Category: answered

You probably already knew this, but I recently…

You probably already knew this, but I recently learned that lesbian language (like terms such as butch n femme, or the reclaiming of d*ke, etc.) is referred to as “Lavender Linguistics” and I just think that’s really neat

I actually didn’t know this, and it is the most delightful thing I have heard all day!

Note from the editor: Hey! Lavender linguistics is super cool, and one of my favorite parts of our culture and history. It does encompass a bit more than reclaimed language or even one part of the community’s language though.

Lavender linguistics is a term linguists and other academics to describe the way LGBTQ+ people use language. This includes things like reclaimed language and slang, but it also includes things like cadence, tone, sentence structure, speech patterns, and pronunciation. Creaky voice, ending with a rising tone, and yes, reclaimed language, are some examples of this. There are some cases of lavender linguistics even creating a new language of sorts—Polari, for example.

“Lavender linguistics” was used first by Gershon Legman. The Lavender Languages and Linguistics Conference that happens every year that explores this concept. There is a documentary called “Do I Sound Gay?” where a gay man tries to sound “less gay” (warning for some internalized homophobia). William L. Leap has two notable works: Beyond the Lavender Lexicon: Authenticity, Imagination, and Appropriation in Lesbian and Gay Languages and Word’s out: Gay Men’s English. I mention these works because he popularized the phrase, but to be clear, lavender linguistics focuses on the language of all LGBTQ people. Also, lavender linguistics is not limited to English; it can be observed in almost every language.

I hope that offers a little more info on lavender linguistics! I’m really glad you brought this up because I think it’s one of the most interesting parts of our community and I love when people learn about it.

There seems to be a lot of speculation over wh…

There seems to be a lot of speculation over whether or not Nikola Tesla was asexual, have you guys done any articles on him?

We haven’t, but I will say that I am very interested in the idea! He was definitely one of my childhood heroes and I would love to be able to talk about him in the context of the project! 

Do you know of any good (and not super pricy) …

Do you know of any good (and not super pricy) resources on Australian queer history 🙂

The Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives is a great place to start!

Hello! I am interested in researching queer fa…

Hello! I am interested in researching queer fashion history. However, I dont know where to start. Id like to get some library books, and if there are some free online resources that would be great too. I havent been able to find anythiny on my own as of yet, so if you could help me that would be great 🙂

This is a really fun question! The history of fashion is incredibly queer, so there are a lot of directions you could go. I’ve gotten a few book and article recommendation from queer scholars and friends I can offer.

You could look at how fashion was and is used as a sort of code between queer people, with things like the hanky code, femme flagging, and the like. The hankie code revisited: From function to fashion by Andrew Reilly and Erik J. Saethre looks at the hanky code as it was used in the past and how it has evolved today.

You could look at queer people who have made it into mainstream fashion, like Gianni Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen. A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk published by Yale University Press is a good start for this.

You could look at how queer fashion is often considered or heavily entwined with various subcultures. Goth Culture: Gender, Sexuality, and Style by Dunja Brill explores gender and sexuality in goth culture.

You could look at leather culture. Ball culture. Beatniks. Punks. Dandies. Pansies.

There are so many more directions you could take your research, and I’m sure I’ll wake up at 3am tomorrow and remember something I should have included, but hopefully, you can get an idea! Here are a few more books you can check out:

Queer Style by Vicki Karaminas

‘Don We Now Our Gay Apparel: Gay Men’s Dress in the Twentieth Century (Dress, Body, Culture) by Shaun Cole

Gay Semiotics: A Photographic Study of Visual Coding Among Homosexual Men by Hal Fischer

Hi ! I was wondering if you have links or what…

Hi ! I was wondering if you have links or whatever about early queer history not in the US ? Like in Europe for example ? (I'm French) but also if you have things from other continents that would be amazing, thank you !

We have a few articles you might be interested in! We very recently tagged all the article on our site with their relevant countries, and there are currently dozens of different countries!

Some of our earliest articles, no later than the 17th century:

Khnumhotep and Niankhknum, and Occam’s Razor (Egypt)

Zimri-Lim, King of Mari (Syria)

Hatshepsut (Egypt)

Sappho, the Poetess (Greece)

The Bitten Peach and the Cut Sleeve (China)

Elagabalus, the Empress (Syria & Italy)

Eleanor Rykener (England)

The Golden Orchid (China)

Catherine Bernard: A question in studying asexual history (France)

And for the heck of it, all of our articles about folks who were born in France, lived in France, or died in France can be found here.

Have you heard anything about abraham lincoln …

Have you heard anything about abraham lincoln being in love with a man? An author gave a talk at my school about it and I wanted more info on it/wanted to let others know because I had never heard anything about him being lgbt before!

I heard that before! And there is a lot of interesting discussion around that, and I do believe that he was queer, which was one of the more surprising realizations from when I started this project. A book about this that people have recommended to me is The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln by C A Tripp, so you could check that out for more info!


@unihex thank you for being great

do you know of any influential lgbt from south…

do you know of any influential lgbt from south asia?

Hmm, I think the first person I would think of would be when you ask that would be Rituparno Ghosh!


wild-blooms replied to your post “What is one part of LGBT+ history that you wish more people knew…”

@makingqueerhistory​ those are both great responses, thank you! 🙂

Of course! It was a great question!

Do you know of any famous south asian poets/wr…

Do you know of any famous south asian poets/writers who were lgbt, preferably lesbians?

My first thought was Khush: South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association would be a great place to start looking at this. It was in Canada, so it explored a slightly different experience, but I think you could definitely find a lot of what you are looking for by researching them. 

This is probably because I am Canadian, but a couple more activists within Canada to look at who is queer and work heavily within the South Asian community we have here is Alex Sangha and Farzana Doctor.

My last suggestion would probably be Shamim Sarif, who is a director who everyone should honestly check out. 

I hope this helped if anyone else has any additions feel free to add them.