Archive for April, 2008
While there may be no documented proof, the existence of a group of gay individuals who run an underground control system of fashion, design, popular culture, art and media has been widely acknowledged. The term “gay mafia” is used to describe this group of individuals who work to keep a handle on all things fabulous.
The term is a turn on the standard definition of “mafia,” which described a system of organized crime, ruled by a “mob boss” and his subordinate cells of henchmen and criminals. The “gay mafia” is said to control areas of particular gay interest and has a certain tongue-and-cheek appeal to both gay and straight people who are interested in popular culture.
Many pop icons have been accredited with being associated with the “gay mafia,” including Cher, Tom Ford, Gianni Versace, Halston, Kenneth Cole and Sir Elton John. Sir Elton John’s 2002 appearance on NBC’s “Will & Grace” paid homage to this concept when he was cast as himself, the “eyeshadowy Don” of the gay mafia.
There is also a professional, Los Angeles-based comedy troupe that goes by the name: “The Gay Mafia”
[Related: pink posse, pink panthers]
“Tricks” are treats for some gay men. The term “trick” is most commonly used by gay men when referring to an anonymous sex partner, or “one-night stand.” This word is popular among young gay men, and in particular, in large metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The term was popularized in 1999 with the cult gay film, “Trick” starring Christian Campbell and John Paul (“J.P.”) Pitoc. The film follows an aspiring playwright (Campbell) and a hunky go-go dancer (Pitoc) as they make their way through Manhattan in an attempt to follow-through with a one-night stand.
1. an anonymous sex partner; usually a gay male.
1. the act of an anonymous sexual encounter; sometimes resulting in the transfer of money.
Related: one-night stand, tricking, tricks
[Origin: Relating to prostitution, the act of picking up a “john” or being a “trick” looking for a possible sexual partner or “date.”]
The term “rice queen” refers to a gay man (non-Asian, and most commonly Caucasian), who is explicitly attracted to Asian men. Rice queen originates from “rice” being the staple of most Asian dishes, and “queen” being a popular name used to describe a gay man. This term is used primarily in jest, and can also be considered derogatory. If you live in a large metropolitan area, or have many gay male friends, you probably know at least one rice queen. There may not be scientific data to support it; but rice queens can commonly be found in the following fields: architecture, interior design, graphic design and advertising.
1. a man who has a particular interest in, or sexual attraction to, Asian men.
2. derogatory or familiar name given to men (non-Asian) that are interested in Asian men.
: “Did you see his new boyfriend? He only dates Asian guys, what a rice queen!”
Related: bean queen, potato queen, refried beans, sticky rice
[Origin: based on rice being a staple of many Asian dishes.]
The phrase “coming out” (short for “coming out of the closet“), seeks to encapsulate the process by which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) people make their sexuality known to other people. Over the past few decades, the phrase has become a battle cry for individuals who champion equal rights for gay people. And for many, it has become synonymous with feelings of empowerment, courage and truth.
The phrase comes directly from “skeletons in the closet,” meaning secrets that are kept away from public knowledge due to shame, fear or embarrassment. Bringing those secrets out into the open, or “out of the closet” can then been seen as a way in which to overcome adversity or shame. Related is the phrase “outing,” which refers to the involuntary act of having your sexuality made public.
There are many more gay people out today than ever before, and a current trend is emerging, where being “in the closet” (or, not concealing your sexuality), is understood to be very unhealthy or destructive to the individual. Most LGBT advocacy groups encourage living an “out” lifestyle and advocate for programs that assist people in the “coming out” process.
The epic dance disco track, “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross has been heralded as a gay “anthem,” if not THE gay anthem. It was said to have been inspired after the song’s writer witnessed drag queens dressing up and impersonating The Disco Queen in California discos.
1. the process by which a gay person makes their sexuality public.
2. a voluntary submission of one’s sexuality, usually with an association with LGBTQ
[Related: outed, outing]
“Fag hag” is a term near and dear to this author’s heart. The term “fag hag” relates, most specifically, to a straight woman that associates with, or is very close to, a gay man or men. It is usually used in a derogatory manner, but has been embraced by many women as a positive self-identifying trait. In some circles, being a Fag Hag represents a status symbol among straight women who champion LGBT equality and rights.
As a member of a gay-straight alliance founded by a self-proclaimed hag, I am particularly interested in everything “fag hag.” SWiSH (Straight Women in Support of Homos) is an example of an organization that focuses on the perspective of a “fag hag.”
Poplar stand-up comedienne and satirist, Margaret Cho offered some very entertaining passages about her experience as a self-proclaimed “fag hag” in her 2000 one-woman act, “I’m The One That I Want.” Essentially, behind every gay man is a steadfast and supportive fag hag – a woman that guides gay men from the tumultuous and exciting days of “coming out” into the golden years of gayhood.
1. a woman who is closely related to, or feels a strong connection to, gay men.
2. a person, male or female (gay or straight) that advocates on the behalf of gay people or is surrounded by all things gay.
[Related: beard, dyke Mike, dyke tyke]