Mar 2, 2008

Discreetionary: PLU


PLU [PEE·el·you] noun 1. a non-straight male. adjective 2. not straight. example: "This will be a venue for the musings and a-musings of [a] PLU operating for the past two decades in the homo-ambivalent corporate world." —Corporate Closet. etymology: from the acronym of People Like Us, a gay rights group based in Singapore.

Welcome to Discreetionary! Obviously, it's a discreet dictionary and I envision it to be a series of posts that will introduce or define slang words and phrases used by gay and bisexual guys in Manila. The idea for this is blatantly ripped off from the Queerisms category of the QueerClick gay blog (warning: QueerClick is definitely not safe for work!), but targeted for our local world. And no, this won't be a gay lingo dictionary so we'll be leaving the "chorvas," the "eklavus," the "chakas" elsewhere, especially if they're not often used by discreet guys like us. :-)

Going back to our term, you might find it interesting to know that the the use of the term PLU seems to be a purely Southeast Asian phenomenon. As mentioned above, it came from the name of People Like Us, a prominent Singaporean LGBT rights group, twice declined recognition in the largely conservative nation-state. The term is popular in its hometown Singapore, as well as Malaysia and the Philippines, and possibly also in Indonesia and Thailand. Note that when using the term, you ignore its original expanded meaning; otherwise, you'd get ungrammatical expressions. For example, "Is he PLU?" should not be expanded to the hilariously sounding "Is he people like us?"

I can't remember when I first learned of this term but I think it was in 2002, I think, but I now personally find it an extremely useful and versatile term and could be the SEA equivalent of UK's "queer," don't you think?