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Thursday, 27 July 2006

Comments

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BenB

I hold back my tears, just to finish typing this melancholic word: thank you Prof. for being you. We trust you. You're a great source of inspiration. You're the still little voice that made you the conscience of the party, the reason they wanted you out of the way, the reason they killed Diboule.

Prof. you remind us that anyone here singing songs of praise to a tin-god and dying for the commander-in-chief of a death squad that stands to stifle democracy, free expression and equal opportunities, should be ashamed of themselves. They should take time off from useless comments here and search their lives, examine themselves.

I'll try not to cry, Prof., I'll rather wish you goodluck and God's blessings as you dare the rough road to correct the wrongs of "messiahs" gone wrong.

We know the road will be long and the enemy will be awake all night plotting against you, but you Prof, we know you, we trust your thick-skinned character, we trust your determination and your goodwill to do good. The Lord shall lead you and other FORCES OF GOOG INTENTION through, to lead us through.

God bless you. God bless Muna. God bless Ngwasiri. Good bless Zmaboue. Good bless Ouhandja. Good bless Mballa Mengue,. Good bless Odette Ngantoum. God bless all others involved with this noble battle for SDF Renaisance. Amen.

S-D-FFF! Power to the PEOPLE and EQUAL opportunities.

BenF

Marc Donbon

Is there a website for the new SDF? What is being done regarding fundraisng to promote the new SDF activities?

Feli

Prof. Asonganyi
Before you continue disgracing yourself after serving the SDF for 12 years, I would want you to correct just one single fact which every true SDF militants knows. 6 people died in Bamenda on the 26th of May 1990 not 5 as you repeatedly say in your article. You do not know the SDF as I thought. Big disgrace.

mukete

I have never cried before! May the Almighty God give me the power to recover from the shock I have on reading this divine and heart-touching article from the learned and God-fearing professor.

I will be writing on this very soon. God, open their eyes, that they too may see the weakedness in their god.

mukete

Muna

Muna why can't you form your own party. Is it only with SDF that you can win election in your village ? What is your problem ? If you want to joint the CPDM government why passing through the SDF?

Watesih

Prof. Asonganyi,
Its always a good thing for one to mourn the death of his mailboy.
Secondly ,it is also a good thing for one to mourn the death of the person who through
your advice had become the landlord of the SDF secretariat at Olezoa.Many anti-party activities were carried out,but Djiboule lent no credence to that,but carried on with his new-found hobby of a computer guru,who used party equipment to further the political ambitions of rebellious subjects like you.When you refused to go over to Olezoa to handover party property,
Djiboule continued to have access to and used party software to print out fiery material against the party`s hierarchy.When
Ngwasiri stormed Douala with thugs,in his bid to disrupt a NEC meeting,Djiboule holed himself up in the secratariat.When they were clashes between militants on the 20,21,22 May 2006,Djiboule summoned his might and continued exploiting the party.The question now is ,who gave Djiboule all these guts to be able to downplay all the tension that was rife at that time? Of course people like you.The second question is,who is this ordinary militant who having discovered that the leaders of the party are at each other`s throat would not steer clear? Of course because of people like you,he chose his side ,stuck to his seat and shrugged off any threats.If Djiboule was an ordinary militant,than an insider who had chosen confrontation than dialogue,he would have known prior May 26th 2006 that two different factions were competing for supremacy,thus he wouldn`t have put himself in harms way.
Had it been Djiboule was murdered why carrying out some party propaganda,or in times of peace,people would want to pass him for a martyr.But this is somebody who
knowing how the Governor of the Centre Province even had to step in on May 20th to
bring down tempers that had been hanging on a short fuse,went about his activities in the SDf Secretariat without any qualms.
It is but normal for individuals to take sides in a political wrangling like that of the SDF,but Djiboule is one of those who turned the SDf secretariat into a fortress
many days before their "Authentic SDF" was born.They beat back all the militants who tried to have access to this venue,and when
the SDf chairman came calling ,he was also barred from having accesss there.Thus,the
intallation of the committee that was to conduct the affairs of the party right up to the convention did not take place.
Cameroonians, imagine that with all this tension in the air,Djiboule continued to savour this show of bravour from Zamboue and his men for a very long.So can someone like this ,who directly entertains,and is a partisan of violence be treated today as a martyr? The "Authentic SDF" was only born after his death.So why on earth did this guy hole himself up in a Secretariat whose access he had only gained as a member of one and an indivisible SDF?
Prof. Asonganyi,the Bamenda 6,not 5 Mr
Secretary,were true martyrs because the SDF was no longer a structure to be doubted,but
Djiboule will never be a martyr because a ban had been placed on the Yaounde Convention as early as March 31st 2006.As from March 31st 2006,Cameroonians would have expected you people to give ample information about the new venue to host your convention.By fighting and beating back SDF militants at the Secretariat at Olezoa since May 20 2006,and at the same time counting on a conference centre that had been denied you people since March 31st 2006,was a show of highhandedness,illigality
, and the quest for confrontation.
Prof,Djiboule did not go out to offer his life for the sake of whatever course! Was he killed campaigning for the " Authentic SDF" ? of course not.Was he killed while preaching peace between the two camps? No.He was caught up under a crossfire between warring camps.Since Muna had given him his word,and promised him money,he stayed on,but Muna and Zamboue stealthily left at the 11th hour.So what makes him a martyr here? His death might be attributed to his personal greed.The desire
to exploit that which you know is not yours,
yet you console yourself by hiding behind somebody you think is untouchable,until you are surprised at the last moment.
You say," The leadership had allowed the party to split into two contentious groups ,and our valiant militants to pour out into other forces".You are right!The leadership ,with you included allowed your militants to pour out into other forces.You
know Djiboule, your mailboy( May his soul rest in peace) was one of these valiant militants,who poured out to become a hostage taker.His death was also brought about by his party comrades,not like the Bamenda 6 who were killed by a CPDM war lord like Biya.So where is the martyrdom in all this?
Finally,Prof.,you seem not to be very lucky with the words you use all these days.
Two days you talked about a " Renaissance".
There can`t be the dawn of a new era,when your chairman and co-disciple Muna gives as his projet de societe' the fact that he wants to fight Fru Ndi ,by making Cameroonians not to beleive in his lies.
There cannever be a Renaissance when you stick to the party`s logo,letter head ,and pass for its chairman,not showing any departure from the Fru Ndi you accuse of not doing anything.You cannever be called a martyr when you illegally use the structures
of an established body like the SDF,pay a deaf ear to all the tension around you,and
die in an environment you were not supposed to find yourself there .

Vally

Watesih,
And finally,Diboule was killed by those who beleive he cross their sdf property.Thanks for acknowledging this.

I must presume that the issue of 5/6 is a mistake because i have lots of article written by Prof Asonganyi about the unfortunate 6 in Bamenda.

Back to Diboule,like him so will dictator Fru ndi too go.If this man was killed let me expressly say here his killers will follow him.Somebody some day, will murder theirs too, we have a living God.

Prof Asonganyi thanks for this wounderful epitaph for diboule,it can only come from someone like you.Prof, while diboule will count on you for the change we all want,count on us.There are very few in cameroon of your quality remaining,who can turn down appointments because they know the masses are suffering.
Prof,with your exposure and quality you can pick any job of your choice round the world,but you beleive in the struggle and want to continue.May god guide you.

Vally
England.

gerald

Every serious person had since stopped commenting on the postnewsline forum. We have got two camps, each as bad as the other. Today this camp calls the other “CPDM” agents, the very next day, the other camp turns round and calls the other “CPDM” agents. When an article favours one camp, everything in that article becomes the gospel truth, the other camp will round on the journalist and vice versa. We have the BenBs, Terribobs and others on the one side and the Feli, Watiseh and others on the other. No camp ever accepts its short comings. We have turned to view politics as that of persons and not politics of policies. While these two camps are here slaving away, the country continues on its tortuous route to doom. Wake up people. I do not think our salvation will come through Fru Ndi, Ben Muna or Paul Biya. Ask yourselves how old these people are. Ask yourselves whether they care so much about “Your Future”. Ask yourselves whether they still have the energy in them to fight. Please wake up and grow up. It is when we defend even the indefensible just because we support someone. Look around these people and you will find out that their careers are littered with countless mistakes. A vast number of able people read the Post. A lot more would like to comment on issues but because these two camps have hijacked the forum, no one wants to go into senseless debates about John Fru or Ben Muna. No one wants to have to dignify the accusation that they are anti-Fru or anti-Muna just because they happen to disagree with something. Now is the time for us to realise that we cannot keep falling for this flattery that we are the future of tomorrow (one wonders from whether there is at all a future when one reads the thrash we have in here). Now is our time to push aside these old men and take control of our destiny. For those who want to keep dancing “authentic” and “real” SDF dance, you will wake up when it is too late to even realise the whole thing is sinking. Parliamentary elections are round the corner, rather than concentrate our energies on strategies that can rid Cameroon of these corrupt people, we are here everyday singing about authentic and real SDF. Some are spending time doing fruitless research to proof that someone is this or that agent or someone is or is not in this or that part of the world. Grow up for CRYING OUT LOUD.

mukete

i promised to come back on Diboule's story.Am still making my write up.in the meantime, let me expanciate on this Norwest primitivity, which is in line with what the professor is trying to explain:
also, By calling Diboule matry, we of the muna faction understand that diboule was a great suicide bomber who bombaded fru ndi as a freedom figheter.
Next,
MY AUNT WAS A TAKUMBENG, NOT ANY MORE!!!!

