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Aeonyx asked in Social ScienceSociology · 8 years ago

Is "Gay" a deceptive term?

I've often considered this-- but with same sex marriage on the ticket in several states (including mine) it seems more timely than ever. How did gay come to mean homosexual? It almost seems like overcompensation by someone to conceal/ignore the truth. Like you, I can think of lots of less than complimentary terms that are more accurate- but even some sort of random neutral emotion noun would be better. I hate to compare sex choice with race, but I can think of at least five "acceptable" past terms for black people that have now been replaced by African American-- and easy to say or not, that term is at least accurate. (here anyway) I'm a big fan of languages, word derivation etc-- and of course I could google this as easily as you, but lets face it-- although I've met a few flamers that really are gay-- in the literal sense, the opposite of straight is crooked. And since I've never met a heterosexual person who is disappointed with their sex lives because they actually like to use their organs as intended or pissed off about being able to have a family to carry on his/her legacy family name etc.; it seems that if "gay" is an accurate term for homosexuals, then the proper opposing term for hetero would be something like sad or depressed or unfortunate etc. --clearly not accurate. We live in an information age where everything from medicine labels to soup cans to happy meals MUST be accurate-- unless the owner wants a flurry lawsuits. So how do you think a group that demands equality, skates by with a now universally accepted-- yet inaccurate and even deceptive moniker?

This is all rather tongue in cheek you know-- I'm not losing any sleep over this-- so, dispassionate intelligent answers are encouraged.

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    As you probably know, the term "gay" was first used to mean "happy". It quickly got a sexual connotation, so that a "gay house" was a brothel, for example. Going from regular happiness to sexual enjoyment is not a very big jump for a word to take. Initially, the word could be applied to both men and women; a "gay woman" was a prostitute and a "gay man" was a womanizer. Eventually, its usage got limited, so that it was only applied to men's sexuality. From there, it got the meaning of being specifically homosexual.

    When homosexuality became less of a taboo, and a movement for homosexual's rights started, they applied the term gay to themselves. The word branched out, so that "gay" can now also be used to refer to a woman again, though the term "lesbian" is also still common.

  • 4 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago


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