Catch-phrases come and go in the gay community, but some truly stand the test of time. They’re “fierce!” The term “fierce” came into wide popularity among gay men in the ball culture scene of New York City during the late 1980s, and has since crossed-over into mainstream culture to become one of the widest-used adjectives we queens utter today.
In fact, you might have seen a recent episode of Project Runway Season 4, where one of the show’s finalists, Christian Siriano, said “fierce” at least twenty times in the course of one 42-minute episode. But the term is no longer used explicitly by gay men. Yours truly has heard more than a few straight women, and even straight men and lesbians, describe something as “fierce” on the streets of New York City.
1. A term that gay men use to describe absolutely everything that is of “exceptional quality.”
2. A term used to describe objects, people, or instances that are outlandish and cannot be handled with subtlety; often with great or animated emphasis.
3. A term coined by African-American gay men to describe things are extraordinary, in either a positive or negative way.
1. The act of being bold, displaying confidence, creativity or self-reliance. Relates directly to fashion, clothes, hair or makeup.
Person 1: “How was the party girl?” / Person 2: “Girl, it was FIERCE!”
Person 1: “Did you see Wanda’s shoes girl?!” / Person 2: “Yeah girl, those platforms were FIERCE!”