One reason i hate fru ndi is because my aunt was paid to naked herself in 1992 as TAKUMBENG, but fru Ndi never paid her.Instaed, yoiu know what he did with my sister!!!!!

I TOLD YOU THAT THE GRAFFI MAN IS A PRIMITIVE MAN.
This current research I HAVE DONE FOR 3 YEARS has proven, beyond any doubts whatsoever, that by exposing the nakedness of very old women to the public in Bamenda – Graffiland is something completely against African culture and against the tradition of the entire North West province – the leader of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity and against the feminine gender brought a CURSE on the entire North West province and Bamenda and KAM NO GOs. Am not a racist.Cameroon is the only country in the world where the nakedness of very old bamenda women, known as Takumbengs or graffimbeng has been used by the opposition to fight the government.

WELL, LET ME CONFESS THAT MY AUNT WAS VERY MAD WHEN FRU NDI EMPLOYED HER AS A GRAFFIMBENG.
In Cameroon, whenever a mad woman LIKE MY AUNT is seen moving around naked, the first thing women do is to look for a piece of cloth to cover her nakedness. As if mad women also understand the danger involved in exposing their nakedness in public, ALL mad women in Cameroon make sure they cover their nakedness. Traditionally, in the graffiland, if an old woman should show you her nakedness, especially in public, then it is treated as a BEAUTY CONTEST.mYaunt did it. What a primitive people? In the North West province still, when a passer-by coincidentally sees an old woman taking a bath in the stream, the passer-by has to run away with his eyes closed as if a lion were chasing him. Again in the North West province, if an old woman threatens to expose her nakedness to you, you have to run away and beg the elderly to mediate. If you see the waste-slip of an old woman falling to the ground, you immediately have to turn to the opposite direction – with your eyes closed.

Mukete

Now in Ntarikon
Mukete


BenB

COMING UP: SUNDAY SCHOOL

Anyone with a hymn, teaching, sermon, reading? The congregation is waiting. May God bless us as we prepare.

The fasting group has been communing with the Lord and great things are expected in the days ahead.

You can the see the way the spirit is manifesting in the right fasting reverend. You may thing his rantings are a manifestation of madness.

No, that's the spirit moving (na spirit don catch he so), showing that the Lord is doing great things and more are in store. God bless All.

BenF

BenB

...AND PRAY FOR DIBOULE WHO's BURIED TODAY

In your prayers remember Diboule who goes down today to give a progress report to the other martyrs and water the tree of freedom, most needed at this time when the party is undergoing its RENAISANCE.

Imagine what Diboule would be telling the other martyrs what their blood was used for, what personal gain COMMERCIAL ACTIVISTS made from the capital won by their brutal death.

Imagine what Diboule would be telling the other martyrs how the CHAARMAN had taken their party hostage and called it HIS not OURS, and least of all not THEIRS (not even the party of the martyrs).

Imagine what Diboule would be saying to the other martyrs how..., how..., and how CHAARMAN DON FINISH.

Pray for Diboule and the other martyrs and pray for those honouring Diboule today.

See you at Sunday School.

BenF

BenB

There's been a great revelation. Our Rt (fasting) Rev., the Great Rock of Shanghai School of Economics has told us that after fasting and praying two nights non-stop, he's had a revelation. He spoke in tongues of prophetic things. We'll share the revelation with you at Sunday School. Please bring forth your own contributions to Sunday School. May God bless Us.

BenF

Muki StoneHall

Thank you Watesih,
Thank you for the detailed episode above.It is really so sad,when political failures like Asonganyi,who for 12 years helped to destroy the SdF will stand up to accuse the leadership of the SDF.Even in his death,Asonganyi will still exploit Diboue for his selfish ends.
Dear Mr Asongyani,the ghosts of the Bamenda 6 will forever haunt you for the part you played in destroying the SDF for which the spilled their blood and the present generation will always hold you responsible for the confusion you are causing in this country.
StoneHall

BenB

The Sermon: First Mass

FRU NDI HAS CLEARLY OUTLIVED HIS USEFULNESS TO SDF – Words of Stonehall, a repenting/regretting Fru Ndiist?


Brethren in the congregation, we can all see that fanaticism may harden the heart of this young man like a stonewall but all can see that truth speaks in the heart of Muki. Good sense makes him realise it, but the fanatic in him, that silly attachment to the Axis of Fanaticism, just dies hard.

Do they mean that Cameroon or the SDF should be at a standstill because you, their Axis of Blindness has not chosen Ni John's successor from among the COMMERCIAL ACTIVISTS who led him astray in the first place?

Another hysterical Axis gangster pretending to be at both the east and west of the globe at the same time, said the other day that Ni John's successor hasn't been born! Just hear them!

Is it not clear from their utterances, and as we’ve been pointing out here, that COMMERCIAL ACTIVISTS, backed by the AXIS OF BLIND FRU NDIISTS are just out with the scourge earth policy, to block the progress of the party and Cameroon because their idol has fallen out of favour?

Just listen to Muki: "Fru Ndi has CLEARLY outlived his usefulness to the SDF. But..., I'll prefer to steak to the DEVIL I know."

Sorry, the train is in motion and whether they call them the angels they don’t know or whatever, whether they prefer the DEVIL they know, the SDF needs to move on and a group of people with GOOD INTENTIONS and the capacity to deliver and the will to do so, are on motion to revive the party and move it forward.

Now our Sunday School hymn:

Fading away like the stars of the morning
Losing their light in the glorious sun
Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling
Only remembered by what we have sown

Only remembered
Only remembered
Only remembered by what we have sown
Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling
Only remembered by what we have sown

May God bless the FORCES OF GOOD INTENTION and us All, Amen

BenF

BenB

The Sermon: Second Mass

I’LL PREFER THE DEVIL I KNOW – Words of Stonehall, a Fanatical Fru Ndiist?


I have been challenged to prove why I think my “angel” can lead the SDF and Cameroon, after their “devil” has CLEARLY failed. I’d have gladly jumped at the opportunity to make certain points clear here after a run of stale, sterile campaign of hate against a man and his family, backed by no points of fact.

But it turns out it’s a call to yet another close-minded quarrel, where I’m told upfront whatever I say would be rejected, 2-for-1 (two points against each point for). They may well go on with their two points against and assume 2-0, not even 2-1.

All I'd say is, I don't know any angel yet. Never thought there was any in the SDF or anywhere in the world. I know human beings, maybe not devils but people loaded with ILLWILL as they’ve shown abundantly.

Some were endowed with the capacity to move crowds that made them look like the Messiah or Moses come to free us from bondage, though it has always be obvious they never knew what to do should the walls of Jericho fall, opening the way for the people to walk free into the promised land.

Those were people who had little or no record to show for their ability to lead and manage people and make things happen, but whom we trusted just because they happened on us.

Then I know people, not angels but people loaded with GOODWILL, with a track record of achievements in leading and managing people, in molding people, in imparting values to people. They are ready to move us forward, bring about a RENAISANCE and carry us through.

BenF

BenB

The Sermon: Third Mass

IDEAL TEAM FOR SDF RENAISANCE – Not a One-Man Show


I wonder what better qualities of leadership we can expect from someone who under the most difficult teaching conditions we know, has for decades been molding medical practitioners at CUSS in Yaounde.

That same Asonganyi was for over 12 years, diligent keeper of the books (SG) for the party, a coolheaded day-to-day manager of party affairs, a true SDF militant, a man of steel, firm character, incorruptible, focused.

What better qualities of leadership can we expect from a soft-spoken professor of law who for decades and decades has been forming some of the best legal minds in the country? Ngwasiri is so modest that for all the power he held as NAC chairman, few knew because he was unassuming until the wrong people fumbled and struck his beehive.

What better qualities can we expect from such a one who sacrificed such good name just to do the right and work towards the RENAISANCE of our party?

What better leadership qualities can we expect from a political prince who sacrificed the easy way to grab a ministerial post (and who knows whatever else?) and preferred to champion the cause of the down-trodden – the suffering masses.

You know, it’s always easier for children of the downtrodden to join the struggle to challenge their exploiters, but when a “prince” champions the cause against oppression, that prince is someone to watch.

In the United States, it took the GOODWILL of a “prince” to establish the Peace Corps that sends volunteers to help suffering masses in developing countries. It took “Prince” John Kennedy from a fabulously rich family where each kid was given one million dollars (over 500 million CFA Frs) once they turned 18.

What better leadership qualities can we expect from our Cameroonian political prince who shunned comfort and preferred to go through the dark tunnel of “conniving” with other early FORCES OF GOOD INTENTION who set out to shake the foundation of a regime that has ruined the country?

What better qualities can we expect from Muna who has left behind him shouting records: an impeccable record as Bar Council chairman? He used the powers of his office to force the door of liberation open for his people while many others in that office only think of making personal gain.

What more do we expect from a man who has groomed some of the finest lawyers in this country, most of them charitably, though some (like BAD Ndam) went elsewhere and picked up bad habits and have turned their guns against their own mentors (Ngwasiri as his varsity professor, Muna as his chambers mentor).

That same Muna has proven his efficiency, impeccably ethical behaviour and good intentions to serve humanity at sub-regional, African and world organizations.

