A Conversation for Descriptors for Sexual Minorities

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Post 1

Wand'rin star

"Some of my best friends..." as they say. In fact, about ten years ago I think I qualified as a fag hag. Many of those friends (mostly British or OZ) refer to themselves as "queer" and find it acceptable from me, seemingly.
I think it's "strung" not "stringed" together.
Splendid article, nonetheless.

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Post 2

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Fag hag was originally an insult, but it becomes less so all the time. In general, members of the gay community are allowed to use words to describe themselves and each other that would be considered insulting coming from a straight person outside the community. Fag hags are considered part of this inner circle, and have become much more welcome within the community than they originally were. Queer is a term that was first meant to be condescend, but it has been co-opted to have an overreaching and positive connotation that wasn't originally intended.

As for the my grammar, I must admit you could be right. smiley - smiley

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Post 3

Dr. Funk

Just for the record: as a variation on "fag hag," I've also heard the term "fruit fly"--which may well have been in your article and overlooked by yours truly.

Great entry.

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Post 4


Stringed is now strung.

Thank you all. smiley - smiley

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Post 5

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Thanks for the fix, Crusader.

I actually didn't have "fruit fly" in the entry. But yes, it is similar to fag hag. The idea is to portray the woman as irrestistably drawn to something finds attractive (gay men). I have also heard "firefly." I felt both of these are rare enough to be excluded from the list. But I recognize that it's impossible to guess which terms are used more often in other parts of the English speaking world.


Post 6


Very interestng article. I enjoyed it inensly. Espescially the explanayion of gay symbolism. Maybe I'll try to write an article on gay nitelife in my area to complement it. watch this space.


Post 7

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Good luck, Kay.

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Post 8


Another couple of niggles: the article misquotes Kinsey's statistics on homosexuality in men. Only 4% of his sample were exclusively gay; 10% however were *predominantly* gay.

I've *never* encountered an English version of the Bible that uses the word "homosexual". The King James version refers in Leviticus, for example, to "a man that lies with mankind as with womankind". But I believe the original Hebrew texts did intend this to refer to paedophilia, as the article says. It is not that the word has been mistranslated so much as that the meaning has been misinterpreted by the translator.

Finally, to make this otherwise excellent and useful article into a really top quality one, it would be nice to clean up some of the spelling mistakes - e.g. "onomatopoetic".

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Post 9

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

That's funny. Where are your statistics from? I got mine from a book written by the Kinsey Institute, summarizing their major findings from the organization's founding. They did, indeed, indicate that a much larger percentage of people have had homosexual experiences. But since most of these people also had heterosexual experiences to various degrees, this did not make for whippy statistics in the minds of the popular media.

As for the word homosexual in the Bible, I went to an internet site that included (according to them) the 20 most popular translations of the Bible today. More than half of those translations used the word homosexual. (I used the site's search function.) Some translations also substitute the word "sodomite." I believe the King James translation is one of these. Sodomites were originally anyone willing to have oral or anal sex, but "sodomy" laws in the US have been used with huge bias towards gay men. (If you're in the UK, I believe you call these b******y laws instead.) In any case, the word "sodomite" is now culturally assumed to refer to homosexuals only.

There is also stuff about "a man that lies with mankind as with womankind." (Again, exact translation differs a bit.) I remember finding that in Leviticus, which also includes instructions about letting your fields lay fallow every so often, using fabrics that do not blend materials (like pure cotton), not eating shellfish, and so on. I also read that most Biblical scholars say Leviticus was intended as a special contract (or Holiness Code) for the Hebrew (Jewish) people. Text outside Leviticus indicates Christians are not bound by these rules, according to them. And in general, the Bible condemns many forms of the sex act that we take for granted, including male masturbation, oral sex, and so on.

If you like, I can look back into my college notes for my exact sources on the use of "homosexual" in the Bible and the exact figures from the Kinsey Institute..

There are also many good sites on the Internet about what, exactly, the Bible says about homosexuality. But I will say that, in general, I am not a Biblical scholar and I do not want to debate the meaning of exact scriptures with you. I am agnostic, and my brief reference to the Bible was there to give a historical and cultural context to my entry.

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Post 10

Demon Drawer

I think some of the modern day paraphases and bibles in modern english are started to replace all the archaic metaphors to try and make their point clearer. Don't ask me which at present I'll have to do some digging on that.

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Post 11


The figure of 4% of males being exclusively homosexual (i.e. rating 6 on the Kinsey scale) is one that I've seen quoted many times, but most recently on the Alfred Kinsey web site that you link to in your article! There it says:

- 10% of males in the sample were predominantly homosexual between the ages of 16 and 55
- 8% of males were exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55
- 4% of white males had been exclusively homosexual after the onset of adolescence up to the time of their interviews

I suspect the figure of 13% was obtained by summing and rounding down the first and third figures above, i.e. it is the total number of males either predominantly or exclusively homosexual. But clearly it is difficult to combine the figures in any meaningful way, because of the slight differences in wording in the way the samples are described (e.g. age range, "males" versus "white males" etc.).

I'll take your word for it about newer translations of the Bible; the only one I really have much familiarity with at all is the King James version, which obviously *cannot* use the word "homosexual" as it was published about 300 years before the word existed! And yes, as an atheist (actually, since reading Douglas Adams' description of himself as a "radical atheist", I've tended to prefer that very useful term), I don't really care what the authors of the Bible thought - but it's useful to have some arguments up your sleeve for those who do!

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Post 12

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Thanks for the clarification, Fluffer. I checked my book, and you suspicion on the figure was correct. The numbers were added together, and the total was adjusted based on the basis of the number of males of each age group in the American population at the time. The fact that the three groups' numbers measured slightly different things each time probably didn't get across to the press.

And I will admit to a sigh of relief that I don't have to debate Biblical semantics with you! However, if you are really interested, I recommend the many well-researched pages Google will take you to:


These are the most referenced interpretations of the Bible's stance and homosexuality. Both positions are represented in the search results.


Post 13


I think that the term fruit-fly actually derives from the term fruit for gay man (used mostly in the US I believe - but making it's way to the UK quite quickly.) and the idea that a "Fag Hag" hangs around Gay men as much as possible - rather like a fruit-fly hangs around a fruit. Not sure if this is true but it made sense to me. smiley - winkeye


Post 14

The Walking Dictionary and Grammar Guide

This is a rather delightful quotation I found on the internet: "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred sixty two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." — Lynne Lavner

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