It’s a very long way from “darn” to this expression.
To be sure, I looked up the word, and it is deemed a “term of abuse,” “derogatory,” and is considered to be homophobic.
I believe that my aunt would be horrified to know this, but I also don’t want to police the words of the people around me. — Concerned Niece Dear Concerned: Thank you for supplying the word in question, which I have redacted from your letter, for the reasons you state.
To describe it, however — basically your non-swearing aunt is flinging the “F-bomb,” with a (potentially) homophobic twist.
They are a companion piece with Paul Maxwell’s five things younger men need from older men.
It might sound cliché, but far and away the most important thing I have to say to younger men is that your identity must be anchored in Christ (Romans ; 2 Corinthians ).