Gay History Lesson: In Pre/Revolutionary England, a common term for a gay man was a “dandy”; and these men of the time even had something very similar to the handkerchief code (I’ll get to that in a later blog). In Medieval Europe it was common for gay men to wear blue feathers in their hats as identifiers to the trained eye and most large cities had gay bar to cater to these men. One of thee most famous in English history being the “The Macaroni Club”. (A Macaroni was a large wig that typically was worn by noble men who wore makeup and took more female mannerisms). Now why tell this story?
Lets look at the keywords: Dandy, Feather, Hat, Macaroni.
“Yankee Doodle Went to town…..”Slang and code has been around for a long time, and the terms of classic gay slang really haven’t changed much in the last few decades. Lets go over some really commons ones.
Okay lets get the Animal family out of the way.
Bear – A gay man, with a stocky build usually having both body and facial hair.
Cub – A young bear. Unable due to age to grow full beard / facial hair.
Bearcub – Someone who’s between a bear and a cub. Can grow facial hair
Behr – Men with facial hair and a muscular/stocky build, but with little or no body hair.
Grizzly – A bigger, taller, really hairy male.
Polar Bear – An older bear whose hair has turned white or gray.
As a bear it took me awhile to understand this and the slang but I eventually had it explained to me. MOST men (Not all. But a high percent of) cannot grow a full beard until their early to mid 20’s, that includes the chin and around the mouth fully. A Cub becomes a Bear Cub when they can grow a full beard. Least that’s what old gossips in FL says. And as a young Bear, I buy it.
Chicken – A young male, generally slim and smooth.
Chicken Hawk – Someone (generally an older male) with a sexual preference for young men.
Twink – A boyish looking younger gay man typically slim/muscular and smooth.
Twinks and Chickens are smooth….. Body hair obviously is a determining factor of gay slang.
Otter – A very hairy guy with a small build, much smaller than a bear.
Seal – A hairy, skinny guy
Wolf – A very aggressive and dominant otter.
Chickens learn to grow body hair and apparently they become the wolf in the hen house……
Furry – A guy who has a lot of body hair And/OR who enjoys dressing up/envisioning himself as an animal while having sex.
Yiff – Any kind of affection or physical contact between ‘furry’ guys.
They don’t need body hair but play it closer to the farm than most.
And last but not least on our farm tour….
Pig – A gay man who frequently indulges in hardcore, raunchy, often bareback hard-core sex.
Now that we’re off the ranch we can go over titles.
Chub – A stocky or heavy guy. Smooth/limited or no body/facial hair
Daddy – A man, generally older, who prefers to play the role of a father figure in sexual scenes.
Boy – Someone playing a younger or more inexperienced male, such as a son or nephew
Gym Bunny – A gay man who spends a lot of time working out at the gym.
Papi – a sexy Latino or Black man, Spanish for Daddy.
Str8 – (Straight) Heterosexual
Scally – A UK term for a guy who is uneducated and working class. Also can be used to describe something unclean or dirty.
Chubby Chaser – A person who prefers to have sex with larger guys.
Personal Rant: I hate this term. It’s degrading and horrible and makes me feel like I’m just an accomplishment or notch on the bedpost. Admirer is becoming the new “PC” term.
And last and in NO WAY least we have gender identity titles. This is a very important thing to understand. Some don’t involve sex or any sexual activity at all. I’m a firm believer that the Trans community is truly ignored and mocked by the world and even treated as outcast by the other “para” sexualities. They are people too, and if you don’t understand them I hope this helps.
Gender Identity is what the individual person identifies with as their gender, while Gender Role is what “Society” deems a “Male/Female” role..
Drag Queen – A man who dresses up as a woman and performs, often singing, dancing or lip-synching. Typically a gay man and is done for entertainment, not sex.
Transgender, Trans – A broad term that refers to people who don’t conform to gender norms.
Tranny Chaser – A person who prefers to have sex with transsexual or transgender people.
Transsexual – A person who identifies as the opposite gender to the one given to them at birth and undergoes procedures to reflect their internal gender.
Transvestite/TV – A cross dresser, a person who dresses and acts in a style or manner traditionally associated with the opposite gender. Transvestites are STRAIGHT. And does not always mean sexual activity.
Trap – A new term that signifies GAY men, acting and dressing as a female. Typically this is a sexually based.
Trans fag – an FtM who’s into guys.
Trans man – FtM, F2M; female to male transgender or transsexual person (assigned female at birth, identifies as male some or all of the time).
Trans woman – MtF, M2F; male to female transgender or transsexual person (assigned male at birth, identifies as female some or all of the time).
Now all this was long and wordy but I hope I kept your interest and taught you something or at least entertained you because I have to be honest…..
All of this above means absolutely nothing.
These are just words. Words made at a time, when to hide who they were gay men made to spoken code to use in public so they weren’t caught, arrested and prosecuted. Though it still lives strong and you hear it and read it often it really doesn’t mean anything to you as a person. I’m much happier with the title of “Gaymer” or “Geek/Dork/Nerd” over a “Bear”, because that can explain who I am as a personality, not a body.
Titles are just words we give ourselves to simplify our place or description in the “community” but a title cannot truly be given, put or forced upon you.
If you’re a young guy and don’t wanna be known as a twink or chicken, then you aren’t.
If you don’t wanna be called a bear just because you’ve got a beard, dress like “a real man” and enjoy the company of “men” that doesn’t make you a bear.
What makes you a bear or a chicken is that you call yourself that and own it as just another part of your PERSON. Because we are all individual people, just because we can fall into categories doesn’t mean we have to!
So by no means should you feel obligated or pressure into calling yourself an animal name.
Words are just words, until someones says them to someone else then they have meaning. So don’t just label people blindly. A. It’s rude and tacky. B. You don’t know that person, if you wanna call them something, how about their name?
Also I am very aware “You missed something!” There are way too many titles to tackle and this post is already too long. I picked what I felt was most commonly used and seen online today. There are hundreds of websites dedicated to being a “Gay Glossary” but remember not to take any of them seriously if you don’t want to. Being gay doesn’t mean you have to be an animal and instantly fabulous. You are you before all else.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
– Dr. Seuss
Drake aka Crayak on A4A