Last year, All That Remains frontman Phil Labonte got in a bit of hot water after he called Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack a “faggot” on a Facebook post. He then defended himself via social media, saying he backs gay rights 100%, and that in “six months, no one will remember this.” While they might not have remembered it six months ago, thanks to an interview in the current issue of Revolver, it’s making the news again. From Revolver (via Metal Sucks):
How about when you called Andy Biersack a faggot? After that, you had a lot of people call you homophobic.
I don’t worry about what people think about me. I’ll call everyone in my band a faggot and some people who read that get really butt-hurt. I just don’t know why. What happened to, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”? I don’t advocate hurting someone’s feelings because of their sexual orientation, but at the same time, if it really offends you when someone says “faggot” you need to man up. It’s just a word.
Do you think gay marriage is wrong?
Absolutely not. Passing laws against gay marriage is the most ridiculous thing in the world. The idea that gay people shouldn’t enjoy the same rights that straight people do, that’s offensive to me, because they’re just people, and it certainly isn’t my right to go ahead and tell people how they can live or cannot live.”
We’re of two minds here. Labonte is to be commended for sticking up for gay rights. There are many who are probably reading his thoughts on gay marriage that are happy to have him standing up for them. On the other hand, some of those people may have been called “faggots” growing up. It’s just a word, sure, and maybe they should “man up.” But perhaps just hearing that word brings them back to a place where they were tormented by others because of their sexual orientation. And what Labonte and his band members say to each other on a tour bus is one thing, but when he has a forum that he uses to mock someone that doesn’t look or act like him, that’s something that will continue to follow him throughout his career. “Faggot” is just a word the same way the N word is just a word – it’s got a lot of stigma attached to it, and to many, it means a lot more than just any other word.