Word: be homosexual, be gay

Category:

Description/Reason:

To be emotionally, romantically and/or sexually attracted to people of the same sex. “My friend is gay”, “The city’s gay and lesbian population is thriving”


Comment below with feedback and suggestions.

Responses

  1. I don’t know if I will vote on this suggestion, but I have some conflicted feelings and questions about it. I’m inclined to downvote it, because although I reckon that LGBTQ is part of universal human experience, the specific nouns “homosexual”/”gay” (as well as “heterosexual”/”straight”) reflect a social identity that is specific to 20th/21st-century Western society, in which preference for same-sex/cross-sex relationships comprise an exclusive identity. Coining “be gay” by itself as a marked semantic category implies that the opposite is unmarked as “normal”, and thus implies (to me) normative straightness; while also coining “straight” reproduces the “gay/straight” dichotomy of our contemporary society. Without a lot of further clarification as to its meaning, it seems like the word as it is framed here asserts a lot about Klingon sexuality. How does it function as a verb? What is the subject of the verb: the identity of a person? a desire? an act? The examples in the OP seem to describe a social identity. We know a bit about Klingon mating rituals, weddings, and divorces, which are often female-led. How does this word interact with those? There’s also something to be said for leaving Klingon sexuality undefined. OTOH, I’ve seem members of our community struggle to talk about themselves and their identities due to the lack of appropriate vocabulary. Would it be better to simply borrow the English terms for the contemporary identities, or have Klingon speakers with these identities define appropriate phrasings? Or perhaps it would be better to reframe the question as something like “How do Klingons talk about human sexual identities?” I know this has been a question or discussion point for longer than I’ve been in this community, it’s an extemely important topic (linguistically &c.) that needs to be gotten right, others would know more about this, that I’m thinking about this from a position of privilege, and that it impacts other people much more. I am very interested in what others have to say about this suggestion.

    1. Jeremiah, thank you so much for this well-thought-out and reasoned comment. I share the same problems and questions and I would also be interested in knowing what others have to say on this subject. My personal opinion is that we need to at least have an idea of how (or if) Klingon speakers address sexuality and gender identity in their society and how we, as 21st-century humans, might be able to talk about these ideas. My goal in posting this word was to open up a discussion on the topic as well as to encourage others to propose more or alternative vocabulary related to this topic.

      1. I think the idea that Klingons must be straight by default is somewhat flawed. Maybe it is just a human expierence to be gay, maybe it’s not. I don’t see the harm in creating language for it, even if it is solely defined for human relationships, which obviously exists in the Star Trek universe.

        Not creating inclusive language only puts up barriers for people like me to want to learn the language.

  2. Worth including transgender in here too as “be’ mojpu’bogh loD” (man who has become a woman) is neither particularly accurate nor easy to use. As a shorthand, I’ve been using be’ ghe’ and loD ghe’ (transformed woman/transformed man).

  3. Marc Okrand can flesh out the answer to this, just as he’s fleshed out many other bits of Klingon culture (including the whole warrior ethos, from the Klingons’ point of view, that made the Klingons seem a more three-dimensional culture, let’s not forget!) We should have words for “lesbian”, “straight”, “bisexual”, “asexual” and “transgender” as well if we jave a word for “gay”.

  4. This is a good idea (all different types of people are Klingon speakers) and I like how we have the word Har’eyngan because it works! I think it should be made into an official  word!