How Appropriating Slang can be Problematic: Yaaaass Queen, Even for you!

Right now, Woke, Slay, Bae, Yaaasss Queen and Lit are basically unavoidable. Yet the claim that these words are ‘internet slang’ is a bold faced lie- they come from Black and Queer culture. I’ll put it to you simply, flavoring your language with slang that is not native to you may come with more than a heavy does of side-eye, it could also be problematic, exploitative, and signal to the community that you’re borrowing from that you trivialize their personal experiences and tokenize their culture.

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Gabby Henrie
Returning to the Baton Rouge I knew after weeks of love and violence

I was one of the first to arrive at Alton Sterling’s funeral. Thousands were expected on that Friday, so Southern University, my alma mater, had hosted the funeral at the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Walking towards the door, all the memories I had of wild undergraduate times—sneaking away from dorms past curfew, caught up in some silly drinking game—came flooding back. They gave me comfort, even at this sorrowful time.

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Gabby Henrie