Word of the Gay

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

Archive for Things I Say

#40: “homosensual”

Minorities and oppressed peoples often reappropriate words and phrases that are used to disparage them as a means of empowerment. Pejoratives like ‘queer’, and ‘faggot’ have long been used to hurt gay people, but over the years have been reclaimed and even used by the general populace as well.

And in some cases, this reappropriation is so successful as to turn a previously disparaging word into the preferred term: for example, ‘gay’, previously an insult, is now strongly preferred to ‘homosexual’, both as an adjective and a noun. [wiki: reappropriation] ‘Gay’ may be used over ‘homosexual’ so as not to identify solely on the basis of sexuality.

‘Homosensual’ is a new and creative portmanteau (a combination of two words and a favorite of Word of the Gay) being used by comedians Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson on their weekly podcast, “Throwing Shade.”

-adjective or noun, portmanteau

1. the combination of the terms ‘homosexual’ and ‘sensual’.

2. adjective: of or pertaining to the homosexual senses or physical sensation; sensory.

3. adjective: pertaining to, inclined to, or preoccupied with the gratification of the senses or homosexual appetites; carnal; fleshly.

4. adjective: arousing or exciting the senses or appetites of a gay person.

5. noun: a sensual gay person, in most instances a gay man.

6. see also: “Double Headed Disco” party by the same name.

Related: homo, gay, homosexual, sensual

Ex: “God, he’s so homosensual.”

Ex: “Hi, I’m homosensual Bryan Safi.”

[Origin: American. Used by Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson in the opening of the weekly podcast, “Throwing Shade”.  Root: ‘Sensual’: 1400-50 late Middle English, from Latin ‘sensus’ sense.]

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#34 “swish”

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.]

#32 “trade”

It goes without saying that there are a great many words and phrases that relate to casual sexual encounters.  “Trade” is one such word.  The word originates from Polari (post #22), the now almost entirely defunct gay “slanguage” from The United Kingdom.

“Trade” originally referred to a straight male who was the sexual partner of another man, either gay or bisexual, and quickly came to describe any pair of male sexual partners.  Over time, the term has also been commonly attributed to younger or economically-disadvataged man who becomes the sexual partner of another older, or considerably more affluent, man.

Some specific examples of its use relate to men who seek out overtly masculine sexual partners.  For instance, some men will seek out service members of the armed forces, who exemplify for them a very masculine example of manhood.  These men are referred to as “military trade“, and may or may not be gay.

Currently, and in most cases, the word is used casually to refer to any male sexual partner of another man.

Ex: “I was at my favorite bar again last night, trying to pick up some trade.”, or “Did you see Chris and his trade come out of the club when it closed last night!”

-noun

1. the male sexual partner of another man; depending upon the circumstance may identify as straight, bisexual, or gay; individual may also receive payment after sexual acts are performed

[Related: “hook up”, “MSM” (men who have sex with men), “one night stand”, “rough trade”, “trick”]

#30 “tucknology”

The term “tucknology” refers to the methods and processes that drag performers (a.k.a. “drag queens”) use to create the illusion of the female form, “down there”.

Being friends with more than a few drag queens, I have grown accustomed to assisting them with their hair, their make-up, and overall look.  But there is always a point in the process of getting ready when they excuse themselves, go into the bathroom with a roll of tape and a few layers of undergarments, and come out a changed – woman.

A performer’s tucknology is as unique as their wig, so no two people will necessarily have the same approach.  Many implement a “tuck and fold” technique, while others manage to wear very tight underwear and tape down the remaining, offending, buldges.  There are more than a few online resources available, for the more adventurous readers out there to peruse… here, here, or even here.

plural -gies. [tuk-nol-uh-gee]

1. noun: the study of tucking and/or binding male genitalia, for the purposes of making them appear to be female.

2. noun: the practice (techniques and processes) that deal with tucking male genetalia.

Ex: “Gurl, whatever techniques you are using down there – your tucknology is workin’ for you!”

[Origin: Joshua Tjaden, 2006]

#28 “green queen”

Not only does this phrase rhyme (something I love to do), but it describes yours truly. Modern life revolves around the concept of “going green”, and almost every industry is capitalizing off of climate change. From the hybrid car to the bio-degradable multi-surface cleaner, we buy-in to our culture’s immediate response to an enormous problem. And we all experience climate change and the effects of the petrol-chemical industries each day – from hormones, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals that remain in our drinking water, to the incremental changes in temperature across the globe.

The average person will not necessarily be aware of these facts as they go about their daily routine. Because even though there is a lot of noise about climate change, and of devastation and irreversible damage to our natural resources, only certain folks seem to be hearing it. I like to refer to a gay man who is conscious of his day-to-day impact on the environment as a Green Queen.

1. noun: an environmentally-conscious homosexual/gay man.

Ex: “I saw the cutest Green Queen recycling his batteries and cell phone charger at Whole Foods the other day.”

[Origin: Yours truly. Not to be confused with one of many women’s websites that focus one the environmentally-conscious woman’s point of view; see here, here, here, and even here.]

#18 “rice queen”

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.

Find out if you are a rice queen, by CLICKING HERE.  Or by WATCHING THIS VIDEO courtesy of Youtube.com.

–noun
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.]

#13 “queening out”

You’ve seen it all before… a gay man gets upset or super excited – and suddenly it’s the end of the World. “Queening out” is a popular phrase in the gay community that describes one of two things:

1. a gay male tantrum, or fit of rage

2. an individual exhibiting stereotypical gay tendencies; usually manifest in the form of speech patterns, mimicry of pop culture icons or outlandish dance & movement

The phrase is related to “queen” being a term used to describe an effeminate gay man. “Queening out” is not only used to describe men, but can be used for women, as seen in one of these two videos scenes from YouTube.com: Some Kid Queening Out & Child Abuser Queening Out

Ex: “Oh Gurl, you should have seen her, she was queening out on the dance floor big-time!”

[Related catch-phrases: “Slow Your Roll,” “Don’t have a cow, man” “Take it Easy,” and the less-accepted “Fagging Out”]