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Gay Lingo

In: Religion Topics

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Gay Lingo

Introduction

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the Philippines have a distinctive culture but limited legal rights. Gays and lesbians are generally tolerated, if not accepted, within Filipino society, but there is still widespread discrimination. The most visible members of the Filipino LGBT culture, the Bakla, are a distinct group in the Philippines.

According to the 2002 Young Adult fertility and Sexuality Survey, 11% of sexually active Filipinos between the ages of 15 and 24 have had sex with someone of the same sex.
Filipino poet and critic Lilia Quindoza Santiago has speculated that Filipino culture may have a more flexible concept of gender because kasarian, the Tagalog word for "gender", is defined in less binary terms than the English word gender. Kasarian means "kind, species, or genus”. The English word gender originally also meant "kind".

In the Philippines, the term gay is used in reference to any LGBT person. For Filipino gays, the Tagalog phrase paglaladlad ng kapa ("unfurling the cape"), or more commonly just paglaladlad ("unfurling" or "unveiling") refers to the coming-out process. Tibo, T-Bird and tomboy are derogatory terms for butch lesbians just as bakla is for effeminate gay men. Some lesbians, both butch and femme, use the terms magic or shunggril to refer to themselves. Neutral slang terms for gay men include billy boy, badette, bading, and paminta (straight-acting gay man).

While many of these terms are generally considered derogatory, they are sometimes used casually or jokingly within the Filipino gay and lesbian community. For example, gay men often refer to their gay friends as bakla when talking to each other.

Gay men in the Philippines, especially those who are out, speak to each other using a colorful language that they invented, mixing...

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