I love comments! There’s little that’s more satisfying to a writer on Associated Content from Yahoo than getting thoughtful comments on something you’ve written. Comments are not always thoughtful, though. Sometimes they’re simple messages from a fellow writer sending page view love, other times they can be argumentative, and occasionally they can be so downright strange you can’t help but scratch your head and chuckle when you read them. Such is the case with a piece I’d written a long, long time ago.
A few days ago I published an article on gay men and “fag hags” (see Fag Hags and Gay Men: Hopeless BFF’s) and since that term I used in the piece is a relatively well-known expression amongst gay people, I linked to an earlier article I had written on gay language (see Gayspeak: Is There a Gay Language). That piece is one of my all time highest read articles, and it’s also one that I’m proud of. While putting the link up to the article, I reread through the comments as I sometimes do, and I was reminded that this article was also the one that received the strangest comments.
The first thing I remembered from the comments was that the majority of them were from people in the Philippines. Apparently there must be a university out there with classes on the subject of gay language, because several students wanted even more help from me on the subject than my piece apparently provided. Here are some of the questions and requests they made of me:
“can you give some of the gay words used here in the Philippines nowadays? ?PLEASE RESPOND ASAP” – Jennica Maye
i am making a thesis on gay language. can you help me? – Ferd’z
Strangely enough, I received both comments on the same day, six months after I published the piece. They were the first ones I’d gotten and being a newbie writer I tried responding to the queries by adding a comment offering help. I told each of them to contact me privately and I would do my best to help them. I received two comments back within weeks:
“i dont care..i just asking what are the language that the gays using….???????????????????????????????” – Undertaker
“i need some gay languages used here in the phil.. ca you give me? i really need it.. as soon as possible.. tnx.=p” – jedrOsetayaba
“Undertaker” I supposed was one of these two commenters from earlier, and the rudeness in that comment wasn’t getting a response from me. As for the other commenter, I wanted to respond with “Why the heck would you think I know anything about gay languages in the Philippines? You live apparently live there, go ask a gay Filipino!” The questions kept coming:
“can you give me factors affecting people the use of gay language and its effect on our communication skills?” – vrinez
“i need your answer right away if possible…..” – vrinez
I tried helping vrinez by responding to his query as best I could. To this day I have no idea whether or not my response was used, as I never heard from him or her again. That wasn’t the end of the queries:
“what is the history of gay language in the phils.?” – anonymous
“on your part..what is the effect of gay language? i really need your answer so that i can add it in to the body of my thesis.thank you.. pls. reply asap. on my e-mail add. firstname.lastname@example.org again, thank you very much..” – Ferdz
I wanted to scream! I knew by then that trying to help these people was a fruitless task. The questions came sporadically and eventually stopped. Then, more than a year and a half after the article was first published, a new type of comment began to appear into this strange mix.
There were gay admirers:
“hmmmm…love gays so much!!! , because they are really friendly” – Pinky
“gays fantastic i admired for your being so intelligent…..you are amazing” – Joel
“I love gaysssssss…. mahal q cla jajaxxxxxxx” – Gianne
“uhmn…okay lang naman sila, they’re very cute too and very friendly to us, girls…” – May
And gay haters:
“crazy gay!!!!!!!! …..what?!….. gay are ugly but girl are beautiful….jejejejeje (I think he meant to say “hahahaha”)…I love girl and I hate gays!!!!!” – Crazy Gay
“i hate gay!!!! kac mga baliw cla!!!!!jejejejej…….ano?” – Tyroon
Then, as I suspected, these commenters were also from the Philippines.
“maganda naman tlaga mga sobrang humbble at caring………………………..” – Kengiater
“maganda tlaga kazama ang mga bakla xe ang very care cla xau”. – Hazel Anog”
Being an ESL teacher has given me insight into languages, and some of these words sounded like Tagalog, a language spoken in the Philippines. I tried translating them, but all I got was “tlaga naman super beautiful humble” and “Kazama’s beautiful gay tlaga xe the very care cla xau.”
All I’d like to know is how all of these Filipinos were brought to this particular article. Was there some sort of Tagalog SEO I’d unwittingly used that got so many university students and then so many Filipinos with strong opinions on gay people to check out my article? I don’t think I’ll ever find out, but with more than 11,000 page views, I wish I could do it again!