THE GAY PONDER: Closeted Sapphic Celebrities Deciding How To Talk About Their Private Lives

Kayla Cardoso, Van Hofmaister, Jamie Jiang, Clarissa Sie, Rainey Williams

In 2016 a 1979 interview with Jodie Foster resurfaced on the internet and instantly took hold in the meme community. When asked about a potential boyfriend, Jodie smirks, licks her lips, and raises her eyebrows in a manner that gives the impression she knows something that her interviewer does not. The label [gay silence] was given to this instance and it has become a part of gay culture and  the LGBT community as an identifying feature of closeted individuals. With this in mind, our study takes a sociolinguistic approach to analyzing and examining the idea of a sapphic/lesbian code. Coded sapphic speech is not well studied in sociolinguistics, and while the community itself is able to identify markers of such, there has been little to no substantial research on identifying features present in sapphic language. In analyzing the speech and body language of sapphic celebrities, we seek to provide evidence and tools to identify linguistic markers.

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