How to say gay
One of the most important parts of the Moscas de Colores project is the creation of a dictionary with the majority of the words and expressions used to attack sexual diversity, formed by a Gay Dictionary, a Lesbian Dictionary and an LGBT Glossary.
The Gay Dictionary is composed by 68 dictionaries corresponding to each of the compiled languages, with more than 1500 terms and expressions that speak of sex and love between men, and that sometimes also speak of bisexual men and transgender people.
The making of
Our dictionaries are not a mere collection of words compiled without rhyme or reason in the network and in printed texts. On the contrary, they are contrasted and subjected to debate on their use, meaning, and origin. In some dictionaries, this turns out to be easier than in others, due to the language and culture itself. In others, though, the task is almost impossible.
The objective of the Gay Dictionary
However, this task is always exciting, especially when, behind a word, we find a door to an unknown world that tells us the truth about the way things happened in a certain time. Thus, the words become fossil testimonies of a time and a society, as happens with the Polari, Karlianta and Lubunca jargons. Words express the way we relate to things that exist at a given time.
Because our aim with the gay and lesbian dictionary is not to make a collection of words, but to show that what we understand and think about the manifestations of sexual diversity is nothing more than a social construction, relative to a space-time period, which speaks of a human characteristic that is sexual diversity, the only thing that does not change. What is considered bad today was once normal, and it is about this reductionist process of human sexual potentiality, among other things, that words speak to us.
Some dictionaries, such as the Spanish, English or Italian ones are more extensive than others such as the Swahili or Sinhalese. This is due to two reasons, on the one hand, our cultural closeness and on the other the ability and possibility of each culture to study and record their expressions in texts. But we always try to talk about the specific singularity of each dictionary and provide links to complementary information. There is also variety in the type of words, some are insulting expressions, others belong to the gay community itself and others to more specific jargon such as those of prisons or truck drivers.
The Use of the Gay Dictionary
In our dictionaries we have compiled words belonging to many countries, some offensive, some curious. Please, know them, learn their meaning, but remember that those labels that we are given, those words, do not define us, they do not define you. These words and insults define those who use them, and the peoples and periods in which they originated.
The word gay
We start our gay dictionary, as is only natural, with the word gay. Select any language in the side menu to learn more words.
It is the most universal and international way of naming homosexual men, that is, men who show an inclination towards the erotic-affective relationship with individuals of the same sex. It is a loan from English, with origin in the Provencal word "gai" , meaning cheerful and rascal. At first, it began to be used to name female prostitutes, but subsequently, as it happens on many occasions, it was used to name effeminate men or men that may have been homosexual. Over time and in response to the term "homosexual" turned into pathology, the word gay was chosen as self-definition, stripped of its negative connotations. Although it can be used for men and women, gay is usual for men and lesbian for women.
Although the word "gay" is an international term, adaptations have been made into several languages, as are the examples of: "gej" (Albanian, Slovak, Polish and Serbian), "ge" (Bengali), "gai" (Spanish, Valencian and Catalan), "gēi-lóu" (Chinese), "ge-i" (Korean), "gei" (Estonian), "hoyw" (Welsh), "gėjus" (Lithuanian), "гей" (Russian) and "ke" (Thai).
Since the very appearance of homophobia to the choice of the word gay as a positive term in the 20th century, all the words used were pejorative expressions that can be grouped into the following categories:
1) Sexual and scatological subject: words like "bæsjdytter" (feces pusher in Norwegian), "fai usi" (ass fucker in Tongan) and "monmon" (he who sucks cocks while is being penetrated in Visayan language).
2) About sin and crime: religious terms such as the Spanish "sodomita" (sodomite), "looti" (Lot’s people in Urdu language), "buserant" (peter-puffer/ponce/bugger in German) and "pederast" (in Albanian).
3) Related to the patriarchal feminization: consisting in attributing presumed female characteristics to homosexual men. The word "marieta" (variation of the name of Mary in Valencian language), "schwul" (which comes from the word schwül that means sweltering heat in German language), the Spanish word "trucha" (meaning trout) and "onee" (which is older sister in Japanese).
4) Euphemisms: including names of animals, as “mariquita” (ladybug in Spanish language) and “veado” (deer in Portuguese); fruits and plants, as “finocchio” (fennel in Italian language) and "sikiá" (fig tree in Greek); and objects, as the word “okama” (cauldron in Japanese) and “rqendil” ( candle in Bererber language).
5) The Crooked concept: the concept of crooked, devious, spoiled or defective is present in many languages, and it has a special importance because of its relationship with the term “queer”, chosen to refer, without rating, any form of sexuality, this idea that comes from a revolutionary theory, which is known as the Queer Theory. In addition to the term “queer”, with the same concept, we have the Spanish term “desviado” (deviant), the Arabic term "šāḏ", or the Norwegian "Skeiv".