The FORCES OF GOOD INTENTION have proven themselves. But they, like us, know that the challenge before them is huge. They are flexing their muscles to bring down the 24-year-old repressive, inefficient Biya regime and deliver the goods to the people.

But even before they get there, another challenge faces them from reactionary forces within whom they have shamed and who hate them for shining the light brighter.

They need courage and as they’ve proven these past few years, especially these past months, they are imbued with a sufficient dose of it. Yet we need to prop them to stay courageous through out the battle.

Now our third Sunday School hymn:


Courage brothers do not stumble
Though thy path be dark as night
There’s a star to guide the humble
Trust in God and do the right.

God bless the FORCES OF GOOD INTENTION as they face this Herculean task, Amen.

BenF

Watesih

REASONS,ALL THE REASONS WHY PROF.ASONGANYI
IS AN ANTI-DEMOCRAT.

1. Out of the party`s 16 years of existence,
he deputised as Secretary for a record
12 years.He was therefore responsible
for all the decisions that bruised all
those he today term as bringers of a new
era;
-On his watch ,NEC tried and sanctioned
Prof. Ngwasiri,thus he is one of the top
brass of the party who accepted Ngwasiri
`s resignation.
-On his watch ,the Convention was post-
poned as a result of the posture in
which the party found itself.
2. By putting in 12 years as the party`s
scribe, Prof. Asonganyi was still in
Kindergarten ,and did not fully know the
meaning of Renaissance.How can somebody
who had stayed this long ,and accepted
that his team had failed to deliver the
goods ,start celebrating an imaginary
Renaissance.
3. By refusing to work in Bamenda where the
party was born showed his leadership
qualities were regional and his militancy
questionable.
4. By refusing to animate the party base,
the Northwest Provincial capital ,known
as the political capital of cameroon,
showed Prof. Asonganyi had started
undermining the party`s strength a long
time ago.
5. Prof. Asonganyi was the brain behind the
Committee that has to oversee the
activities of the party ,right up to the
convention,in case of serious anti-party
activities.He imposed this clause on the
three ,hot provinces of Littoral,Centre
and West.But today he is celebrating
those he had tried to undercut through
this clause.He is today calling
dissidents he tried to undercut as
bringers of a new era.
6. Served for 12 years ,but when time came
to make a peaceful transition,to show his
love for innovation,he became unruly.
-Sold the party and its leader cheap in
public.
-Involved himself in rumour mongering.
-Did not show himself as a scientific
mind ,but started happing about
necromancy,when his leader lost his wife
7. By subjecting the handing over of party
property to a court staged-affair,some-
thing he did not go through when this
property was being handed over to him
shows how hostage-taking in terrorist
circles is played out.
8. By pretending not to be with Muna and
Ngwasiri,and only jumping out when he
discovers that the courts ruled against
the SDF,shows who this man is.
9. By still weeping about the decisions of
NEC in 2003,something he presided over,
shows how this man takes cameroonians for
fools.
10. By treating all types of terrorists he
entertained as martyrs ,shows this man
is still out to craft the doom of the
SDF.


motto

Watesih,

After Prof Asonganyi has realised that he has failed together with your mentor Fru Ndi,he said and I quote'THE HIERACHY OF THE SDF HAS FAILED' INCLUDING HIMSELF.

Do you see any trust worthiness and truthfullness in this person?

How many Cameroonians of recent memory have acknowledged failure even in the hiding?

Here comes a man of his own repute, to say, I have failed and will quit, brother let's go because we have not met the people's aspiration, we have failed them.

What else could be these glaring than this truth in what prof. Asonganyi said?

You will prefer somebody who even with glaring failure, unproductiveness etc, hangs in there to pretend and tell lies to millions of cameroonians.

You seem not to be an honest person. Is this what politics makes out of people?

Roufaou Oumarou

to Feli,

"Is there a website for the new SDF?"
Not yet. We are working on it and it will be put online soon.
You can find informations about the new SDF here:
http://www.sdfgermany.de

Teribobs

Motto,
Never mind Watesih. He will never say something objective. These are the typical Fru Ndiists who will prefer JFN to be there for life whether he still delivers or not. Afterall is it their party? why shouldn't they create our own? These are his usual questions.
I have mentioned earlier that he needs to get his head examined. Even some in his camp are ashamed of his write-ups. This guy is a CDF taleban.

Fon, is this the type of people you want us to be debating with?

Vally, so you have been here for four years?

Ngu Pius

What people write here is no longer news. Everybody knows what is going on and uses his or her conscience to judge whatever he or she has experienced!!!! What Watesih, Feli, Atangha, Aaron,Ace, BenF/B, Terribobs,Vally and the rest write, is no news. Brothers, save your energy.
At times, i get the feeling people just write whenever they see the title: Fru Ndi........., Ben Muna..........., Asonganyi......., or SDF......., they keep repeating the same story day in day out. Watesih's last posting is just a repeatation of what have been said about Asonganyi.

You make yourselves jokes!!!

mukete

THIS IS WHY NI JOHN FRU NDI WAS GIVEN THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE SDF BY THE INTELLECTUALS WHO WORKED FOR ITS CREATION.

Ben Muna, Professor Ngwasiri of the SDF followed a much more understandable path before gaining fame in politics and in National and International affairs. Ni John Fru Ndi merely jumped from nowhere to deposit an application file that had been written and prepared by intellectuals like Professor Ngwasiri and Ben Muna, to become Chairman of the SDF. During that lucky moment for Ni John Fru Ndi, Maitre Yondo Black Mandengue and his group had pushed forward the applicability of multi-party politics in Cameroon. Again, fortunately for Ni John Fru Ndi, people like Professor Ngwasiri who actually initiated the formation of the SDF had lucrative jobs in the public service and couldn’t therefore put their jobs at risk. Ni John Fru Ndi with a collapsing Ebibi Bookshop had no risk to take. Fortunately for Ni John Fru Ndi again, intellectuals of international recognition like Professor Ngwasiri, Ben Muna etc. decided to be in the background of the SDF and for an unknown Ni John Fru Ndi to be in front, so that in case of threats or intimidations from the government, the intellectuals could easily sensitize the International community to intervene. This is exactly what happened latter.

If these intellectuals were those at the forefront of the creation of the SDF and were those latter put under house arrest, Ni John Fru Ndi wouldn't have known how to sensitize the International community. By that time, Ni John Fru Ndi did not know how to contact International radio stations like Africa Number One, BBC, Radio France Internationale, etc. Not only did he not know their contact information, he was not yet informed on how to channel such information. Also, he was lacking in language and communication skills. His English had been damagingly polluted by his favourite pidgin English and he did not know a single word in French. Before Ni John Fru Ndi was hand picked and placed at the head of the SDF, he had visited only two countries abroad: The United Kingdom and Nigeria, where he was never known by authorities and International organizations. Professor Ngwasiri, Ben Muna and the other intellectuals who had gone round the world used foreign media to bring the world to the aid of Ni John Fru Ndi as he was under House Arrest counting on the nakedness of old Takumbeng women for his release. Also, Ni John Fru Ndi couldn't provide the continuous finances for the survival of the SDF if these state paid intellectuals were those under house arrest. Could Ni John Fru Ndi have written the type of tracks and correspondences that these intellectuals wrote while he was under house arrest? Ni John Fru Ndi’s already collapsed Ebibi bookshop couldn’t have sustained the battle. These learned intellectuals used their money to keep the SDF moving and protected as Ni John Fru Ndi was under house arrest.

Fortunately for Ni John Fru Ndi again, Professor Ngwasiri and other intellectuals refused taking up the leadership of the SDF (Ni John Fru Ndi has confirmed this himself) at a moment when Ni John Fru Ndi had been wounded by the CPDM defeat that Achidi Achu inflicted on him. Ni John Fru Ndi had desired nothing more in his heart than to go into parliament under the ticket of the CPDM. That would have been his greatest achievement in life. He had counted on his cheap popularity as president of PWD Bamenda to defeat Achidi Achu. His hopes were killed when Achidi Achu beat him during transparent and fair elections and then became Prime minister. The longest night for Ni John Fru Ndi was the night he learnt that Achidi had beaten him and was heading for the parliament. The day Ni John Fru Ndi cried like a child was the name Achidi Achu was named Prime Minister. John Fru Ndi wept! As ignorant as he is, Ni John Fru Ndi foolishly interpreted this by believing that he would have been the one to be nominated the prime minister of this country. This defeat was a very bitter pill for the Ntarikon trained politician to swallow, but since he was a coward, he continued to run after remains on the CPDM dinning table until Yondo Black Mandengue and his group triggered the gun for multiparty politics in Cameroon.

Fortunately again for Ni John Fru Ndi, Albert Mukong was almost on political retirement and wanted an unknown leader for the SDF. Albert Mukong and the other intellectuals understood that a little unknown person at the head of the SDF would call for sympathy from the public and the International community. They also considered the point that Ni John Fru Ndi had not occupied any important government positions and so there were no files or scandals that the government could use against him. They also knew that the Biya government would be tempted into ignoring and minimizing such as unknown and unfit leader. These Intellectuals reasoned well and their calculations worked. The public was excited to see a simple bookseller “standing” up tall to challenge president Paul Biya. Sauveteurs, Buyam sellam, park boys, prostitutes, local musicians, thought that with Ni John Fru Ndi, it was their own turn to be appointed directors, governors and ministers. If the bookseller Ni John Fru Ndi can finally become president of this country, then what prevents me from becoming the governor of Bamenda?” Asked a prostitute in old town in Bamenda. The International community took it serious that a “common citizen” who has never worked with the government should muster the courage to challenge the dictator Biya. Biya himself behaved exactly the way Ni John Fru Ndi’s Intellectuals had predicted.

