Gay Lingo as a Form of Deviance

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GAY LINGO AS A FORM OF INNOVATIVE DEVIANCE

Sociology 101

Dr. Aleli Sevilla

September 8, 2010

I. IDENTIFICATION OF THE PROBLEM AND HYPOTHESIS

This paper aims to answer the following questions:

1. How did Gay Lingo evolve to become a form of innovative deviance?

2. Does the use of Gay Lingo by the society equate to the acceptance of homosexuals in the Philippines?

The researchers have formulated the following hypotheses as preliminary answers to the questions stated above:

1. Gay Lingo resulted from the sheltered emotions of homosexuals here in the Philippines. Their desire to protect themselves against the discriminating faces of society brought about the colorful language that it is today.

2. The researchers believe that the extensive use of Gay Lingo today have somewhat sped up the sluggish acceptance of homosexuality by a highly patriarchal society.

II. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Gay Language: Defying the Structural Limits of English Language in the Philippines

Binabae and bakla are familiar words in Filipino street talk. But what about badaf, baklush, and baklers? These are a little confusing for the average Filipino speaker, while the expressions Bading Garci, pa-mihn, pa-girl, x-men, will lose most expert speakers of the Filipino language. These are terms which are heard “only in the Philippines”; as the local TV advertisement says, ‘Walang ganyan sa States’ (“You don’t have that in the States”).

In the Philippines, where sexual orientation has become a moral, political, and social issue of acceptability, homosexuals have become victims of condemnation—in school, at the workplace, in church, or elsewhere. These places therefore have become daily battlegrounds for them, and to win this bloodless battle, they have developed a most potent weapon that will shield them from flying missiles of verbal incantation and poetic malady (such as multong bakla and salot sa lipunan) fired by people with strong patriarchal orientations. The new, vibrant, potent weapon of marginalized gays is language—creatively crafted like a magic spell that colors their tongue and weaves their protection. It is a language that only the homosexuals can understand. “Gayspeak” or gay language in the Philippines is a form of verbal sublimation of gay people against the domineering power of patriarchy. Yet the positive response of the people outside the gay community to gayspeak has ironically rewarded the homosexuals, giving them the chance to penetrate mainstream culture and to be socially accepted in it.

Binabae, bakla, budaf, baklush, baklers, bading garci, pa-mihn, pa-girl, x-men—all these expressions actually have only one meaning: bakla or gay. Gay language is, as Remoto puts it, “forever advent, forever beginning, forever new.” Over the years, more and more words have been added to the semantic lists of gayspeak in the Philippines; gay words are “continuously updated” (Remoto) while some words “eventually die and lose their value” (Baytan 261). In spite of this, gayspeak enjoys “freedom from the rules and dictates of the society” (Suguitan 1). A better way of describing this creative language is the way Remoto puts it: “full of slippage and cracks—a language at once sophisticated and vulgar, serious and light, timely and timeless.”

Casabal, Norberto (2008, August). Gay Language: Defying the Structural Limits of English Language in the Philippines. Retrieved from http://150.ateneo.edu/kritikakultura/images/pdf/kk11/gay.pdf

Swardspeak as a Means to the Formation of the Male Homosexual’s Social Identity Aside from identity purposes, the gay language also forms a dividing line between the bigger society and the male homosexuals’ society. Swardspeak may be a form of deception as it tends to mislead the common people in a way that they would not be aware of what the male homosexuals are talking about (especially if it...
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