From ‘Taroosh’ to ‘Tom Jones’
Mediating ‘Local’ and ‘Global’ Queer Discourses through Filipino ‘Gay Lingo’
This essay explores how student members of an LGBTQ+ rights organisation discursively navigate queer identifications and concepts of belonging, based on fieldwork conducted in Quezon City, Philippines. I argue that elements of ‘gay lingo’, one of many Filipino LGBTQ+ argots, establish interlocutors as members of both LGBTQ+ communities and ‘post-colonial’ Philippines at large, amidst prevailing cultural logics that situate them as external Others. Appropriating and subverting hegemonic structures of language, they utilise ‘local’ linguistic patterns and reference ‘global’ queer connectivity in their endeavour to embed themselves within both spheres, illustrating that global concepts are inevitably syncretised through local contexts.
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