• Jake Taylor

Functions and Gatherings: Self Titled Debut Blog Post

CW: Homophobic Slur

For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved throwing parties. I would take all of my stuffed animals to the little house attached to my swingset and pretend they were having snacks and hanging out. If I was lucky, I had leftover streamers from a family birthday that I could tack up. Thanksgiving meant helping my Grandma cook and setting the table and making hand-turkey decorations out of construction paper that I’d scotch tape to the walls at child’s eye level. I also love planning. Almost every vacation I’ve been on involved a packing list printed well in advance and a detailed itinerary of each day’s events. Fast forward 20 or so years and I’m still just as gay and still love hostessing and planning just as much! Functions and Gatherings is born. I wanted to provide a little bit of background about myself and my love of planning parties, but the real purpose of this post as you figured out by the title is the name of my company - Functions and Gatherings.  

Despite it not being super evident in the name, Functions and Gatherings is a queer-focused wedding and event planning company. The fact that it isn’t super obvious however doesn’t mean that it’s true. The name is very intentionally an acronym for a somewhat sensitive word which in itself is a bit radical and definitely queer. F-A-G. Fag. This word can be both devastating and empowering to many different types of people, people that I want to work with. I hope to share more about my intention with the name and do my best to keep anyone from feeling negative.

As a rather flamboyant and effeminate person, I’ve been called a fag my entire life. It used to hurt a lot. Gradually, over time, it’s become something that I’ve embraced. I still don’t appreciate being called that by strangers using it derogatorily but I do find the word personally empowering. To me, it means being unapologetic. It means standing up to societal expectations and living your best life and being your true self, especially if it’s outside the cisheteronormative mold. An aggressor often calls someone a fag to make them feel small and ashamed but I refuse to feel either. My queerness is something I will never be sorry for and still struggle not to be ashamed of, but I certainly won’t let someone else make me feel less than because of my queerness.

I understand and respect that some may be put off by this little morsel of information about the name Functions and Gatherings. I hope that the focus will be on my commitment to throwing unapologetic celebrations of queer love and other general queerness. Together we’re going to stand up to expectations and traditions and create space where everyone feels welcome and safe to really, truly be themselves and not be ashamed! 

I will ask that everyone continues to refer to Functions and Gatherings as just that - Functions and Gatherings. As I said before, the acronym can be indescribably hurtful to many members of the community and I would never want to condone the use of the word too freely and openly. I share this with you here in a safe space and ask that this word and name stay here while the mission of being unapologetically queer and celebrating as such be carried on and shouted from the rooftops!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Feel free to send me a message or email me and let’s chat. Thank you for reading my first post and I look forward to sharing much more with you!

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