have the audacity to use a term such as ‘fag’ in an article. Not only does it show a complete lack of sensitivity, but as well as a lack of tact and common sense. When addressing an issue such as homosexuality, you need to have enough common sense to know this will spread and be brought to the public when using slander that’s offensive and hurtful. I hope whoever wrote this article not only gets reprimanded but possibly fired.

So is the fact that Berk is gay and the column is labeled as gay mean Berk is off-the-hook for dropping the f-bomb? If the writer had been straight man (or a straight woman) with a big gay fan base, would it have been okay? Are we just to sensitive about it all?

My personal take? Berks was being a little too cute for his own good. While VF definitely has a gay sensibility, you can’t write as if your audience is the tea dance crowd at Fire Island or happy hour in Chelsea. That’s true whether your vehicle is a gay publication or blog or a “gay friendly” one like VF. While the argument that gays should reclaim worlds like “fag,” I’m just not sure reclaiming it in the pages of VF is all that heroic.

UPDATE: Late last evening, Berk changed his post and Twitter profile to eliminate the terms “fags” anf “faggy.”  Read about it at my post for Mediaite.

UPDATE II: Vanity Fair has now responded to the controversy:

With so many genuine homophobes stirring up trouble these days, the gay community doesn’t need any agita from an ally like, so we are eager to set the record straight about the use of the word “fags” in Brett Berk’s latest “Gay Guide to Glee” column. Brett, who has repeatedly referred to himself as’s “fun and faggy editor” (a title the editors have declined to endorse), writes from a humorous and explicitly gay perspective, and his invocation of this complicated word was meant to critique the notion that the gay characters of Glee should feel obliged to “play straight” on stage. That said, we recognize that the column caused genuine offense to many readers, and we apologize unreservedly to them.