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I am apparently engaging in bigotry by not changing Gypsy's name. (cw: rambling discourse on unconscious bigotry, racist terms)

I really didn't even think about it -- the word "gypsy" isn't like the "n" word, is it? I mean...there's a breed of horses -- Gypsy Vanners, gypsy moths, gypsy peppers, etc. (That doesn't make it OK by any means. Just pointing out that the existence of these breeds of things...)

Granted, the Romany people don't get the kind of attention or respect (disrespect?) that any other disenfranchised community gets to begin with so why should anyone worry about the words we use for them? Hell, "gypsy" is romanticized -- gypsy culture, dress, lifestyle...live like a gypsy! No one would DARE replace gypsy with the "n" word, would they? There aren't whole catalogs trying to sell the "kike" look, or "spic" clothing, or some other racial slur. But "gypsy"... gypsy's ok because it's all so romantic and chic and bohemian and coooooool. *rolls eyes* I might have thought that way once, too. I've learned since. Josie disabused me of some of it by patiently educating me first hand what being of Rom ancestry is like. Sucks just as much as my being of German/Russian Jew ancestry and under attack once again by Nazis. bohemian evening dresses

When we named her, we didn't take into account the baggage the word had (she's not named for the Gypsies...she's named for THE GYPSY of Batman comics. Joker, Harley Quinn, Pix -- it's the Rogue's Gallery here.) She was originally Kale from Wasabi, Pumpkin and Kale of the Collard Green Gang . She never answered to it. So I researched Batman villains and found The Gypsy. Who was a villain for a short time and then became part of the Justice League. I looked over at this puppy, said "Gypsy?" and she looked right at me and that was that. It fit. She'd been thrown in a dumpster at birth, unwanted. Kind of how the Romany people have been unwanted everywhere they go. Although that thought didn't really occur to me at the time.

I've also since learned that "Kale" is also a group of Welsh Romany people. -- Maybe it's just a coincidence? I don't know. But somehow, my dog has two names both related to the Romany people -- one that's used as an ethnic slur and now I'm apparently being a bigot because I refuse to change her name. "She's a dog and you're her owner and you can change it."

Yes. I can. I can call her "Tipsy" or "Dipsy" or "Flipsy" or "Kalamazoo". But her name is Gypsy Kale. Am I trying to justify this to myself? Maybe. If you know me, and my relationship with Gypsy, you know she's more than just a dog to me. She's my other child. I've raised this dog since she was a few days old. We are bonded beyond that of owner/dog. Heck, she has more fans/friends than I do and is recognized when we go out in public. It would be kind of like changing Liana's name. (OK...not really. I get that. She is a dog. LOL. I'm not crazy.) But we still occasionally get the "OMG is that Gypsy Kale?" when we're out in public.

Is my dog's name really that offensive to millions of people? Am I actually harming so many people by having a dog named Gypsy? My DOG? I mean...she's cute and all. She's fucking adorable. We all know if she had opposable thumbs she'd be ruling the world but she's....a dog. I don't use the word to refer to people. I don't use any racial slurs to refer to people. I treat people better than most people treat their dogs. Hell, I treat my DOGS better than most folks treat other people.

I don't know. I guess I'm just gonna have to accept that some folks are going to think I'm a bigot. Because I'm not changing her name. She's almost 6 years old. She's Gypsy Kale and will remain Gypsy Kale. And when I call her, she's alternately "Gypsy", "Dipsy", "Smidge", "Smidgeon", "Twerp", Bratface", "get over here you asshole", and "oh my word, I love you."

It's all just so....I don't even know.