Fag hag is a gay slang phrase referring to a woman who either associates mostly or exclusively with gay and bisexual men. The phrase originated in gay male culture in the United States and was historically an insult. Some women who associate with gay men object to being called fag hags while others embrace the term. The male counterpart, for men who have similar interpersonal relationships with gay and bisexual men is fag stag, part of hag-ism, the identification of a person with a group—usually united in terms of sexuality, gender identity, or shared sex—of which he or she is not officially a member.
Fag hags are frequently stereotyped as outgoing women who are seeking a substitute for heterosexual relationships, or who are secretly (or openly) sexually attracted to gay men. In fact, many women who identify as fag hags are already in romantic relationships, either with straight men or with women but appreciate the alternative experience of socializing with gay men and may prefer the gay culture to the straight counterpart.
American fag hag synonyms include fruit fly, queen bee, homo honey, fruit loop, Goldilocks, flame dame, fairy princess, gabe (a portmanteau of "gay" and "babe"), Tori (in honor of Tori Spelling and Tori Amos), and fairy godmother. Recently, cherry fairy has started to catch on as well in some select social groups in San Francisco and the East Coast, and gayboy bunny (a play on "Playboy Bunny" which originated in a Robot Chicken skit about 8 Mile and Looney Tunes) has been coined for fag hags who are attractive or have boyfriends, to counteract the stereotype that fag hags are unable to find a suitable straight partner. Men of any sexual orientation who have many lesbian friends are called dutch boys or lesbros in the United States.
The German word is "Schwulenmutti" (literally: Mommy for gays), or "Gabi", the ironic used nickname for Gabriele or Gabriela.
In the case of friendships between lesbians and gay men, the term dyke diva describes the gay man in the relationship. A straight man of platonic affinity with gay men is a fag stag; again, the usage is rare in mainstream sexual culture. In the United Kingdom, a straight man who enjoys the company of lesbians is known as a dikey likey.
In popular culture
The term has often been used in entertainment. In the film Fame (1980), writer Christopher Gore used the term fag hag in describing the character Doris in her relationship with her gay friend, Montgomery. Comedian Margaret Cho has written and regularly talks in her stand-up routines about being a fag hag. In an episode of the UK TV sitcom Gimme Gimme Gimme, Tom refers to Linda as a fag hag. In the made-for television series Tales of the City, based on Armistead Maupin's novel series, Mona Ramsey (played by Chloe Webb) wonders if her friendship with Michael "Mouse" Tolliver (Marcus D'Amico) makes her a "fag hag." The term is also referenced in Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's song "The Message".
The first annual Miss Fag Hag Pageant took place in New York City on May 17, 2009 at Comix with judges Caroline Rhea, Michael Musto, Hedda Lettuce and Katina Corrao. Heather Shields took the first prize.
- Moon, Dawne (1995). "Insult and Inclusion: The Term Fag Hag and Gay Male "Community"". Social Forces. Social Forces, Vol. 74, No. 2. 74 (2): 487–510. doi:10.2307/2580489. JSTOR 2580489.
- Baker, Paul (2008). Fantabulosa: A Dictionary of Polari and Gay Slang. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 140. ISBN 0-8264-7343-1. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- Dawne, 492–494.
- Thompson, Deborah (2004). "Calling All Fag Hags: From Identity Politics to Identification Politics". Social Semiotics. 14 (1): 37–48. doi:10.1080/1035033042000202915.
- Stein, Joshua David (September 2009). "Straight Men and Their Lesbian Best Friends". Details
- "Six rules for dyke tykes", Richard Wassersug, Curve, August 2005.
- Cho, Margaret. "On Being a Fag Hag". PlanetOut. Archived from the original on September 8, 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-06.
- Grandmaster Flash. "The Message Lyrics". Lyrics Freak. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- Rozzi, Giulia (2009-04-22). "The Miss Fag Hag Pageant". Take Part. Take Part. Retrieved 2009-11-02.[permanent dead link]
- Musto, Michael (2009-04-29). "Miss California Banned From Competing in Miss Fag Hag Pageant". Village Voice. Retrieved 2009-11-02.
- Hollenbach, Shawn. "Miss Fag Hag Pageant 2010". Mintyfresh. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- Musto, Michael. "Miss California Banned From Competing in Miss Fag Hag Pageant". La Dolce Musto. The Village Voice. Retrieved 2008-11-02.[permanent dead link]
- Discussion of the anthropology of the phrase
- Fag Hag (1998 movie)
- Shepperd, D., Coyle, A., & Hegarty, P. (2010). Discourses of friendship between heterosexual women and gay men: Mythical norms and an absence of desire, Feminism and Psychology, 20(2), 205-224.