logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Clairvoyance: 08:00 PM

Full Schedule
g
g Gay Lesbian Site

BellaOnline's Gay Lesbian Editor

g

What does Gay mean?

Guest Author - Lynn Marie Wilson

What does gay mean? How is it used in popular culture and in the LGBT community?

Textbook Definitions of Gay
According to a now-outdated 1976 version of Webster's New World Dictionary of American Language (ed. Guralnik):

Gay -
1. Joyous and lively; merry; happy; light-hearted.
2. Bright, brilliant (As in bright colors)
3. Given to social life and pleasures (A gay life)
4. Wanton, licentious
5. [Slang] homosexual

Traditionally, gay has signified being happy and light-hearted. If you read older works of fiction and non-fiction, you might find gay meaning this very thing. Of course, for the purposes of this article, we are going to look at the fifth definition of gay: “homosexual”.

According to that same dictionary:

Homosexual-
1. Of or characterized by sexual desire for those of the same sex as oneself

Now according to this definition, "homosexual" can be used to describe both homosexuals and lesbians, and in some cases, bisexuals also. So, homosexual men are attracted to other men, and homosexual women are attracted to other women.

Gay in the LGBT Community

In the LGBT community, however, gay refers almost exclusively to homosexual men. Gay defines the sexual orientation of men who are sexually, emotionally, and romantically attracted to other men, whether they act on those desires or not. In the LGBT community, gay almost never refers to any other non-heterosexual person. The exception to this is when we say, “gay rights” and “gay marriage”.

Gay as used in Politics and Popular Culture

Gay in popular culture nowadays refers to homosexual men. Gay isn’t usually referred to as light-hearted and jovial anymore, since the definition of gay as homosexual has taken over the definition. In politics, gay is used when talking about rights to the LGBT community. In that case, as in “gay rights”, the term gay is used to define the entire non-heterosexual spectrum (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, pansexual, questioning).

Gay is not
Gay is not a pejorative. Let me repeat that: Gay is not a pejorative!

What does that mean? It means using “gay” in the place of another word: stupid, annoying, etc. One word: don’t.

Other Words for Gay (Do not use!)

Gay men have been called many derogatory terms over the years. Some men embrace a few of these, but as a whole, these words are seen as inappropriate at best: Fag, Sissy, Nelly, Mary, Pansy, Homo, Queer, Queen, Poofter (UK), Femme, Fairy, Pole Slider, Fudge Packer, Faggot, Cowpoke, Nancy Boy, Flammer, Twinkletoes, etc.

Questions?

Have questions? Head on over to the forum and discuss!


Lynn M. Wilson

Editor, Gay Lesbian News @ Bellaonline.com
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add What+does+Gay+mean%3F to Twitter Add What+does+Gay+mean%3F to Facebook Add What+does+Gay+mean%3F to MySpace Add What+does+Gay+mean%3F to Del.icio.us Digg What+does+Gay+mean%3F Add What+does+Gay+mean%3F to Yahoo My Web Add What+does+Gay+mean%3F to Google Bookmarks Add What+does+Gay+mean%3F to Stumbleupon Add What+does+Gay+mean%3F to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Gay Lesbian Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Lynn Marie Wilson. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lynn Marie Wilson. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

g


g features
Let Your Voice Be Heard

Gay PRIDE

The Pink Triangle - Cruel Fate or Solidarity

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor