Gay Speak

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Philippine Gay Language: A Pidgin
By Johnnie J. Lim
(2009)

I. Introduction

Inquiries about the meaning of the gay language in the Philippines have been raised including the origin of the terms used. The Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia defines it as “a vernacular language derived from Englog, and is used by a number of gay Filipinos. It uses elements from Tagalog, English, and Spanish, and some are from Niponggo, as well as celebrities’ names and trademark brands, giving them new meanings in the context of this unique language” (Wikipedia). This is supported by studies which show that the terms have evolved due to the contribution coming from the different dialects and languages in the country introduced and used by the speakers themselves, the ‘gays’. As an observer, I was encouraged to conduct this similar study of which the output will give a back up explanation to some intelligent assumptions facing it as form of communication used by the people of the third sex, and come up with a clear concept about its meaning. The result will also help provide some reasons of its emergence in the country. Specifically, my study aimed to: (1) determine the meaning of the gay language in the Philippines; (2) trace the origin of some terms in use; (3) provide a brief explanation of its emergence in the country.

II. Discussion

The gay language in the Philippines is a 'pidgin'. Filipinos of the third sex decided to come up with a form of language that is only peculiar to them to facilitate communication among the members with a slight intention of concealing the real message behind the information being expressed. My point of considering the gay language as a ‘pidgin’ is in reference to the Wikipedia, online free Encyclopedia that defines it as “a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups that do not have a language in common, in situations such as trade , or where both groups speak languages different than the language of the country in which they reside (but there is no common language between the groups). A 'pidgin' language is, fundamentally, a simplified means of linguistic communication, as is constructed impromptu, or by convention, between groups of people. A 'pidgin' language is not the native language of any speech community, but is instead learned as a second language. A 'Pidgin' language may be built from words, sounds, or body language from multiple other languages / cultures. 'Pidgin' languages usually have low prestige with respect to other languages.” This gives a clear idea to consider the gay language as a ‘pidgin’. This is also strongly supported by the discussion in a research paper entitled "The evolution and Expansion of Gay Language in the Philippines" (cited in http://emai031791.multiply.com/journal/item/6) in which the researcher stated that “discrimination of gays have paved way to the creation of a code of communication which only gays could use.” This claim is strongly agreed by 100% of the participants of my study as reflected in the survey questionnaire I administered to them. On the other hand, my survey proved that this ‘pidgin’ is brought by the intention of these group of people, the gays, to observe confidentiality of whatever issues or business they have in such a way that nobody can comprehend it except those who belong to the groups. Apparently, this ‘pidgin’ has spread throughout the country since the speakers are mostly part of the Arts industry. The spread could be inevitable like a ‘virus’ for some of the terms sound amusing that bring pleasure to the ears. This gives us the analysis about the gays’ attitude of being ‘jolly’ and ‘funny’ as reflected in the choice of words they use. The emergence of the gay language can be likened to the need of the computer experts to come up with various technical terms to be used as ‘common codes’ by the users in operating the computers. These ‘common codes’ can be considered a ‘pidgin’ which can...
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