Is “Twink” The Gay Equivalent To “Karen” Or Worse?

Photo by Campbell on Unsplash

Cardi B started discourse, yet again, over Twitter. But do you agree with her or do you think she went too far?

On July 14, the “WAP” and “Bodak Yellow” rapper took to Twitter to write a series of tweets about white gay men. Though, she specifically called out White twinks. This came after the rapper was announced to collab with singer Normani in the latter’s upcoming new single, “Wild Side.” Many Normani fans didn’t take to the news lightly, claiming they preferred a solo song without Cardi B.

“White twinks on this app are weird. You don’t dictate people’s action,” she wrote in response to the backlash.

While many agreed and cheered on the artist and personality for the post, it also struck a nerve with many others on Twitter. That led to an influx of Twitter users saying Cardi B’s homophobic past and intention behind the word “twink” made the tweet look hateful.

Seeing the discourse blowing up, Cardi B sent a follow-up tweet saying, “I said what I said and I’m not taking it back!!! Ya love to hide behind black female artist pictures on your avi and be the ones saying the most disrespectful shit about women & dictating their moves and start wars between female artist fans ALWAYS!”

Twitter users then continued to be split between defending Cardi B or condemning her. Though, the conversation also heavily focused on the word “twink.” Some claim its use was being shifted into a derogatory meaning. Some claimed it was always that way and that it wasn’t just used against white gay men but all gay men.

Then, some agreed but added that the negative connotation was deserved. In a way, this is much like the initial discourse around the word “Karen,” which has become used to refer to privileged and unruly White women. Depending on its use “twink” has become the gay male version of “Karen.”

Though, in true Twitter form, some made jokes about the situation.

In the end, Cardi B tried to call off all the fighting by posting, “Now let’s be nice shall we? Let’s experience greatness and gagging sessions in peace.”

But by that time, the damage had been done. The conversation has been started. And now we just have to see if the conflict will die out or if the term “twink” will continue to shift in use and meaning within Gay Twitter, the gay community, and beyond.

Though, Cardi B may have added to the “Twink is a slur” argument with her last tweet on the subject.

2 thoughts on “Is “Twink” The Gay Equivalent To “Karen” Or Worse?”

  1. My understanding of the word “twink” is this. Regardless of origin, it was intended, not as a derogatory comment, insult or slur – but as a way to identify/describe a type of gay man using slang. Those men generally being – Young (or young looking), slim to average weight and generally “pretty” or otherwise attractive. An argument could be made that it has racist origings as the term normally applied to young, skinny, blonde men. Thus seemingly emphasizing white desirability. However recent times there have been sub categories which took care of this problem.

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