The History of the Word Gay
There’s a headline making the rounds this week that suggests there was a time when the word gay stopped meaning “happy” and started to mean “same sex relationships,” and it’s not totally correct. It’s just clickbait to advertise something dumb (fake news), and it makes light of something that is fundamental to gay culture. The word gay is not just about same sex relationships. That’s only part of it.
So here’s the most basic definition. This is always what the word gay meant to me. I never knew anything else.
In the 1960s, gaybecame the word favored by homosexual men to describe their sexual orientation. By the end of the 20th century, the word gay was recommended by major LGBTgroups and style guides to describe people attracted to members of the same sex.
But there’s even more to it than just this. There’s the pride factor, and fighting for dignity and respect. It wasn’t easy to get people to stop referring to us as “homosexual,” or worse…”queers.” The word took on a whole new meaning at one point, and relationships are only a small part of that.
GLAAD went so far as to post this, and this is why, if you notice, you rarely see the word homosexual used anymore unless there’s no other word to use or it’s being used as a pejorative.
Please use gay or lesbian to describe people attracted to members of the same sex. Because of the clinical history of the word “homosexual,” it is aggressively used by anti-gay extremists to suggest that gay people are somehow diseased or psychologically/emotionally disordered – notions discredited by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association in the 1970s. Please avoid using “homosexual” except in direct quotes. Please also avoid using “homosexual” as a style variation simply to avoid repeated use of the word “gay.” The Associated Press, and restrict use of the term “homosexual” ().
And here’s an excellent link that even goes into more detail about the word “gay.” I didn’t know it dated back to the 1950s. I thought it was more like the 60s or 70s.
By 1955, the word gay now officially acquired the new added definition of meaning homosexual males. Gay men themselves seem to have been behind the driving thrust for this new definition as they felt (and many still do), that “homosexual” is much too clinical, sounding like a disorder. As such, it was common amongst the gay community to refer to one another as “gay” decades before this was a commonly known definition (reportedly homosexual men were calling one another gay as early as the 1920s).
Oddly, though, I couldn’t find much information about this one.
Gay Couple Stabbed For Holding Hands
This is still happening, sadly.
And it happened in the US in a place where you’d think you’d be fairly safe.
Here’s more. They sound as though they plan to move forward and stay strong.
Antarctica Gets Pride Celebration
We often take pride celebrations for granted in large urban areas, but not everyone gets to celebrate pride. So this is nice to see.
Here’s more. I love this, and I know I won’t get any clickbait awards for linking to it, but I think it’s one of the most inspirational things I’ve seen all week. There’s so much hope and love there.