Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 12:33:38 -0600
From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU
Subject: Re: Tomboy & Sissy
However, I know someone who works in the Georgia prison system who
regularly uses "tomboy" and "sissy" to refer to the female and male
homosexuals in prison. He became a teenager in the South in the 1950s. Is
he using a personal set of euphemisms or did I miss something as a naive
I don't remember any connection of "sissy" and "tomboy" with homosexuality
when I was a child in the South in the early '50s, probably because my
friends and I hadn't heard of homosexuality at that point. (I can't
remember how old I was when I first heard of it, but I do remember the
introduction. A neighbor told me that the word "queer" referred to
"people who were half male and half female and lived in New Orleans."
I was old enough to be aware that New Orleans wasn't very far away from
Jackson, because I remember having a frightening image of a huge tribe
of large, hermaphroditic creatures heading out of New Orleans through
South Mississippi.) Later, possibly during my teenaged years in the
late '50s, I began to hear an association between "sissy" and homosexual.
I don't think I ever heard such an association for "tomboy."
--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ra.msstate.edu)