When the Minister of Territorial Administration phoned president Paul Biya to inform him that an Anglophone has deposited an application in Bamenda for the formation of a political party, the very first question Biya asked was, “Il travail dans quel ministere? (He works in which Ministry)?”

“C’est un commercant” (He is a Businessman) the minister answered.
“Il fait quel genre de commerce?” (What type of business is he doing?), Biya continued
“Mon president, c’est un vendeur des livres” (My president, he is a bookseller), the minister answered.
“Un simple vendeur des livres et tu me telephone?” (A simple bookseller and you phone me?), the president asked.
“On fait comme s’il n’a rien deposE. On l’ignore.” (Let’s behave as if he has not deposited anything. Let’s ignore him.” Paul Biya instructed.

On a personal note, Ni John Fru Ndi publicized his supernatural powers to the true intellectual fathers of the SDF and assured him that president Paul Biya and his army could not do any harm on him. He boosted of his rosucrocian powers, and his strong connections with blood-sucking juju houses in the Cross-river state of Nigeria was no secret.

Who denies the fact that Ni John Fru Ndi’s accession to the head of the SDF was NEVER based on merit? It was an opportunity and resulted from the calculations put in place by those who have traveled and have gone to school and were educated. Ni John Fru Ndi is an opportunist!

Is there any fiction here? Who can tell me?

Mukete

Watesih

Motto,
Thanks for pointing out that i`m not honest.You are very honest when you put forward the idea that Prof. Asonganyi accepted to have failed,yet you fail to tell Cameroonians why he keeps accusing a
leadership he he helped to bring to its knees. As objective as you are,just ask yourself a question why this very honest man keeps telling Cameroonians about the failures of NEC 2003,whereas he was one of those who took decisions affecting it.
As people keep hammering home FRu Ndi has done wrong,we will keep reminding Cameroonians of what people like Prof. Asonganyi have done wrong,especially when he comes out to portion blame on others as he is prone to doing.If he wants to pass for an angle,we will always remind him of his role in the failed leadership.The other
part of being a Professor can only influence people like BenteribobsFb,who are still excited about titles,and being born a prince.
When Prof. Asonganyi comes on,it means he wants to take the heat,so allow Cameroonians to remind him of the part he played in the SDf,and also do well to analyse the situation from your perspective.
Don`t be a passive reader or pillion passenger about the difficult situation you country is living.
Lastly those who don`t have hearts should not join the bandwagon.Here some of us tell the truth,even if other people think their Professors should not be told this.

Ngu Pius
What Professor Asonganyi has been saying about the leadership of the party is also a repetition,so we are just reminding him of his role.If what we write here is not news,then we will be very pleased to read juicy information from you.But if you are just a passive consumer,then you better stay calm in your dreamy state and allow those who even have the ability to point these short comings out.How many questions have you asked Prof. Asonganyi since he started writing here,to bring in fresh information for readers?

Ngu Pius

There you go!!! Mr. Watesih. Just how senseless you can be. Were you writing about what Asonganyi was saying, or making a stupid write up about his refusal to move to B'da, about his refusal to hand party documents? You write is still there and speaks for itself.
Mr. Watesih, i think there is something seriously wrong with you.

matty

I do not support whether Ben Muna, Paul Biya or Ni John Fru. They have all failed us. But I must confess that this mukete is writing in an orderly and convincing manner like an informed person who has been wounded by those he believes have brought our countries to its knees. In short this man mukete has ideas that can keep even skeptics up from slumber to take up arms and fight for what he believes in. He keeps flowing ideas and facts that keep everyone struggling to know who he is. This man means business and he is not mad as some people are pretending to believe. His last posting touches the mind and throws light on things that only insiders can tell. He presents his facts in a way that no one doubts the genuiness of his sources. Let us be frank. I think the man has answers to all questions concerning the political situation in Cameroon.

Matty (Atlanta, AG.)

Teribobs

In fact Ngu Pius,
Watesih has a lot of probs upstairs.

Watesih

Ngu Pius,
I`m my best when cowards like you think there`s something wrong with me.At least you have cited instances i have developped in my write up,where have people read from you before? Continue hiding behind false pretexts.On this forum we are not afraid when you take sides.I have nothing to negotiate with anybody on the side i find myself,especially somebody we have never read from and who can hardly go above three lines.The second point is that you may still be BenteribobsFb,the person who had never known of any other Prince in the world until Muna was born.That`s the reason he cheers you on when you pretend to take on me.Those who take on me try first with invectives,then writeups,and finally will ask others to keep a long distance from me.Benteribobs can tell you more about this.There`s nothing he can do to me ,apart from calling me mad ,and asking others to take to their heels when i`m around.He has whole writeups here ,where his only brainstorming about Cameroon is that Watesih is mad and should go to Jamot.
Pius Ngu,i don`t like bandying words with people who chip in three lines ,and would only want to be eternal consumers.As you are complaining about Prof. Asonganyi,there are insults raining on Fru Ndi from left to right,what do you say about it.Don`t try to give me lessons,because you are not worth the salt!

mukete

THE MUNA`S, BRILLIANT POLITICIANS!

