More than Physique or Desire: Feeling Constituting Identity in Homosexual Nomenclature


  • Richard P. Smiraglia Institute for Knowledge Organization and Structure, Inc.
  • Fabio Assis Pinho Federal University of Pernambuco
  • Francisco Arrais Nascimento São Paulo State University
  • Daniel Martínez-Ávila University of León



This is a preliminary report of work by a Domain Analysis Clinic formed in 2021 to examine homosexual nomenclatures. Prior studies have suggested that self-naming and self-classification in the domain of male gayness and alternative sexualities emerge as a form of resistance against the hegemonic. So, the postulated research question is: what are the reasons, characteristics, and consequences of this type of knowledge organization using as an example the self-representation of gay men in social interaction applications? Our principal methodology was to seek self-identifying nomenclature from social media websites, from each of which we gathered sets of categories or labels used for identifying content uploaded by members. As a form of preliminary analysis all of the data were sorted as keywords or phrases to generate frequency distributions, which can be compared, to some extent, across the sites. Analysis of the terms suggested three classes which also can be considered as facets: sexual desires, physical characteristics and sexual roles or performances. The terms demonstrate how users understand themselves in their individuality, aligning themselves with the social reproduction that occurs in the analyzed social network. The present study corresponds to a first approximation to the development of a classification of male homosexuality, following a pragmatist or domain analysis approach.