Fag Hag

karen walker

Fag hag is a gay slang phrase referring to a woman who either associates mostly or exclusively with gay and bisexual men, or has gay and bisexual men as close friends. 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.

However, it must be stated that some, if not many ‘fag stag’ relationships are merely the result of straight men who go to gay bars with gay men in order to ‘pick up’ straight women, as the gay bar scene is considered to be a safe one for straight women, hence, their usual social defenses would be in a far more relaxed state than they would be if the meeting occurred in a straight singles bar. For men who have many lesbian friends the slang terms Dutch Boy, lesbro or dyke tyke apply. People who associate with lesbian, gay and bisexual people may be called ‘fruit flies’ regardless of their sex.

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. In contrast, women with open sexual interest in gay (or bisexual) men call themselves girlfags. In interviews with gay men and self-described fag hags, the most common theme is safety. A rich relationship can develop between a straight woman and a gay man without sexual tension. The fag hag relationship allows the participants to separate intimacy and sexuality. In the case of friendships between lesbians and gay men, the term dyke diva describes the woman in the relationship.

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