Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43 Posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3512 times:
Sorry....I have always wondered.
When did the word "gay" come to be synonymous with homosexual? All along, as long as I can see back, 'gay' meant 'happy'. Then somewhere along the way, the meaning mutated into...well gay as in homosexual.
When and why? I figure this board should be a fertile (oops...sorry) source of that info.
Over and out in a definite hit-and-run post.
Searpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4349 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3501 times:
Wikipedia has a good article on the etymology of the word, too long to post here tho. Basically they say it started in the 1920, with the first pop culture reference being in 1938. By the '60s it had pretty much taken on its current meaning.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73
Reply 6, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3458 times:
My guess would be the 1970s?
This album which was geared for children and pet lovers came out in the early 1960s just like the Flinstones. Remember the last line in the theme song; "We'll have a gay old time!!!"
I remember in elementary school (late 70s/early 80s) having to sing songs and read books that used the word 'gay' and feeling a little uncomfortable using the word.
Logan22L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3387 times:
I have to admit that I first heard the term in 3rd or 4th grade (1972 or 1973), and it was used more as an "innocent" insult than anything else (please don't take that the wrong way - it was common parlance in elementary school back then, and who knew better at that age?). I mean, when you're 9 or 10 years old, most kids don't really have a true grip on their sexuality. I may have morphed into someone who has seen and done a great number of things in the steamy underbelly of society, but back then I was very innocent.
I only knew "gay" as a casual insult to someone who either answered the teacher's question correctly (or even wanted to answer the teacher's question) or to someone who said something that was not generally accepted by the rest of the class or group of kids you were with.
Honestly, I didn't truly understand the actual meaning until later in High School, and really until Freshman year of college when I had a gay roomate who wanted to fool around with me. Damn! I had to draw the line. He was a good guy, but persistent as hell, and I don't think he's ever forgiven me for telling him no. I didn't make an issue out of it to the school or anything, because he was a good guy and because he didn't deserve to have any controversy any more than was already bothering him. That said, he pissed me off at times.
Still, I fully support gay rights - just don't "stick it in my face."
San747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5012 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3334 times:
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1): 9. verb. [USA 1990s] to be inadequate or displeasing; TO SUCK. something bad or unacceptable. ["that's so gay" or "that's gay."] ("That movie was fucking gay.") note: In the late 1990s the teen culture started using the word gay to represent something not acceptable to their standards. From the late '60s gay was associated with homosexuality, to most of society homosexuality was unacceptable and considered bad, so the word gay has transformed itself into something bad or unacceptable.
I, as an American teenager, immediately noticed this definition. It is unfortunately oh so true... I'm a total supporter of gay rights, and I admonish my peers for making hateful statements or saying words like "Faggot", yet I say the word "gay" in the above sense all the time... It's just wired into my brain, it's hard to explain. It's just the automatic word for something bad in my age group...
AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 60
Reply 23, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3269 times:
Quoting San747 (Reply 20): It's just wired into my brain, it's hard to explain
I'm sure just as difficult for me to try and explain the presence of the same self-identified straight folks making multiple posts in threads that are topical to the gay community over and over and over again. Maybe because gay is such a happy word!
PHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7634 posts, RR: 21
Reply 24, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3166 times:
Quoting Logan22L (Reply 16): I have to admit that I first heard the term in 3rd or 4th grade (1972 or 1973), and it was used more as an "innocent" insult than anything else (please don't take that the wrong way - it was common parlance in elementary school back then, and who knew better at that age?).
I was either 7 or 8 (1972-1973) when I first heard the word gay being other than its happy or merry definition. As Logan22L mentioned, it was used as either an insult or derogatory term. I was about 9 or 10 (1974-1975); when I heard about its present or now, more common, definition.
Nowadays, the only time one hears the term gay being used as either happy or merry is from the third line in the first verse of the Christmas carol Deck The Halls:
Don we now our gay apparel, Fa La La, La La La, La La La.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981