Vortragsankündigung- The field of Lavender Linguistics and why Conchita Wurst shouldn’t read the comment section

21.1.2015 11-12 Uhr – HHU 23.21.U1.91

Lavender Linguistics is a subfield of sociolinguistics dealing with the language of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer) individuals, heteronormative and heterosexist language use and also with homophobic and transphobic discourse. We will give a brief introduction to the field of Lavender Linguistics to then proceed with the presentation and analysis of anonymized Facebook-reactions towards non-binary individuals.
With the increase of CMC (Computer-mediated communication) cyber crime, cyber harassment and new communicative ways of insulting people have arisen. Especially the body is a popular target of harassment, i.e. regarding the shape and weight of the body.
In the past years more people, who do not fit existing cultural (heteronormative) stereotypes of binary gender, have come to the spotlight. Even if acceptance for non-binary individuals in the media is growing, they face a lot of criticism, prejudice and hate. A rather current example is European Songcontest winner Conchita Wurst, from Austria.
The reactions to these individuals on Facebook vary greatly, but also show extreme incomprehension of culturally unexpected behavior. This includes wishes for the celebrity to commit suicide or change their appearance and insults targeting appearance, gender and sexual orientation – to name a few.
The question comes up why individuals in the limelight need to fit binary gender categories – according to the backlash they are facing in online media. The focus of this research is on a linguistic analysis of hate speech, which will (among others) encompass porn language, threats of violence, body harassment, misogyny and general difficulties with accepting gender-fluidness.

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