Chicken (gay slang)

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This article is about a slang term for gay men. For other uses, see Chicken (disambiguation).

Chicken can be used, usually by gay men referring to other gay men, to mean a young gay man or young-appearing gay man—stereotypically describing an adolescent youth, usually one with an innocent nature.[citation needed]

Author Bruce Rodgers defines the term as "1. any boy under the age of consent, heterosexual, fair of face, and unfamiliar with homosexuality ("So many chickens were flapping around that I thought we were touring Colonel Sanders' plantation”) 2. juvenile, youthful, young-looking."[1] Others have defined it as a young man who engages in sex for money or favors.[2]

In the subculture of the gay community which uses handkerchiefs or bandannas as a code, people who identify as "Chicken" wear a Kewpie doll in their left back pocket. Those who are interested in young men - referred to as chickenhawks—are denoted in the hanky code as wearing one on the right.[3]

The term has existed in the gay vernacular for many decades, and is still used today. David Henry Sterry, a former prostitute turned actor and director, titled his 2002 memoir, Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent.[4] Author Philip Herbst traces its origin to the 19th century, where it was used to describe the youngest sailors on a ship, who were often used for sexual purposes.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rodgers, Bruce, “Gay Talk: A (Sometimes Outrageous) Dictionary of Gay Slang” (Formerly entitled The Queens’ Vernacular); page 44; Paragon Books, New York, 1972
  2. ^ Peak, D. R.; Review: Chicken,Self-portrait of a Young Man for Rent; Popmatters.com; Retrieved on 2007-12-01
  3. ^ Gay Hankie Codes; Retrieved on 2007-12-01
  4. ^ Maurer, Daniel; GRILLING THE CHICKEN: Q&A WITH DAVID STERRY, FORMER RENT BOY; blacktable.com 2005-12-01; Retrieved on 2007-12-01
  5. ^ Herbst, Philip; Wimmin, Wimps & Wallflowers: An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Gender and Sexual Orientation Bias in the United States; Intercultural Press (February 2001); Retrieved on 2007-12-01

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