A fag hag is a slang term for a woman who either associates mostly or exclusively with homosexual men, or is best or good friends to a gay man or men. It originated in gay male culture in the United States and was historically an insult.[1] Some women who associate with gay men object to being called fag hags,[2] while others embrace the term.[3][4] The male counterpart, men who have similar interpersonal relationships with lesbian women, are called dyke tykes; furthermore people who associate with gays, lesbians, and bisexuals 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 sexually attracted to gay men.[5][6] In fact, many women who identify as fag hags are already in romantic relationships, either with straight men or with women[6] but appreciate the alternative experience of socializing with gay men.

In interviews with gay men and self-described fag hags, the most common theme is safety.[7] 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. The term fag hag can also mean a gay icon.

Cultural referencesEdit

  • In the film Fame (1980), writer Christopher Gore used the term "fag hag" in describing the character Doris in her relationship with her homosexual friend, Montgomery. The character Ralph joked that Doris should audition for the title role in I was a Teen-Age Fag Hag, a mythical movie in the story's context.
  • Comedienne Margaret Cho has written about being a fag hag.[4]
  • The mainstream television program Will & Grace features two such fag hag relationships, one covert, the other overt; the centered Will Truman, and neurotic Grace Adler are a gay man and straight woman who share an apartment, while Grace's employee, Karen Walker, is a socialite who has a "gal pal" relationship with the neurotic Jack McFarland.
  • In the animated series Rick and Steve, one of the characters, Connie Ling, is a fag hag, though she prefers the term "alternate lifestyle companion".

Related termsEdit

American fag hag synonyms include fruit fly,[8] homo honey, fruit loop, Goldilocks, flame dame, and fairy godmother.

Foreign equivalents of fag hag are:

  • Portuguese: "Ana Flavia"
  • Spanish language: "Mari Pili" (Female first name. Usually refers to a very pretty and sexy girl that feels 'safe' with her gay friend/s.)
  • French: "Fille à Pédés" ("fags girl"), which is highly pejorative: a woman usually would not self-describe herself as such
  • German: "Schwulenmutti" (Gay mommy), "Gaby" (female first name, possibly exclusive to the Berlin area)
  • Japanese: "Okoge" (お焦げ or 御焦げ), meaning burnt rice that sticks to the bottom of a pot. This is in reference to the Japanese equivalent to "faggot," okama (御釜, お釜, or 御竈; pot). Although there was a popular Japanese film titled Okoge (1992) the term remains little-known beyond Japan.[9]
The term fujoshi (腐女子, lit. "rotten girl;" a play on 婦女子, also pronounced fujoshi but meaning "respectable woman") is also used, due largely to the overwhelming popularity of male homosexuality-related media amongst Japanese women.[10][11]
  • Slovene: "taška" (A term used by some gay men, the usual slang meaning being that of a lady purse.)

Conversely, friendships between heterosexual men and lesbians are addressed with the slang terms lesbro, dyke tyke, Dutch boy, dyke dog, and rug doctor in referring to a straight man with extensive platonic friendships with lesbians, but these usages are uncommon in mainstream sexual culture.

In the case of friendships between lesbians and gay men, the term dyke diva describes the woman in the relationship. A straight man of platonic affinity with gay men is a fag stag; again, the usage is rare in mainstream sexual culture.

Other usesEdit


  1. Moon, Dawne (1995). "Insult and Inclusion: The Term Fag Hag and Gay Male "Community"". Social Forces 74 (2): 487–510. doi:10.2307/2580489. 
  2. Matarazzo, Heather. "Who you callin' a fag hag?", The Advocate, 2005-03-29. Retrieved on 2008-03-09. 
  3. Maitland, Sara (1991). "Fag-hags: A Field Guide". Critical Quarterly 33 (2): 19–25. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8705.1991.tb00939.x. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cho, Margaret. On Being a Fag Hag. PlanetOut. Retrieved on 2007-01-06.
  5. Dawne, 492-494.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Thompson, Deborah (2004). "Calling All Fag Hags: From Identity Politics to Identification Politics". Social Semiotics 14 (1): 37–48. doi:10.1080/1035033042000202915. 
  7. John Williams. Straight Women, Gay Men: A Special Relationship. New York: Dial Press, 1980.
  8. Newall, Venetia (1986). "Folklore and Male Homosexuality". Folklore 97 (2): 136. 
  9. McLelland, Mark (2000). "Male Homosexuality and Popular Culture in Modern Japan". Intersections: Gender, History & Culture in the Asian Context (3). Retrieved on 2007-02-24.</cite>  </li>
  10. <cite style="font-style:normal">McLelland, Mark (2006/2007). "Why are Japanese Girls’ Comics full of Boys Bonking?" (– Scholar search). Refractory: a Journal of Entertainment Media (10). Retrieved on 2008-02-09.</cite>  </li>
  11. Wilson, Brent; Toku, Masami (2003). Boys' Love," Yaoi, and Art Education: Issues of Power and Pedagogy. Visual Culture: Research in Art and Education. California State University of Chico. Retrieved on 2008-02-09. </li></ol>

External linksEdit

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