Let’s get this thing back on schedule!
- o-kama “rice pot”
- Effeminate homosexual man, crossdresser, or M-to-F transsexual.
- o-nabe “pot, pan”
- Masculine lesbian, or F-to-M transsexual.
- o-koge “burnt rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot”
- Fag hag; woman who enjoys the friendship of gay men, or actual romantic relationships.
Terms from English:
- Gay men, specifically.
- baisekushuaru, bai
- rezubian, rezu, bian
Terms in Sino-Japanese:
- dôseiai and dôseiaisha
- same-sex-love, same-sex-love-person
- danshoku, nanshoku
- “male eroticism” (“male colors”); older term for male-male love, originally pæderastic.
A tachi “sword” is a butch lesbian, while femmes are neko “cat” (apparently a term for unlicensed geisha). As elsewhere, not everyone is comfortable with this kind of gender binary. Mixed forms are sukadachi “skirt tachi” and zuboneko “pants neko”. It’s not clear to me how strongly these genders are associated with sexual roles, but at any rate a riba (from Eng. “reversal”) is a switch.
O-nee-kotoba “big sis’ speech” is the exaggerated form of female-gendered language used by effeminate gay man. A “queen” owner of a gay bar is usually called a mama-san. A nonke is a straight; ikanimo-kei (“indeed!-crew”) are evident gay.
An interesting word for transsexual (esp. M-to-F) is nyû-hâfu “new half”; this is attributed to Betti, an Osaka pub owner, who described him/herself as otoko to onna no hâfu yo in a 1980 interview. The word hâfu has a history of use to describe people of mixed ancestry.
OCCUR surveyed the four most common terms and found the following associations:
- dôseiai sounds serious and suggests the academic study of homosexuality;
- homo suggests discrimination;
- gei sounds American, politicized, and progressive;
- o-kama refers to drag or trans, makes one think of public entertainers, and is a negative term unless used for oneself (sometimes in a self-mocking way).
Source: Hideko Abe’s Queer Japanese: Gender and Sexual Identities through Linguistic Practices. Among other things, it has chapters on the linguistic features of lesbian bar-talk and o-nee-kotoba.