Mais non, these Ngien-Mbo people and North Westerner cannot be criticizing their brothers and sisters only when they become rivals to other North Westerners. The fact that North Westerners pretend not to see the evils that their leaders perpetuate against other people especially South Westerners- confirm that they are all accomplices in this North West hegemony and mafia. They all think they are smart. It is no secret that North Westerners only lack the means and logical backing to transfer the Buea University, GCE Board, SONARA, CDC, Limbe Deep Sea port, etc. to the North West province. It is just because water pass garri.
I would like to stress that the unfortunate qualities of Pa Muna and his descendants may, directly or indirectly, constitute the true nature of North Westerners. The fact that North Westerners criticize the Munas only when they compete with another North Westerners shows that the whole North West province is guilty of the exploitation practiced by the Munas. The North Westerner will only cry fowl when Ben Muna challenges Ni John Fru Ndi, another North Westerner. The North Westerner will only nail a certain Akere Muna to the cross only when he criticizes the SDF a "North West political party", but not when he criticizes another party. On the other hand, North Westerners will keep their long mouths silent when Ben Muna challenges a certain Mukete of South West origin.
The North Westerner may be gifted with a strong fighting spirit, but anyone who believes what a typical North Westerner says deserved to be laughed at. It has been demonstrated again and again, that in the whole world, there is no other group of people who change colors like North Westerners. When it comes to serving their regional and selfish interests they can change carpet at any time. A North Westerner would not only tell you that white is black, but he will use call means available even force- to make people swallow his bitter lies. In order to be in control and to be heard under all circumstances, North Westerners make sure they apply the Muna's principle of Bicephalism, which is, having two heads, with one inside the government and the other head inside the opposition. Believe it or not, the average North Westerner has two heads, although only one is seen physically. He can be smiling when in reality he is crying; he can be praising you when in reality he is killing you. No other people are blackmailers and opportunists than the North Westerners. To perpetuate their selfish regional interests, they will talk, talk and talk. Even a dead North Westerner will have his mouth open still ready to talk.
Unfortunately, on realizing that their limited natural resources hiders their power-breaking abilities, North Westerners are always (mis)using the RICH and gifted South West province to perpetuate their selfish agendas. Believe me, when it comes to national negotiations, the North West will go NOWHERE without using the South West province. The North West province cannot boost of any natural or agricultural resources. Their soil is dry and without the South West, they are nothing! Luckily for them, we have the fertile soils (CDC, etc) for them to manage life. Unfortunately for us, they take home the money they generate from our resources only to build mansions in their North West province, although the greater part of their mansions are made up of cheap red mud that is covered only with a thin layer of cement.
I fully understand that most parents and relatives will never abandon one of theirs, even one that has brought shame and disgrace to their community and family. Most Ngien-Mbo people and North Westerners would apparently want to stand by the side of their father, Uncle, Grandfather and son, especially when they realize that someone from another tribe, region or province is trying to expose his weaknesses. But before they judge my facts according to my tribe and province, I will like to tell them that in a traditional and civilized community, ALL the children and closed relatives of Late Pa Solomon Tadeng Muna would have been declared out-casts. If one were to go through how the African community works, then Late Pa Muna couldn't have been enjoying peace in his village after his final disgrace from Yaounde. I am not only talking about a man who used falsehood to grip power at the detriment of other Anglophones, but I am talking of a man who actually devalued ALL our Anglophone potentials before Late President Amadou Ahidjo. I am talking of a man who was President of the National Assembly but without a well-defined constituency. It is no secret that in a truly democratic election, Pa GONGOSSA would have obtained only the votes of his overzealous children. Pa GONGOSSA fell from grace to grass only when he understood that President Paul Biya was attempting to make him stand the judgment of the people he had falsely represented for decades. When the professional manipulator Pa Solomon Tadeng Muna- predicted his disgrace in the pluralistic legislative elections President Paul Biya was advocating, this shameless politician from Ngien-Mbo had no other alternatives than to take to the advice of his children. The professional blackmailer resigned in shame and disgrace. Sad enough, his children say he left behind an excellent legacy!
Instead of thanking the Anglophone community in general and the Ngien-Mbo people in particular for, at least, leaving a professional liar, first class dribbler and a confirmed blackmailer die in peace right inside the Anglophone community, the children of this professional GONGOSA man are using the slightest opportunity to throw undeserved praises on a man who actually brought Anglophones from grace to grass. Instead of taking the whole family down into one of the streams in the evil forest in Ngien-Mbo to wash away all the sins that the family had inherited from a man who helped devalued all Anglophones, these power-hungry and money-minded children are telling us what they know is not true. Instead of thanking the Anglophone community for apparently forgiving their shameless father, these ¡°educated¡± children who have inherited the unfortunate genes of opportunism and exploitation from their father, are lifting their shameless faces to tell the world of the many fake virtues of a father who left the world in isolation and disgrace. The children of a professional liar and a man who only specialized in poisoning the minds of Leaders of La Republique of Cameroun against our many Anglophone politicians, are doing everything to tell us that white is black.
Look, it is no secret that Pa Tadeng Solomon Muna (of blessed memory) actually walked on ALL Anglophones to gain fame and to lay a brighter foundation for his children. While people like Jua and Foncha were working for the general good, this bite and blow¡± primary school teacher-turned politician was using most of his time only gossiping into the ears of Late President Ahmadou Ahidjo and building a better future for his children. He did not only blackmail his fellow Anglophone brothers, but this snake with two heads actually devalued ALL Anglophones in front of Ahidjo and the Francophone community. No other Speaker of a National Assembly in the whole world has gossiped more! Pa Muna did not only tell lies about his Anglophone brothers, but this opportunist used his energy, BIG SIZE and VOICE, and strength to push all other Anglophones backward while he climbed up with his children. This was a man who thought only about his stomach and his immediate family, even to the detriment of his primitive Ngien-Mbo tribe. While other politicians were providing schools, hospitals, portable water, electricity, roads and markets, it is sad to hear the children of this Betrayal of the Anglophone cause proudly defending their father¡¯s decision to tell Amadou Ahidjo that his troublesome Ngien-Mbo people needed only a ultra-modern prison. And while their late Mother was using her energy and less-than-primary-school talents to help the troublesome Ngien-Mbo prisoners, the Benard Muna, Willie Muna, Akere Muna, etc. were busy attending expensive and important institutions of learning that had been built by other policians. Today that the Munas are progressing well as Medical doctors, Lawyers, Campaign managers, Engineers, etc, presidential aspirants, were are those who benefited from the prison that Pa Muna requested and obtained from Ahidjo? And to show how selfish the Muna sons can be, they throw praises on their late Muna without mentioning their little step-mother who stood by the side of their late father at a moment that everyone abandoned him. Why do they avoid mentioning the name of the VERY VERY young girl that their late father took for a wife? Why do they avoid talking about the role of the Rosicrucian society in their father's life? Why are they selective in what they say? Foolish people!
When I hear the children of a professional dribbler like S.T. Muna proudly telling the world that their father's memoire was destroyed by fire, I actually pity those who use their precious time to listen to such sermons. For a person of Late Pa GONGOSSA's standing, his many able children would have constituted a commission of enquiry to investigate the fake fire incidence in their father's house. Aware that Pa GONGOSSA had many stories to tell the world, of course as a long time politician, and from the sad stories surrounding his political career, his children would have been quick to suspect the hands of manipulators in any fire passing through their father's house. Even to show the slightest respect to a man who has ruled Cameroon for decades as Speaker of the National Assembly, the cook should have been detained and interrogated. Why did the fake fire have only written papers and documents as targets, without burning down the billions of francs that were in Pa GONGOSSA's bedroom and the roof of his house? What were his important written materials doing in a place where fire from the kitchen could easily reach and not his billions? Were any of his millions of dresses and suits, decorations, awards, photographs with Ahidjo touched? What instrument did they use to measure the innocence of the cook when his two-side-cutlass children were fully aware that the majority of Ngien-Mbo people the cook included- never loved their selfish father? The world was simply told of the fake incidence and the professional confusionist himself had to tell the media that he did not suspect any fowl play on the part of his cook. The fire incidence was one of the many cover-ups that Pa GONGOSSA had witnessed in La Republique of Cameroun. It was staged to free Pa GONGOSSA of the painful task of releasing a document on which his children's politician strength might be weighed in future. His so-called educated children warned their dad that any genuine memoire of his would jeopardize their political ambitions.
The majority of Anglophones had desired nothing more in their hearts than to see S.T. Muna actually nailed on the cross. Muna was not only known for blackmailing other Anglophone politicians and presenting them as misfits to his master Ahidjo, but this self centered politician did everything to remain the ear, eye, and mouth of Anglophones before Ahmadou Ahidjo. He was a sell-out, a hypocrite, a liar, a stooge, a double-dealer, a two-side cutlass, a lover of position and property, a snake with two heads, and someone who thought only about his stomach and his immediate family. Muna was getting richer and richer, fatter and fatter, fresher and fresher, and more authoritative, at the detriment of his Anglophone brothers and sisters. Reliable sources had it that Muna used to visit clinics abroad to replace the entire blood in his body.
And his educated and progressing children are shamelessly telling the world that their father gave scholarships to many Cameroonians but never wanted it to be made public while he was alive. Just imagine this! Giving people scholarships and making it a secret is clear evidence that the sources, criteria and process of the scholarships were NOT clear. It was dubious! We do not put LIGHT under the bed, but we place it on the table for others to make use of it. We expect his over-zealous and ambitious children to tell us how their humanitarian father selected the beneficiaries of his millions of scholarships. We expect his power-thirsty children to tell us the sources from which their benevolent father got the money to award personal scholarships. We expect them to compare the schools these scholarship beneficiaries attended to those that they themselves attended. And when they talk about scholarships, do they mean obtaining school admission abroad, study visas and paying flight tickets for the beneficiaries, just to abandon the poor children on their own abroad? How many of these scholarship beneficiaries are progressing the way the Munas do? How many of them have the means and ability to challenge Ni John Fru Ndi and be aspirant to the presidency? Strange enough, the FIRE that destroyed their father's memoire never touched the list of their father's scholarship beneficiaries. But who do these big head Munas think they are deceiving? If they think they can complete the vices of their father freely, they are warned that they will not be allowed to use Anglophones as cheap laboratory rats for their selfish ambitions.
It was Muna who killed the only opportunity that our sad union with the Francophones had offered for an Anglophone to become president of this country. Before, in a situation where the president of the republic was unable to rule, it was the speaker of the National Assembly who would have assumed the post of president of the Republic. By then, the hidden constitution of the country had it that the Speaker of the National Assembly would always be an Anglophone while the Prime Minister and President would be Francophones. This implied that Pa Muna as house speaker would have taken office in case Ahidjo was unable to rule. But when Ahidjo manipulated the constitution and declared that it was the Prime Minister who would assume the office of president in case the president could not rule, Pa Muna was the first person to give his blessings to this anti-Anglophone move. When Ahidjo was to resign to give the presidency to his Francophone brother, Pa Muna only received the news just like any other common Cameroonian. The disturbing fact is that he was the very first politician to get up early in the morning at 2.00 AM to prepare for the handing over ceremony. And when this selfish politician from Ngien-Mbo was asked why Ahidjo ignored him in the whole transfer process, this man who had lost his shame glands had this threat for the poor Anglophone journalists: These young people, you want me to sign my death warrant? You want be to sign my death warrant?
The fact that Mister GONGOSSA poisoned the mind of Ahidjo against the South West and South Westerners has made South Westerners to be very skeptical of their North West bothers. Any reasonable South Westerner eating with a North Westerner makes sure he or she uses a long and pointed fork while eating. Pa Muna alias Mister GONGOSSA had no means of actually helping Ahidjo transfer SONARA and its oil to Yaounde. He couldn't find the means of transferring the Limbe Sea port to the North West province. He hides himself behind the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, while giving his heart and soul to the Rosicrucian society so as to grip power and protection. The fact that Pa GONGOSSA poisoned the minds of Francophone Leaders against his own North West brothers has made other North Westerners to be very skeptical of Ngien-Mbo people. No other North West tribesman having an Ngien-Mbo man around would sleep with his eyes closed. The notion of like father like son has made the whole nation to be very doubtful of any moves or initiatives taken by the sons of Pa GONGOSSA. With the genes of opportunitism flowing in his children¡¯s blood, one has to take all the necessary precautions. This explains why the Munas are positioning themselves on either ends of the spectrum. While some of the Munas are in the opposition, other Munas are with the ruling CPDM party. These selfish people have been brought up to be opportunists. They use all means available to make sure they do not allow any opportunity slip by. They want to be in power, with or without the opposition.
I think the Munas will be doing good to their father by leaving his name rest in peace. If they don't, then we will keep changing his position wherever he is. After all, he lived his life on earth by changing color and positions like a chameleon. And if North Westerners continue to see only the evils of people of other province, then we will make them to understand that apart from making loud noise and giving cheap ideas excuse me, they have NOTHING practical to contribute to the development of Cameroon and Southern Cameroon. I think it is logical to stand by The Post since it exposes evil and stagnation from all provinces.
Anyone who now wants to jump has my permission to even fly. That is the bitter truth.

