Nowadays, there seem to be a lot of men/boys who behave in my opinion, more feminine. For example saying "Oh my gosh" with a bit high voice and making gestures that mostly young woman do. Teenagers mostly call this person "gay", because stereotypes say that this behavior is mostly seen among homosexual men/boys. Not everybody who behaves like that, has to be gay. But is there any other word for this?

  • 3
    Camp comes to mind.
    – KCH
    Apr 23, 2014 at 0:17

5 Answers 5


effeminate or effete: (of a man) having or showing characteristics regarded as typical of a woman; unmanly.


No, I'm pretty sure there isn't, for this reason:

The only thing these attributes share is that some people inappropriately (and sometimes offensively) associate them with gay people.

You can find some groupings with names - your post references some male gay stereotypes that could surely be described as "effeminate," but that wouldn't cover lots of other dopey misbegotten ideas, like that most gay men lisp, which has nothing to do with being feminine.

It's like any other group of traits people wrongly assign this way - the main thing they have in common is that some buffoons have irrationally grouped them together as pejorative associations with a group of people.

  • 1
    Well, let me be buffoon then. 'Cause I associate people with groups by type.
    – Guest
    Apr 22, 2014 at 22:07
  • 1
    This is more of a philosophical/emotional response than one regarding the English language. I think there's nothing wrong in saying the behavior described by the OP is effeminate. The OP also stipulates that it's a stereotype. Apr 22, 2014 at 22:11
  • @medica, the question title asks for a word that covers the various stereotypes people associate with gay people. If the question is rather about a word for men who behave in ways more typically associated with females, I'd agree with you, but that would mean the references to "gay" stereotypes is sort of a red herring here.
    – Jaydles
    Apr 22, 2014 at 22:15
  • @Guest, no name calling was intended. I wasn't directing that term your way; I thought your post implied that you recognized the folly in assuming most members of a group would have the characteristics of a stereotype assigned to them by others.
    – Jaydles
    Apr 22, 2014 at 22:16
  • Also, words mean that for which they are used for, regardless of how correct are those who use them. For example, the word sinister acquired its meaning of being evil or threatening also by a prejudice, in this case towards left-handed people. Sinister's original meaning was left, or on the left, or left-handed. Apr 22, 2014 at 23:57

Consider "epicene."

epicene: 3. effeminate; unmanly.

  • Also a good one, I'd like to give you "Answering Tick" too, but, I can afford only one.
    – Guest
    Apr 24, 2014 at 6:34

I find the term 'stereotypically gay' to be of use. It differs from terms like 'effeminate', 'flamboyant', 'campy', or even 'androgynous' in that it does not exclude any particular aspect that might be attributed to gay people while acknowledging that just calling certain behavior 'gay' would be silly or offensive.


Prejudice is the root of all the attitudes against gays or typical gay behaviours. Prejudicial behaviour.

  • I appreciate what you're going for here, but "prejudicial behaviour" is certainly not a term for "speaking in a high-pitched tone".
    – Adam Lear
    Apr 22, 2014 at 23:56

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