At PublicPeople, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
The slang term “fag hag” is used to describe a woman, usually straight, who has a close friendship with one or more gay men. This slang term is a bit slippery and rather curious, since it combines two epithets which are usually considered offensive, and it was in fact originally used as an insult. Today, the term is usually used self-referentially, or by members of the gay and lesbian community, and use of this slang by outsiders may be viewed as only marginally appropriate.
Fag hags may hang out with homosexual men for any number of reasons. Some women simply happen to befriend gay men because they feel that they have a lot in common, while others may actively cultivate friendships with gay men because they view these relationships as safe from sexual drama and tension. Some people accuse fag hags of being secretly in love with their gay buddies, suggesting that women befriend gay men with an eye to converting them.
The slang term “fag” for a gay man is generally deemed highly inappropriate. It is derived from “faggot,” another slang term for a gay man, and it has been in use since the early 20th century. “Hag” is an offensive term used to describe women, usually in the sense of women who are ugly, cruel, old, or aggressive. The combination of both of these offensive pejoratives in a single epithet which is often used affectionately is a bit confusing. "Fag hag" probably reflects the desire of the gay and lesbian community to co-opt terms which have historically been used offensively.
You may also hear a fag hag referred to as a fruit loop or homo honey, illustrating some other examples of co-option of offensive slang terms. People who enjoy hanging out with gays and lesbians in general may be called fruit flies, while men who establish friendships with gay women are known as Dutch boys, for reasons which remain obscure. A number of stereotypes surround fag hags, belying the diversity of friendships between gays and lesbians and the straight community.
As in the case of other terms which have very negative connotations, it is important to tread carefully when using “fag hag” to describe someone. As a general rule, unless a woman explicitly identifies herself as a fag hag, the term should not be used. People who are not allies or members of the gay and lesbian community may want to avoid this particular piece of slang altogether.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the origin of the term "fag hag"?
The term "fag hag" is a slang phrase that originated in the gay community, likely in the latter half of the 20th century. It refers to a heterosexual woman who spends a lot of time with homosexual men and has a strong emotional attachment to them. The term combines "fag," a pejorative slang for a gay man, and "hag," referring to a witch or an ugly old woman. The phrase has been used both affectionately and derogatorily, but its usage is considered outdated and offensive by many in contemporary discourse.
Why do some women become so-called "fag hags"?
Some women may become so-called "fag hags" for various reasons. According to research, these women often find a sense of acceptance and camaraderie among gay men that they may not experience in other social circles. They may also appreciate the lack of sexual tension in these friendships, allowing for a more open and honest relationship. Additionally, shared interests in culture, fashion, or politics can be common grounds for these friendships to flourish.
Is the term "fag hag" considered offensive?
Yes, the term "fag hag" is considered offensive by many people. It perpetuates stereotypes about both women and gay men and can be seen as demeaning and reductive. The term has fallen out of favor in recent years, with many advocating for more respectful language when describing friendships between heterosexual women and gay men. Instead, terms like "friend" or "ally" are preferred, as they do not carry the same derogatory connotations.
How has the concept of the "fag hag" evolved in recent years?
In recent years, the concept of the "fag hag" has evolved as society's understanding of gender and sexuality has become more nuanced. The term is now largely seen as archaic and insensitive. Modern discussions about these relationships focus on mutual respect, equality, and the importance of allyship without resorting to labels that can be seen as objectifying or trivializing. The evolution reflects a broader shift towards inclusivity and sensitivity in language concerning gender and sexual orientation.
Are there any positive aspects of the relationships labeled under "fag hag"?
Despite the negative connotations of the term "fag hag," the relationships it attempts to label can have many positive aspects. These friendships often provide a space for mutual support, understanding, and unconditional acceptance. They can also be a source of joy, humor, and companionship. The positive dynamics of these relationships highlight the importance of looking beyond labels and recognizing the depth and value of individual human connections.