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]