Word of the Gay

*Straight talk on Gay language, one word at-a-time.

#9 “Tina”

When it comes to thinking up catchy phrases and nicknames for illicit drugs, no one does it better than gay men.  The term “Tina,” or “Teena” is widely used in gay communities as the casual or street term for crystal methamphetamine.

The name derived from the fact that the drug is commonly bought in sixteenth of an ounce packages; known as a “teena.”  The name has also been attributed to the Western female name, Christina, which sounds similar to part of the drugs name, “crystal.”

[Origin: Most likely American, either San Francisco or New York City.  The phrase was popularized by men frequenting online dating sites in the late 1990s and early 2000s.]

For a comprehensive list of  Methamphetamine slang terms, visit KCI: The Anti-Meth Site.  Many LGBT, HIV/AIDS  and anti-drug organizations have focused on this particular drug in the past ten years for being so closely linked with the increase in HIV infection rates among young men.  “Hurricane Tina” was a successful ad campaign and program launched by Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City in 2007 to spread awareness of this troubling trend.

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