2. Models of Gay Male Identity and the Marketing of 'Gay Language' in Foreign-Language Phrasebooks for Gay Men
Queering Language, Gender and Sexuality - Tommaso M. Milani
Rusty Barrett [+]
University of Kentucky
Rusty Barrett is an Associate Professor in the Linguistics Department at the University of Kentucky. His research focuses on language and gender, language and sexuality, Mayan languages, and language revitalization. He is the author of From Drag Queens to Leathermen: Language, Gender, and Gay Male Subcultures (Oxford University Press) and (with Kira Hall) is a co-editor of the (forthcoming) Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality.
This chapter examines two models that have been used in theoretical discussions of language and sexuality. The two models, the culture-based model and the desire-based model, view the gay community as formed through a shared culture or based solely on sexual desire. The impact of the models in works by Leap (1996) and Kulick (2000) is discussed, and the models are used to demonstrate competing views of gay language found in foreign-language phrasebooks intended for gay men. Strict adherence to either of these models masks the reality of “gay language” and impedes the progress of research into the relationships between language, gender and sexuality.