Archive for Derogatory
Throughout history, words have been used to discriminate, pigeon-hole, or otherwise keep groups of people “in their place” in society. To that end, groups that have been the target of vicious name-calling often reclaim insulting language as a way to self-identify and empower themselves as an individual, or as a member of a larger community.
Reclamatory language, as it is referred to, is language with pejorative connotations that people with marginalized identities use to identify themselves. Language which has been used as an insult, and which is still used as an insult today, can be reclaimed through the use of reclamatory language. However, there are some words, like the “n”, “f”, and “c” words, for instance, that many people believe to be too far beyond reclaiming for anyone to use in an empowering manner.
“Swish” is an example of this phenomenon; and of how a group of like-minded individuals were determined to build a positive movement to further the rights of LGBT people through reclaiming an often insulting slang word used to describe “effeminate” men. The small group of friends has evolved into a large, diverse community comprising people of every background, shoe size, hair color, and sexual identity. With more than 1,000 members in 32 states and 4 countries, “Swish” creates volunteer, advocacy, and educational opportunities for the gay and straight communities to learn from each other and work together toward full, unwavering equality for LGBT people.
plural -ers. adjective -y [swish]
1. adjective (swishy, swishing): A pejorative word used to describe flamboyant characteristics, personality traits, or physical attributes of a homosexual person; usually a gay man.
2a. noun: An American gay-straight alliance, founded in 2003 (originally an acronym for Straight Women In Support of Homos), that provides opportunities for straight women and men to contribute their time, energy, and talents to furthering the LGBT rights movement.
2b: noun (Swisher): A member of “Swish”, who embodies the mission and vision of the organization – to further the LGBT rights movement.
3a. verb: To fight for equal rights for the LGBT community using one’s talents, smarts, and sense of style.
3b. verb: To make activism uplifting, rewarding, and fun. To “swish” is the emancipation from what was once a pejorative to an ability to envision and create a world in which equality, freedom, and love for all LGBT people is valued and celebrated.
Ex: “Oh my, would you just look at that guy swishing down the street!”
Ex: “I love being a Swisher! Each year at NYC Pride, I am able to set a positive example for straight allies in the LGBT movement and beyond!”
[Origin: Most likely American or European, used in pre-Stonewall (i.e. 1969 A.D.) gay male communities.]
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.]
Similar in many ways to “queening out,” “dykin’ out” refers to women exhibiting stereotypical gay traits or mannerisms. Commonly used to describe an instance when a straight woman experiments with lesbian sex, or when two straight women share intimate moments together.
This term is used primarily by gay men or straight women in a flippant manner, and is most often uttered to solicit a laugh.
The British truly have a way with words. They also have a certain way with homophobia. Being “bent” refers to anything that is gay… and in essence, isn’t straight. It is derived, most un-remarkably, from the word bent being a simple antonym to the word straight. However gauche, this phrase is wildly popular and has many derivatives. For instance, it can be used to describe any person, place, thing or activity that is perceived to be gay.
[Origin: British; alternatives: bent, bender]
Derogative in nature, “bent” should be used sparingly. In the US, Canada and Australia, the term is more often used as an alternative to the adjective “fuck” in the following phrase: “Get bent!”
1. a derogatory term used to describe homosexual men
Person 1: “He’s a little bent, don’t you think?” / Person 2: “Yeah, he’s a right bender.”
“Breeder” is a slang term that gay people use when describing straight people in either a derogatory or humorous manner. It is drawn from animal husbandry; implying that heterosexual sexual contact has more to do with reproduction than anything else.
1. a derogatory term used to describe straight people in light of their ability to reproduce
: “Look at this place. It used to be so cool, and now it’s filled with a bunch of breeders.”