It is a slang term for a homosexual and has historically been used to mock men who act in an effeminate way. The word "lesbian" is not inappropriate to use, since it is the correct name for a woman who dates other women. It is really just an abbreviation of homosexual, but it has been used in a derogatory way by heterosexual people for many years.
Terms of abuse and endearment Terms of abuse are a way of distinguishing those whom we choose to marginalise because we do not like the look of them or because we were there first. There is not a single IsiXhosa book on my bookshelf. Humans have been doing this from the outset. IsiXhosa, like all other indigenous languages of South Africa , are not evolving, additional words are not being added. Gay This word is generally used and is appropriate to use if you are describing a homosexual individual. Africa, a pan-African womanist queer collective that deals with African female sexuality, and a new partner on the Guardian Africa network Topics. This word is one that is extremely cruel. I used to read more IsiXhosa books when I was younger, but as I grew older and went to mixed school I was required to read English books. While it does seem to be on par with "fag" or "faggot" for men, in some instances, there is something about this word that makes it seem much worse. Language defines who you are. Homosexual people may use some of the more playful terms themselves; however, that does not give everyone the right to an otherwise negative or hurtful word. And in merry-old-England there was abuse: But words used by others to define gay people can say a great deal more about them than us. The words gay and lesbian only become a reference for homosexuality in the late 19th century. While it is true that the terms gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex stem from the English language, the absence of the words in IsiXhosa does not mean that there are no gay, lesbian, or transgender individuals amongst Xhosa people. Growing up it was clear from the way I looked that I was gay, but I had no language to talk about sexual identity until my late teens. However, make sure you are not using it in an accusatory or insulting manner. Why the fixation on prostitution? The decline of IsiXhosa The problem with IsiXhosa and other indigenous languages is that there are not enough people using them to write or produce knowledge: So gay is then iGay a gay or uGay he is gay , or iLesbian a lesbian or uyiLesbian she is a lesbian. As a Xhosa queer also find it difficult talking re: Perhaps it is the harsh sound of the word "dyke," or perhaps it is the fact that so many times it is a word of insult, injury, and attack. This is not to say that people in the streets are not contributing towards the evolution of language, but it is knowledge institutions that analyse human phenomenon and try to find ways to help us understand them. Indeed, some homosexual individuals will even use this word to characterize men who they feel are "gayer" than them. According to historian Michel Foucault the monogamous heterosexual couple produced new workers; those erotic and sexual activities that detracted from or weakened it were identified, categorised, and punished by law. It is really just an abbreviation of homosexual, but it has been used in a derogatory way by heterosexual people for many years. There was no concrete articulation of being gay, and I have often struggled with terms like gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex LGBTI in my mother tongue.
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