Monday, 29 November 2010

Language: Real Gay Men Don't Go Dogging

Fagburn has written before about his delight at the quaint language employed by The Daily Telegraph when they are writing about gay men.
It's the only British newspaper that still regularly uses the word "homosexual".
It was at it again over the weekend; "Sir Beville Stanier, nephew of the late Sir John Miller who was in charge of the Royal household, claims he has been plagued by homosexual men who use his land for sex."
It also appeared to coin a new term, used in its headline to this non-story*, and in the text; 'Tory grandee calls police after gay doggers target estate'
This perhaps suggests that Telegraph readers are expected to be familiar with "doggers" and "dogging", but not their nearest gay equivalents "cruisers" and "cruising".
Journalists find the latter rather confusing, recently we had Rosie Boycott talking about "cottaging on Hampstead Heath" in The Observer.
Such innocence masquerading as experience can be forgiven in straight journalists.
It gives gay men a good laugh, if nothing else.
But what should gay men make of a gay publication that's just as ignorant of gay culture and confused by the gay lexicon?
Step forward one Jonny Payne, who in the Pink Paper today writes a story titled; 'Conservative landowner tackles gay dogging'


  1. A quick Google search shows that those well-known gay-friendly papers The Sun and The Daily Mail have also used the phrase "gay dogging" or "gay doggers"...

  2. Telegraph's style guide is a) freely accessible online, and b) fucking astonishing:

    gay: permissible in headlines if essential but use homosexual in text.

    homophobic: avoid unless you are talking about those who fear something that is the same as them.