MUKETE

mukete

THE MUNA`S, BRILLIANT POLITICIANS!

Mais non, these Ngien-Mbo people and North Westerner cannot be criticizing their brothers and sisters only when they become rivals to other North Westerners. The fact that North Westerners pretend not to see the evils that their leaders perpetuate against other people especially South Westerners- confirm that they are all accomplices in this North West hegemony and mafia. They all think they are smart. It is no secret that North Westerners only lack the means and logical backing to transfer the Buea University, GCE Board, SONARA, CDC, Limbe Deep Sea port, etc. to the North West province. It is just because water pass garri.
I would like to stress that the unfortunate qualities of Pa Muna and his descendants may, directly or indirectly, constitute the true nature of North Westerners. The fact that North Westerners criticize the Munas only when they compete with another North Westerners shows that the whole North West province is guilty of the exploitation practiced by the Munas. The North Westerner will only cry fowl when Ben Muna challenges Ni John Fru Ndi, another North Westerner. The North Westerner will only nail a certain Akere Muna to the cross only when he criticizes the SDF a "North West political party", but not when he criticizes another party. On the other hand, North Westerners will keep their long mouths silent when Ben Muna challenges a certain Mukete of South West origin.
The North Westerner may be gifted with a strong fighting spirit, but anyone who believes what a typical North Westerner says deserved to be laughed at. It has been demonstrated again and again, that in the whole world, there is no other group of people who change colors like North Westerners. When it comes to serving their regional and selfish interests they can change carpet at any time. A North Westerner would not only tell you that white is black, but he will use call means available even force- to make people swallow his bitter lies. In order to be in control and to be heard under all circumstances, North Westerners make sure they apply the Muna's principle of Bicephalism, which is, having two heads, with one inside the government and the other head inside the opposition. Believe it or not, the average North Westerner has two heads, although only one is seen physically. He can be smiling when in reality he is crying; he can be praising you when in reality he is killing you. No other people are blackmailers and opportunists than the North Westerners. To perpetuate their selfish regional interests, they will talk, talk and talk. Even a dead North Westerner will have his mouth open still ready to talk.
Unfortunately, on realizing that their limited natural resources hiders their power-breaking abilities, North Westerners are always (mis)using the RICH and gifted South West province to perpetuate their selfish agendas. Believe me, when it comes to national negotiations, the North West will go NOWHERE without using the South West province. The North West province cannot boost of any natural or agricultural resources. Their soil is dry and without the South West, they are nothing! Luckily for them, we have the fertile soils (CDC, etc) for them to manage life. Unfortunately for us, they take home the money they generate from our resources only to build mansions in their North West province, although the greater part of their mansions are made up of cheap red mud that is covered only with a thin layer of cement.
I fully understand that most parents and relatives will never abandon one of theirs, even one that has brought shame and disgrace to their community and family. Most Ngien-Mbo people and North Westerners would apparently want to stand by the side of their father, Uncle, Grandfather and son, especially when they realize that someone from another tribe, region or province is trying to expose his weaknesses. But before they judge my facts according to my tribe and province, I will like to tell them that in a traditional and civilized community, ALL the children and closed relatives of Late Pa Solomon Tadeng Muna would have been declared out-casts. If one were to go through how the African community works, then Late Pa Muna couldn't have been enjoying peace in his village after his final disgrace from Yaounde. I am not only talking about a man who used falsehood to grip power at the detriment of other Anglophones, but I am talking of a man who actually devalued ALL our Anglophone potentials before Late President Amadou Ahidjo. I am talking of a man who was President of the National Assembly but without a well-defined constituency. It is no secret that in a truly democratic election, Pa GONGOSSA would have obtained only the votes of his overzealous children. Pa GONGOSSA fell from grace to grass only when he understood that President Paul Biya was attempting to make him stand the judgment of the people he had falsely represented for decades. When the professional manipulator Pa Solomon Tadeng Muna- predicted his disgrace in the pluralistic legislative elections President Paul Biya was advocating, this shameless politician from Ngien-Mbo had no other alternatives than to take to the advice of his children. The professional blackmailer resigned in shame and disgrace. Sad enough, his children say he left behind an excellent legacy!
Instead of thanking the Anglophone community in general and the Ngien-Mbo people in particular for, at least, leaving a professional liar, first class dribbler and a confirmed blackmailer die in peace right inside the Anglophone community, the children of this professional GONGOSA man are using the slightest opportunity to throw undeserved praises on a man who actually brought Anglophones from grace to grass. Instead of taking the whole family down into one of the streams in the evil forest in Ngien-Mbo to wash away all the sins that the family had inherited from a man who helped devalued all Anglophones, these power-hungry and money-minded children are telling us what they know is not true. Instead of thanking the Anglophone community for apparently forgiving their shameless father, these ¡°educated¡± children who have inherited the unfortunate genes of opportunism and exploitation from their father, are lifting their shameless faces to tell the world of the many fake virtues of a father who left the world in isolation and disgrace. The children of a professional liar and a man who only specialized in poisoning the minds of Leaders of La Republique of Cameroun against our many Anglophone politicians, are doing everything to tell us that white is black.
Look, it is no secret that Pa Tadeng Solomon Muna (of blessed memory) actually walked on ALL Anglophones to gain fame and to lay a brighter foundation for his children. While people like Jua and Foncha were working for the general good, this bite and blow¡± primary school teacher-turned politician was using most of his time only gossiping into the ears of Late President Ahmadou Ahidjo and building a better future for his children. He did not only blackmail his fellow Anglophone brothers, but this snake with two heads actually devalued ALL Anglophones in front of Ahidjo and the Francophone community. No other Speaker of a National Assembly in the whole world has gossiped more! Pa Muna did not only tell lies about his Anglophone brothers, but this opportunist used his energy, BIG SIZE and VOICE, and strength to push all other Anglophones backward while he climbed up with his children. This was a man who thought only about his stomach and his immediate family, even to the detriment of his primitive Ngien-Mbo tribe. While other politicians were providing schools, hospitals, portable water, electricity, roads and markets, it is sad to hear the children of this Betrayal of the Anglophone cause proudly defending their father¡¯s decision to tell Amadou Ahidjo that his troublesome Ngien-Mbo people needed only a ultra-modern prison. And while their late Mother was using her energy and less-than-primary-school talents to help the troublesome Ngien-Mbo prisoners, the Benard Muna, Willie Muna, Akere Muna, etc. were busy attending expensive and important institutions of learning that had been built by other policians. Today that the Munas are progressing well as Medical doctors, Lawyers, Campaign managers, Engineers, etc, presidential aspirants, were are those who benefited from the prison that Pa Muna requested and obtained from Ahidjo? And to show how selfish the Muna sons can be, they throw praises on their late Muna without mentioning their little step-mother who stood by the side of their late father at a moment that everyone abandoned him. Why do they avoid mentioning the name of the VERY VERY young girl that their late father took for a wife? Why do they avoid talking about the role of the Rosicrucian society in their father's life? Why are they selective in what they say? Foolish people!
When I hear the children of a professional dribbler like S.T. Muna proudly telling the world that their father's memoire was destroyed by fire, I actually pity those who use their precious time to listen to such sermons. For a person of Late Pa GONGOSSA's standing, his many able children would have constituted a commission of enquiry to investigate the fake fire incidence in their father's house. Aware that Pa GONGOSSA had many stories to tell the world, of course as a long time politician, and from the sad stories surrounding his political career, his children would have been quick to suspect the hands of manipulators in any fire passing through their father's house. Even to show the slightest respect to a man who has ruled Cameroon for decades as Speaker of the National Assembly, the cook should have been detained and interrogated. Why did the fake fire have only written papers and documents as targets, without burning down the billions of francs that were in Pa GONGOSSA's bedroom and the roof of his house? What were his important written materials doing in a place where fire from the kitchen could easily reach and not his billions? Were any of his millions of dresses and suits, decorations, awards, photographs with Ahidjo touched? What instrument did they use to measure the innocence of the cook when his two-side-cutlass children were fully aware that the majority of Ngien-Mbo people the cook included- never loved their selfish father? The world was simply told of the fake incidence and the professional confusionist himself had to tell the media that he did not suspect any fowl play on the part of his cook. The fire incidence was one of the many cover-ups that Pa GONGOSSA had witnessed in La Republique of Cameroun. It was staged to free Pa GONGOSSA of the painful task of releasing a document on which his children's politician strength might be weighed in future. His so-called educated children warned their dad that any genuine memoire of his would jeopardize their political ambitions.
The majority of Anglophones had desired nothing more in their hearts than to see S.T. Muna actually nailed on the cross. Muna was not only known for blackmailing other Anglophone politicians and presenting them as misfits to his master Ahidjo, but this self centered politician did everything to remain the ear, eye, and mouth of Anglophones before Ahmadou Ahidjo. He was a sell-out, a hypocrite, a liar, a stooge, a double-dealer, a two-side cutlass, a lover of position and property, a snake with two heads, and someone who thought only about his stomach and his immediate family. Muna was getting richer and richer, fatter and fatter, fresher and fresher, and more authoritative, at the detriment of his Anglophone brothers and sisters. Reliable sources had it that Muna used to visit clinics abroad to replace the entire blood in his body.
And his educated and progressing children are shamelessly telling the world that their father gave scholarships to many Cameroonians but never wanted it to be made public while he was alive. Just imagine this! Giving people scholarships and making it a secret is clear evidence that the sources, criteria and process of the scholarships were NOT clear. It was dubious! We do not put LIGHT under the bed, but we place it on the table for others to make use of it. We expect his over-zealous and ambitious children to tell us how their humanitarian father selected the beneficiaries of his millions of scholarships. We expect his power-thirsty children to tell us the sources from which their benevolent father got the money to award personal scholarships. We expect them to compare the schools these scholarship beneficiaries attended to those that they themselves attended. And when they talk about scholarships, do they mean obtaining school admission abroad, study visas and paying flight tickets for the beneficiaries, just to abandon the poor children on their own abroad? How many of these scholarship beneficiaries are progressing the way the Munas do? How many of them have the means and ability to challenge Ni John Fru Ndi and be aspirant to the presidency? Strange enough, the FIRE that destroyed their father's memoire never touched the list of their father's scholarship beneficiaries. But who do these big head Munas think they are deceiving? If they think they can complete the vices of their father freely, they are warned that they will not be allowed to use Anglophones as cheap laboratory rats for their selfish ambitions.
It was Muna who killed the only opportunity that our sad union with the Francophones had offered for an Anglophone to become president of this country. Before, in a situation where the president of the republic was unable to rule, it was the speaker of the National Assembly who would have assumed the post of president of the Republic. By then, the hidden constitution of the country had it that the Speaker of the National Assembly would always be an Anglophone while the Prime Minister and President would be Francophones. This implied that Pa Muna as house speaker would have taken office in case Ahidjo was unable to rule. But when Ahidjo manipulated the constitution and declared that it was the Prime Minister who would assume the office of president in case the president could not rule, Pa Muna was the first person to give his blessings to this anti-Anglophone move. When Ahidjo was to resign to give the presidency to his Francophone brother, Pa Muna only received the news just like any other common Cameroonian. The disturbing fact is that he was the very first politician to get up early in the morning at 2.00 AM to prepare for the handing over ceremony. And when this selfish politician from Ngien-Mbo was asked why Ahidjo ignored him in the whole transfer process, this man who had lost his shame glands had this threat for the poor Anglophone journalists: These young people, you want me to sign my death warrant? You want be to sign my death warrant?
The fact that Mister GONGOSSA poisoned the mind of Ahidjo against the South West and South Westerners has made South Westerners to be very skeptical of their North West bothers. Any reasonable South Westerner eating with a North Westerner makes sure he or she uses a long and pointed fork while eating. Pa Muna alias Mister GONGOSSA had no means of actually helping Ahidjo transfer SONARA and its oil to Yaounde. He couldn't find the means of transferring the Limbe Sea port to the North West province. He hides himself behind the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, while giving his heart and soul to the Rosicrucian society so as to grip power and protection. The fact that Pa GONGOSSA poisoned the minds of Francophone Leaders against his own North West brothers has made other North Westerners to be very skeptical of Ngien-Mbo people. No other North West tribesman having an Ngien-Mbo man around would sleep with his eyes closed. The notion of like father like son has made the whole nation to be very doubtful of any moves or initiatives taken by the sons of Pa GONGOSSA. With the genes of opportunitism flowing in his children¡¯s blood, one has to take all the necessary precautions. This explains why the Munas are positioning themselves on either ends of the spectrum. While some of the Munas are in the opposition, other Munas are with the ruling CPDM party. These selfish people have been brought up to be opportunists. They use all means available to make sure they do not allow any opportunity slip by. They want to be in power, with or without the opposition.
I think the Munas will be doing good to their father by leaving his name rest in peace. If they don't, then we will keep changing his position wherever he is. After all, he lived his life on earth by changing color and positions like a chameleon. And if North Westerners continue to see only the evils of people of other province, then we will make them to understand that apart from making loud noise and giving cheap ideas excuse me, they have NOTHING practical to contribute to the development of Cameroon and Southern Cameroon. I think it is logical to stand by The Post since it exposes evil and stagnation from all provinces.
Anyone who now wants to jump has my permission to even fly. That is the bitter truth.

