The word Warm can be translated into English as warm, affectionate, heated, friendly, etc. and at least since the 18th century is a slang that has given rise to a large number of expressions to refer to homosexuality and homosexual people, especially men. Although the written references date from that century it is not ruled out that their origin is much earlier.
Since the end of the 18th to the present there have been several attempts to explain the origin of this slang that we discard. The most curious of these are the conclusions of one of the forerunners of LGBT rights, the sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, who said that the uranists (that’s what those pioneers called us) had a body temperature higher than the rest of people. Another explanation found is in the fact that homosexual men get horny with those of their same sex, and finally, the one that relates the heat with the dangerousness that has always been attributed to homosexuals.
In our opinion there are two possible origins that are related. The first is explained by the meaning of warm, which would be an intermediate temperature between cold and hot, and the secular dichotomous vision of sexuality and gender. In this sense, the man was considered rough, hard and cold and the woman soft, weak and hot. The man who had sex with other men, therefore, was neither cold nor hot, he was a tepid man in his worst sense. The other explanation, related to the previous one, has to do with the patriarchal identification, with the attribution of supposedly feminine characteristics to homosexual men, such as the warmth in the voice, the softness of the gestures and the weakness in general. A man too warm, too affectionate with other men can be considered half a man. This explanation is reinforced by two derogatory expressions of classical Greece and Rome used against men who behaved as women with other men, the Greek word “malakós” and the Roman expression “homo mollis” literally meant mild man. This simple idea of man as a woman and a concept as basic as warmth can place the origin of the word warm as slang for homosexuality far back in time.
We also have to comment on the possible relationship between the slang words warm and schwul. If warm means heated, schwül (with umlauts in u) means suffocating, which is much hotter and more intense in all its meanings, which in this context means “much more faggot”. There are those who place in warm the origin of the slang Schwul (without umlauts), a derogatory expression at the beginning but which is currently a neutral term widely used as a synonym for gay.
Finally it should be noted that warm is also used as a neutral term inside and outside the LGBT scene as synonymous with gay, so Warme Meile (the warm mile) was the name given to the gay neighborhood of Cologne city in the 1950s, the radio station Deutsche Welle was known as the Warme Welle (the warm wave) for its high percentage of LGBT workers, and the expression Warmherzig (warm heart ) is used as a synonym for gay and lesbian.
Related: warme Freundschaft (warm friendship = homosexuality), Auf die warme Fahrt gehen (go out for a warm walk = look for a homosexual couple who pays), warme Arbeist (warm work = homosexual activity); warmer Akt (warm act), warme Arie (warm aria), warme Küche (warm cooking), Wärmebehandlung (heat treatment), Wärmelehre (thermodynamics) and Wärmetechnik (thermal engineering) mean homosexual sex; jemanden die warme Schulter zeigen (show warm shoulder to somenone = want homosexual relationships with someone); warm angehaucht (warm trend), wärmehaltig (that keeps the heat) and warm angelegt sein (being horny) mean homosexual (adjective).