Friday, 20 January 2012

Gay beauty pageants and early morning conversations on politically correct terms (or lack thereof) in the Tagalog language

One of my dear friends, via text, so early in the morning: "Anó ang politically correct term ng baklâ?"

Me: No exact word, but roughly: effeminate homosexual.

Her: No, in Tagalog.

Me: Ah. Walâ because we are currently an unsophisticated people. But Tagalog used to have one: bayog-ín. It is archaic, but some scholars have revived its usage.

Note, though, that baklâ is largely pejorative whilst bayog-ín is neutral-to-positive. The latter is obviously older and comes from a more sophisticated past.

Addendum: There is also binabaé (for boys) and binalaki (for girls), but these are in reference to transgender, not homosexuality.

Her: Oh, okay. Salamat. I was asking kasí I saw a news clip kanina when I was on the bus going home. And Pinky Webb said 'mga badíng'. And I found it off-key.

Me: Yes, it's always off-key. It's roughly the equivalent of "faggot" or "nigger" on American television. They would never openly say it on air. Dito kebs kasí tangá tayo. Ha ha!

Her: I know! She was talking about a gay beauty pageant, BTW.

Me: Ah, gay beauty pageants. Where gay men are always assumed to be the same as transgender.

Her: I would post this conversation on Facebook.


Me: I actually get up at around 10:30, but I read your message, and couldn't go back to sleep unless I answered you. Damn you!


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