MUKETE

Teribobs

Watesih,
Who told you people are running away from you? Who do you think you can scare on this forum? You best know I can handle you without bothering about what others think of you. I thought you will say Teribobs keeps reminding people of your bad language and low mentality. I know Teribobs and BenB are causing you to have hallucinations and nightmares. It will continue until you repent. Haven't you noticed that level-headed opposants of Muna are currently appraising his actions. Who knows? This might be the deliverer we have been expecting since JFN fell into the hands of feymen like BAD NDAM and co.
Watesih, Pius Ngu does not seem to be the loquacious type. He has the propensity of being brief and to the point. You are not used to higher education and western living else you will understand the importance of time.

There is a difference between rebukes and insults. I wonder if you bother to read articles before commenting on the reactions by others. You seem to begin with the reaction of others before reading the articles to find out if something was said about your 'god' JFN. Do you think he is proud of your blunders? Let me randomly cite an example. Prof Asonganyi says late Diboule resisted the imposition of hand-picked officials in the centre. Where did late Diboule go wrong here? resisting unconstitutionalism or failing to be 'beni oui oui'. Do you see the folly of your reactions?

Is your friend and partner Feli Atangha George Tangie still digesting the website-www.sdfgermany.de provided by authentic SDF members in Germany? I guess he is looking for his next victim. BAD NDAM can always provide the calumnies. We are waiting for his next move.

Caroline

Mukete
When was Acdidi Achu made Prime Minister of Cameroon? Brainless and vicious man,Achidi Achu never became prime minister after the parliamentary elections that Fru Ndi contested. Achidi Achu was made prime Minister after the 1992 parliamentary elections that the SDF boycotted and the CPDM scored 100% in the NW.

Watesih

REASONS,ALL THE REASONS WHY NI JOHN FRU NDI
IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE THE ONLY REAL POLITICAL GIANT CAMEROON HAS HAD SINCE INDEPENDENCE.

Ni John Fru Ndi,Ebibi,Pa,the Benjamin Franklin of Cameroon,the self-made man has everything that makes a pace-setter.He is unassuming,industrious,smart,energetic,foresighted,and above all intelligent.He has something about his person that the others do not have-self-reliance.This self reliant spirit of his has completely dwarfed the mondain dispositions of all those businessmen in academic robes.Who is this man that will have Archbishop Desmond Tutu
come to share his enterprising spirit? This question can only be comprehensively answered if we take a look at the man`s diarming simplicity and his incorruptible nature.How has this manifested itself?

1. Nearly all his surbodinates have often given the impression that they can`t live for a moment without squeazing the substance from the milking cow-the government.While Fru Ndi has built himself gradually to the status of a man with good spiritual and material fortitude,the other opinion leaders have exploited the role of a good uncle the government is prone to playing:
-They use government`s houses,cars, telephones to build their infamous political careers ,but Fru Ndi builds his own houses through hardwork,uses his offices in his bookshops,and pays his private telephone bills.
-When some of these government cry-babies dare to leave the government for a while,they can`t stand on their own,thus they become parasitic fleas ,and go patching up under the ever hospitable Chairman.
-It is always amazing how some of this people will refuse to work in places like Bamenda,Buea,because they dare not leave Yaounde where you can become Professor just by listening to CRTV and reading Cameroon Tribune that Martin Nkemgu brings to you every morning.
- We even see how some do everything to be international thieves,who tarnish the image of Cameroon outside by not being able to forget this spirit of always exploiting your employer.Even in international circles,they recruit people with dubious personalities ,only to inflate their pay packets.
2. Fru Ndi is the only Political heavyweight
in Cameroon who has never counted on the notoriety,fame of his family to influence his political career.This is in stark contrast with people who use the services of hungry journalist ,and cheap-side bootlickers to present them as Princes,but as Princes whose aristocratic outfits should be doubted.
3. The speed with which some of these opinion leaders have now embraced Cpdm tactics and turned to it for salvation in their bid to destroy the SDF shows glaringly how even when people pretend to be of the Opposition,there have one leg in and one out.Fru Ndi has always stood up to the Cpdm government,thats why the SDf consistently comes in second in massively defrauded elections everytime.
The substance Fru Ndi is made of has nothing to do with luck. It has to do with vision.These are the reasons:
- When the SDf was being founded,there was a need to have a man of vision,rather than
people who had spent all their lives having easy money from government coffers.People who thought their jobs were so lucrative that improving the lives of Cameroonians meant nothing.This man Fru Ndi took the bull by the horns,and we are going to see how later ,this same people with lucrative government jobs were going to go patching up in Fru Ndi`s residence.We are going to see how this same people with lucrative jobs
could not afford a good car for themselves ,and fought to the last drop of sweat on their body to confiscate the SDF car.We are going to see how Mbah Ndam would intercede at the natioanal Assembly for this people who had always been spoonfed by government ,to be evacuated abroad when sick.
- When Fru Ndi took the bull by the horns, most of these weaklings could not even approach the City Chemist,the day of the Launching.They were safely hidden in air conditioned rooms abroad.
- When Fru Ndi was under house arrest, Muna whose life depends on the CPdm was outside.
As the SDf Campaign Manager,there was no way he would have been dicing with the devil,but this man had numerous meetings with Joseph Owona.Through him ,the CPDM government got all what Fru Ndi was thinking and distorted facts through international media.It is therefore not a surprise today that he says the problem in the SDF can only be solved by the courts.
By the way what can we expect from the son of somebody who was a sell out to Anglophones.He sold Anglophones to France,and his son should naturally,dry to tear apart the bednoire of the French in Cameroon.
-Fru Ndi has always been a patient dog.He has been a philanthropist,Sports Manager and politician.But his role as politician has brought him to outpace all those who
had celebrated victory before time.He is among the 100 most influencial people in the world.Paul Biya is not,Achidi Achu is not,Muna will never be,Ngwasiri cannever dream of such a privilege.
_Fru Ndi from the onset proved that he was that one who was untainted by corruption.The other thieves who had been eating crumbs from the government,to keep their mouths shut could not step forward to take the challenge.Fru Ndi has continued in this light today,and there`s no accusation of the embezzlement of public funds ever attached to his name.But when our men wrangle over old party cars,fight to take control of the party secretariat,this shows us how those who have beenfed will always be grown up babies.
-Finally we wish Fru Ndi the best and ask him to continue to be popular as ever.What stop intellectuals from making themselves to be popular.Since they have gone to school,they should go out to the streets,meet the prostitutes,taxi drivers,buyam sellams and also beat Biya in an election.Ni John Fru Ndi is not only the person who launched the SDF,he is also the one who beat Biya in elections in 1992.Which intellectual has ever got 8% in Cameroon?Why is Fru the only politician in Cameroon with a car immatriculated 'Fru Ndi'.Of course because Biya and the many intellectuals in Cameroon know this is the true president of Cameroon.

