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Found in Translation: How Gay Lingo Came to Be

September 14th, 2018

Anekwabum itey na bekimon? (What is gay lingo?)

This is one of the many questions that was answered during Vibal’s Coffee Break Session: Libro Lecture at the 39th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF).

Associate Professor at the UP College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (Department of Linguistics), and UP Babaylan founder, Prof. Tuting Hernandez shared to fair-goers what gay lingo exists for.

Digging up root words

In the discussion, Prof. Hernandez said that there isn’t a definite history of how gay lingo was created. Just like any other social group, the LGBTQIA+ community share words and expressions that help them express themselves freely. The sociolect or social dialect all began with talking about similar experiences that eventually turned to bekinese.

With commonly used words such as “keri,” “wit,” and “stress drillon,” he decoded and explained the structure of the language and how it is also grammatically and culturally shaped.

Reaping the sown: more than words

Although it is evidently fun to say beki words, the LGBTQIA+ community need to make codes that would help them avoid violence.

It is considered dire for them to use the dialect to strengthen in-group ties and to maintain social networks. Many words discussed in the lecture had historical implications that awed the audience into understanding.

To this day, many members of the said community find protection and even comfort in using words only they can truly understand.

Planting seeds: sprouting ideas in beautiful minds

Painted in the audience’s faces was enlightenment and a new perspective on gay lingo and even on the LGBTQIA+ community. It only took a cup of coffee, one excellent talk, and an open mind for everyone to have a great time.

To plant more seeds of knowledge that could sprout to brilliant ideas, visit Vibal’s main booth located between Aisles B and C, Ground Floor and Vibal Chikiting Books booth at the 2nd floor of the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

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