Homosexually Themed Language

Mark McCormack

in The Declining Significance of Homophobia

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199778249
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933051 | DOI:

Series: Sexuality, Identity, and Society

Homosexually Themed Language

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This chapter explores the changing nature of homosexually-themed language. Given media interest in the phrase ‘that’s so gay,’ the chapter demonstrates that the meanings and effects of phrases with a gay theme are entirely dependent on the social context of their use and the homohysteria of the broader environment. Mapping homophobic language, fag discourse, gay discourse and pro-gay language, the chapter provides an accessible model to understand the complex relationship of these concepts. Despite ‘that’s so gay’ being generally perceived as a homophobic epithet by gay rights groups, it is suggested that a more nuanced understanding of language is required; one that recognizes that such phrases can even be used to bond gay and straight students.

Keywords: that’s so gay; language; discourse; homophobia; banter; homosexual; model

Chapter.  5190 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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