Chicken can be used, usually by gay men referring to other gay men, to mean a young gay man or young appearing gay man. Stereotypically describing a gay man barely out of adolescence who does not show much of any body hair or well-defined muscle-development. Most would consider a young man of barely-legal age or appearing to be very young and having an innocent nature.[1]

Author Bruce Rodgers defines the term as "1. any boy under the age of consent, heterosexual, fair of face, and unfamiliar with homosexuality ("So many chickens were flapping around that I thought we were touring Colonel Sanders' plantation”) 2. juvenile, youthful, young-looking.[2] Others have defined it as a young man who engages in sex for money or favors.[3]

Recently, some conservative Americans began defining the term itself as gay pedophile related.[4] In the subculture of the gay community which uses handkerchiefs or bandannas as a code, people who identify as "Chicken" wear a Kewpie doll in their left back pocket. Those who are interested in young men - referred to as [[Chickenhawk (gay slang)]chickenhawks] - are denoted in the hanky code as wearing one on the right.[5]

The term has existed in the gay vernacular for many decades, and is still used today. David Henry Sterry, a former prostitute turned actor and director, titled his 2005 memoir, Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent.[6] Author Philip Herbst traces its origin to the 19th century, where it was used to describe the youngest sailors on a ship, who were often used for sexual purposes.[7]

See also


  1. Aaron's Dictionary of Gay Terms. Retrieved on 2007-12-01. “CHICKEN (n.; cidi.): A young boy, usually with little or no homosexual experience; adolescent or preadolescent; youthful looking.”(Warning: explicit content)
  2. Rodgers, Bruce, “Gay Talk: A (Sometimes Outrageous) Dictionary of Gay Slang” (Formerly entitled The Queens’ Vernacular); page 44; Paragon Books, New York, 1972
  3. Peak, D. R.; Review: Chicken,Self-portrait of a Young Man for Rent;; Retrieved on 2007-12-01
  4. Concerned Women for America; Retrieved on 2007-12-01
  5. Gay Hankie Codes; Retrieved on 2007-12-01
  6. Maurer, Daniel; GRILLING THE CHICKEN: Q&A WITH DAVID STERRY, FORMER RENT BOY; 2005-12-01; Retrieved on 2007-12-01
  7. Herbst, Philip; Wimmin, Wimps & Wallflowers: An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Gender and Sexual Orientation Bias in the United States; Intercultural Press (February 2001); Retrieved on 2007-12-01

External links

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