Resty, a Filipino gay man in his thirties and one of the people I inter-
viewed for this book, once asked me, ‘‘What is the title of the book you
‘‘Global Divas,’’ I answered.
‘‘Global divas?’’ Looking puzzled for a minute, Resty then smiled
and exclaimed, ‘‘Ah! Global ’di va? ’’ [Global, isn’t it?]
Resty realized another meaning of the book’s title by utilizing sward-
speak, which is a particular argot deployed by Filipino gay men. He per-
formed a linguistic play on the word diva by using neither mainstream
English nor Tagalog. Had he used standard Tagalog, the sentence
would have been ‘‘Global, ’di ba?’’ But by substituting a ‘‘v’’ instead of a
‘‘b,’’ he playfully transformed the word diva into a conspiratorial and
rhetorical question in a style that encoded the speaker as gay.
This short encounter between Resty and me speaks to the important