Swardspeak is a vernacular language used by gay Filipinos. It uses elements from Tagalog (Filipino), English, and Spanish, giving them new meanings in the context of this unique language. A unique trait of swardspeak is that it immediately identifies the speaker as homosexual, making it easy for people of that orientation to signal to each other in a place where such tendencies are not easy to display (ie in the Philippines). This creates an exclusive world among its speakers and helps them to resist cultural assimilation.
By using swardspeak, Filipino gay men are able to resist the dominant culture of their area and create a space of their own. The language is constantly changing, with old phrases becoming obsolete and new phrases frequently entering everyday usage, reflecting changes in their culture and also maintaining exclusivity. The dynamic nature of the language refuses to cement itself in single culture and allows for more freedom in expression among its speakers. Words and phrases can be created out of reaction to popular trends and create alternatives to a strictly defined lifestyle. By these characteristics, swardspeak creates a dissident group without any ties to geographical, linguistic, or cultural restrictions, allowing its speakers to shape the language as appropriate to the times. In this way, the language is “mobile”, and is simultaneously part of a larger community but also open to more specific or local meanings.
is a popular word and can refer to anything from a person's physical appearance to their state of mind as in "He ruined my biyuti!" Bakla
, a Filipino word for gay, also has takes on a more complex meaning and connotates a woman's heart in the body of a man. Other words and phrases come into and out of use, making a swardspeak dictionary impossible to create.