I am the last person you should ask for to rectify a certain slang, code name, abbreviation and more often than not, a stereotypical and damaging label. I was the last boy in school to know what is the real meaning of MILF. I was already seventeen. A shame much more deeper than being caught naked in the boys changing room listening to Samantha Mumba on loudspeaker.
The boys kept talking about it for a good portion of my secondary school life and I thought they were just making fun of people with a lisp who cannot pronounce milk properly. I was seventeen when my curiosity got the better of me and I typed out the word "MILF" on google. I will never forget that day. A week after that I would also find out the meaning of DILF and GILF (let's not even go there).
So naturally in conversations, you would mostly find me asking, "Wait, what does that mean?" And yesterday was no exception. The usual four (Steve, Melanie, Star and I) were out for lunch and listening to Melanie's seemingly endless stories about her customers. Apparently you tend to share a lot more problems with your hairdresser than your own spouse, or psychiatrist for that matter, judging from the loopy confessions and conversations that Melanie's customers share with her while getting their hair done.
"I'm telling you guys, relationship nowadays, be it straight ones or gay ones are all filled and plagues with the same problems. I have this customer, this cute British expat who is a total rice queen, always comes in with one problem or the other and all involving his various boyfriends. i lost count as to how many infidelity stories he has shared with me over these past few months," Melanie shared.
"Wait, what does the mean?" I asked, naturally.
"What?" Melanie asked back.
"Rice..something," I muttered.
"Oh rice queen! That's a term used to describe a Caucasian man who likes and goes after Asian boys. You mean you don't know?" Melanie laughed.
"If I knew, I wouldn't ask," I rolled my eyes.
"It's a gay slang and I'm surprised Steve and you never talk about this," Melanie said, looking at Steve who in turn dropped his jaws dramatically.
"Steve and I talk about other things that does not necessarily revolve around Caucasian men who lusts after Asian men. But why "Rice Queen", since we're at it," I asked.
"Because the staple food of most Asians is rice. And any self respecting gay man is a queen," Melanie shrugged.
"What if the Asian dude is on a no carb diet?" I asked again.
Steve snorted and broke out in a soft giggle.
"What?" Melanie shook her head.
"What if the Asian dude is on a no carb diet? Does that still make the white dude a "Rice Queen"? As if being homosexual itself and its many degrading and alienating tags and slangs is not enough, now it needs to get racial too?" I said.
There was an awkward silence at the lunch table.
"Relax, I am just asking. You didn't invent the slang so why the awkward silence?" I laughed.
"Rice queen has got a nice ring to it I must say. Imagine if it's something else. Like "Kway Teow Princess" or "Bee Hoon Duchess", how?" Star suddenly quipped.
I am thankful for friends like STar. And Bee Hoon Duchess is so going to be my new Skype nickname.