Gay slang originated out of necessity. Gay men wanted to be able to speak in public without revealing their sexuality, especially in places and times of extreme LGBTQ+ persecution. Thus, gay lexicon was born. Over the years, gay slang has evolved, and it’s sometimes tough to keep up. So here they are, all the creatures in the queer animal kingdom, fully explained. We’ll start off with the ones you’re more likely to know, and then move into some of the less common critters.
Oh, the silver fox, arguably among the more sexy of the stereotypes. These are the men with the salt-and-pepper hair who never seem to age. Like George Clooney, the most silver of silver foxes.
This is not to be confused with the silver fox, mind you. According to Greg from the above-mentioned TikTok video, twinks are “foxes now,” so let’s all get with it.
Ah, the bears, one of the oldest and largest subgroups of the gay community. Bears are on the heavier side, either muscular, beefy, or chunky. The wouldn’t dream of shaving their body hair (which comes in abundance) and they usually have a full beard to match. They exude masculinity, and are some of the kindest men you’ll meet in your entire life. There are many subtypes of bears, like a polar bear, which is a older bear with white hair.
A baby bear. As bears are typically older men, cubs are younger ones. Large, hairy guys in their teens and 20’s who are on their way to becoming a bear.
A man named Greg — who goes by @coffeegreg on TikTok — posted a video announcing new gay stereotypes, and we can’t get enough. The best one? The meerkat, or “an anxious, sassy gay who’s always looking around at everyone else instead of paying attention to conversations.” Guilty.
The gay man who spends every waking minute at the gym, talking about how he needs to go to the gym, or how he’s coming from the gym.
Like the gym rat, the gym bunny is just a more feminine version of the gym rat. They’re the ones that come dressed to the gym in their full outfits treating it like a runway appearance.
A twunk is the polar opposite of a bear. Skinny and hairless and often a little more on the feminine side. Chicken is a word used to describe a younger version and twunk is a more muscular twink (think Justin Bieber).
Someone who’s in between a twink and a bear. Medium build and hairy. Otters come in all ages with all different types of facial hair. Otters often trim their chest hair and manscape their bodies, but always leave at least some hair.
Similar to an otter, a wolf has some hair and is in between a twink and a bear. However, there are some key differences between wolves and otters. Wolves typically have a lean, muscular build and are sexually aggressive.
An incredibly tall gay man.
As you might imagine, pigs are more focused on sex than anything else, often into kinkier and somewhat seedier sexual practices.
An older man who sexually pursues younger chickens/twinks/twunks.
Urban Dictionary has the best definition, “A bisexual person, usually though not always female, who is willing to join an existing couple, often with the presumption that this person will date and become sexually involved with both members of that couple, and not demand anything or do anything that might cause problems or inconvenience to that couple.” They're called unicorns, because bisexuals like these don't (or rarely) exist.
As part of pup play, a form of kink that is becoming more popular in the gay community. Men act as puppies and have handlers. The handler treats their puppies like they would their own dog, with love and affection. It’s a great introduction for gay men interested in kink and has a pretty relaxed power dynamic as far as kink goes.
Hunky, muscular bodybuilders who weigh 200+ pounds. These men are big, strong and have muscles you didn’t even know existed.