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Models of gay male identity and the marketing of “gay language” in foreign-language phrasebooks for gay men

Issue: Vol 4 No. 2 (2003) Estudios de Sociolingüística 4.2 2003

Journal: Sociolinguistic Studies

Subject Areas: Gender Studies Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/sols.v4i2.533


This paper 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.

Author: Rusty Barrett

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