Friday, April 6, 2012

G is for Gay

The Quote of the Day that inspired my A to Z Challenge theme -

A Word for the Day that takes on many meanings.

Quote of the Day: A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can change their meanings right in front of you. They pick up flavors and odors like butter in a refrigerator. John Steinbeck

Word of the Day: Gay

I love this G. I found it at the Blacklist Vintage shop in Minneapolis.

This is the first word that popped into my mind when I chose this theme for the 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. It has many meanings and has clearly changed through the years. When I was in college (many years ago), I wrote an essay on this word. It was interesting looking up all the definitions, when it started to change from a merry little word to a label for homosexuals, to being embraced as a way of life.

A gay party a hundred years ago looked quite different from one today. Although, both might be called a gay affair, but in different ways.

I found this note on
In addition to its original and continuing senses of “merry, lively” and “bright or showy,” gay has had various senses dealing with sexual conduct since the 17th century. A gay woman was a prostitute, a gay man a womanizer, a gay house a brothel. This sexual world included homosexuals too, and gay as an adjective meaning “homosexual” goes back at least to the early 1900s. After World War II, as social attitudes toward sexuality began to change, gay was applied openly by homosexuals to themselves, first as an adjective and later as a noun. Today, the noun often designates only a male homosexual: gays and lesbians. The word has ceased to be slang and is not used disparagingly. Homosexual as a noun is sometimes used only in reference to a male

It seems to me that gay is a happy little word with all kinds of sexual undertones. Or, maybe sex makes people feel happy and gay?

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt:  How would you explain this word to your kids? Why do you think being gay is a target for bullying and abuse?

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