Gay Lingo

In: English and Literature

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Gay Language: Defying the Structural Limits of
English Language in the Philippines
Norberto V. Casabal
Lyceum of Subic Bay, Philippines nvcasabal@yahoo.com Abstract
Gay language has achieved a higher degree of acceptance in recent years in the Philippines. Both gays and nongays can be heard uttering gay expressions. But the main role of gayspeak for gay people in the Philippines is to function as an “armor” to shield themselves from the chasm and the social stigma caused by gender differences.
From a linguistic point of view, this paper not only describes the nature of this gay language and how expressions are coined; it also looks at how code mixing (gayspeak + English language) is made possible. This paper also examines how this code-mixing creatively violates the grammatical structure of the use of the English language in the
Philippines.
Keywords code-mixing, gayspeak, gender difference, Philippine English, street-talk
About the author
Norberto V. Casabal is Head for Academic Affairs of Lyceum of Subic Bay. He is currently pursuing his MA in English
Language and Literature Teaching at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Introduction
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…...

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