Philippine "Gay Lingo"

The following quote from the Bourdieu reading reminded me of Swardspeak (or Bekimon), an argot/slang used by queer communities in the Philippines (where I was born and raised): "it is not space which defines language but language which defines its space" (44) (Citation: Bourdieu, Pierre. 1991. Language and Symbolic Power.) Swardspeak has indeed created a distinct space for gay communities in the Philippines, helping them resist cultural assimilation. The linked Wikipedia article has more information as well as great examples of Swardspeak constructions. Here's a clip of how it sounds. It's from a hit talk show; the host, Vice Ganda, a queer comedian/TV personality, makes his guests reenact a scene from their movie in standard Tagalog and then in Swardspeak. It's mostly in Tagalog, but I think it's pretty easy to tell how different Swardspeak is.

Posted by Korina Yoo on February 19, 2015

Gay Mens Language;
Communities of Practice

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