momo

He;;o this fools of fru ndi are still keeping.So he has chosen to waste all his money on you fake praise singer.
Can't you find that muna and the true sdf is waxing very strong.when will some of us stop being fools.Een watersih is still saying papa alezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz yaya toooooo.this was always said when the traitor fru ndi was coming to a rally.how i wish i can turn back the hand of time.

MUNA WE STAND BY YOU AND PRAY THAT GOD SHOULD KEEP YOU GOING.WE STARTED THE FIGHT HERE AND WE ARE STILL THERE.

Please give us the contact number of the true sdf.

I have been away for sometime but i am sure am back.

AKOSON HAVE YOU HAD A NEW JOB IN CHINA.I HEAR YOU WERE LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB.

CONTACT THIS NUMBER FOR A JOB 008613154133034.WHY ARE WE FRIENDS.BUT STOP BEING FOOLISH BEHIND FRU NDI.

Ngu Pius

Watesih,
It's a pity that you who claim to be giving meaningful contributions can't differentiate, between state and government functions.
It's not the amount of writings up post that makes your contribution meaningful. For your postings, i have found little or nothing to admire.
As i rightly said, you need some attention.
I rest my case.

mukete

Lets those who think mukete is misusing the postbandwago cyberspace go and die.I use the post to analyse my research.No body, not even the post can stop me.Either am allowed to spam here or there is no post.
For your information, i have a virus programme running on this site.The sound is driving away fru Ndi's supporters

What do you think about GAYS?
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"
Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to homosexuals; persons sexually oriented toward members of their own gender.

"Gay", when used as an adjective, sometimes describes traits associated with both homosexual men and women, their culture, or perceived lifestyle. The term lesbian, on the other hand, is used exclusively in a gender-specific way to describe homosexual women.

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
1.1 Development of modern sexualized usage
1.2 Parts of speech
1.3 Folk etymologies
2 Commonly accepted usage
2.1 Sexual orientation
2.1.1 Self-identification
2.1.2 Selecting the appropriate term
2.2 Gay community
2.3 Descriptor
3 Pejorative non-sexualized usage
4 Notes
5 References
6 See also
7 External links


Etymology

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution. One woman says to the other (who looks glum), "how long have you been gay?" The poster on the wall is for La Traviata, an opera about a courtesan.The primary meaning of the word gay has changed dramatically during the 20th century—though the change evolved from earlier usages. It derives via the Old French gai, probably from a Germanic source.[1] The word originally meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy" and was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the title of the 1938 ballet aptly named Gaîté Parisienne ("Parisian Gaiety"), a patchwork compiled from Jacques Offenbach's operettas, illustrates this connotation. In more recent times, starting in the mid 20th century, the word gay cannot usually be used in this former context without the expectation that one will assume a double entendre, or that the person using the term is out of touch with contemporary society. Some have tried to revive the original denotation of the word, but with limited success.

Look up gay in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

The first name Gay is still occasionally encountered, usually as a female name although the spelling is often altered to Gaye. (795th most common in the United States, according to the 1990 US census[1]). It was also used as a male first name. The first name of the popular male Irish television presenter Gabriel Byrne was always abbreviated as "Gay", as in the title of his radio show The Gay Byrne Show. It can also be used as a short form of the female name Gaynell and as a short form of the male names Gaylen and Gaylord. The "Gaiety" was also a common name for places of entertainment. One of Oscar Wilde's favourite venues in Dublin was the Gaiety Theatre, first appearing there in 1884.


Development of modern sexualized usage
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s. It was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as for example in the once-common phrase "gay Lothario",[2] or in the title of the book and film The Gay Falcon (1941), which concerns a womanising detective whose first name is "Gay". Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay" without prejudice.

A passage from Gertrude Stein's Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship, though it is not altogether clear whether she uses the word to mean lesbianism or happiness:

They were ...gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, ... they were quite regularly gay.
The 1929 musical Bitter Sweet by Noel Coward contains another use of the word in a context that strongly implies homosexuality. In the song "Green Carnation", four overdressed, 1890s dandies sing:

Pretty boys, witty boys, You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation...
And as we are the reason
For the "Nineties" being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.
The song title alludes to Oscar Wilde, who famously wore a green carnation, and whose homosexuality was well known. However, the phrase "gay nineties" was already well-established as an epithet for the decade (a film entitled The Gay Nineties; or, The Unfaithful Husband was released in the same year). The song also drew on familiar satires on Wilde and Aestheticism dating back to Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience (1881). Because of its continuation of these public usages and conventions – in a mainstream musical – the precise connotations of the word in this context remains ambiguous.

Other usages at this date involve some of the same ambiguity as Coward's lyrics. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene where Cary Grant's clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he must wear a lady's feathery robe. When another character inquires about his clothes, he responds "Because I just went gay...all of a sudden!" [3] However, since this was a mainstream film at a time when the use of the word to refer to homosexuality would still be unfamiliar to most film-goers, the line can also be interpreted to mean "I just decided to do something frivolous". While there is much debate about what Grant meant with the ad-lib (the line was not in the script), Grant's Hollywood background should leave little doubt as to what he meant--he knew the connotation of the term, even if the audience did not.[citation needed]

The word continued to be used with the dominant meaning of "carefree", as evidenced by the title of The Gay Divorcee (1934), a musical film about a heterosexual couple. It was originally to be called The Gay Divorce after the play on which it was based, but the Hays Office determined that while a divorcee may be gay, it would be unseemly to allow a divorce to appear so.

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as "queer" were felt to be derogatory. "Homosexual" was perceived as excessively clinical: especially since homosexuality was at that time designated as a mental illness, and "homosexual" was used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to denote men affected by this "mental illness". Homosexuality was no longer classified as an illness in the DSM by 1973, but the clinical connotation of the word was already embedded in society.

One of the many characters invented by 1950s TV comic Ernie Kovacs was a "gay-acting" poet named Percy Dovetonsils. In one of his poems (which were always read to an imaginary off-screen character named "Bruce") he mentions the expression "gay caballero".

By 1963, the word "gay" was known well enough by the straight community to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. By 1968 mainstream audiences were expected to recognise the double entendre in the ultra-camp musical entitled Springtime for Hitler: a gay romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden — which formed part of the plot of the film The Producers. The camp implications of the concept were explicit in the ludicrous pastiche of Coward's style epitomised by the title song:

Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!

Parts of speech
Gay was originally used purely as an adjective ("he is a gay man" or "he is gay"). Gay can also be used as a plural noun: "Gays are opposed to that policy"; although some dislike this usage, it is common [4] particularly in the names of various organizations such as PFLAG: (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere). It is sometimes used as a singular noun, as in "he is a gay", such as in its use (partly to comic effect) by the Little Britain comedy character Daffyd Thomas (a gay man who believes himself "the only gay in the village" despite abundant evidence to the contrary).


Street banners at Davie Village, a popular gay village in Vancouver.
Folk etymologies
It has been claimed that "gay" was derived as an acronym for "Good As You", but this is a backronym (based on a false etymology).

Another folk etymology refers to Gay Street, a small street in the West Village of New York City — a nexus of homosexual culture. The term also seems, from documentary evidence, to have existed in New York as a code word in the 1940s, where the question, "Are you gay?" would denote more than it might have seemed to outsiders.


Commonly accepted usage
Overview article: Terminology of homosexuality

Gay is used as an adjective to describe sexual orientation (attraction, preference, or inclination) and is usually chosen instead of homosexual as an identity-label.
Gay sex involves acts between or among people of the same sex or gender.
Gay is usually used to describe the "gay community" by both insiders and the mainstream media.
Gay can be used as a nonspecific derogatory comment towards a person or object. As a term of abuse it may be widely used by adolescents.
Gay is sometimes used to describe an object of particular flamboyance.
Other connotations can vary widely based upon speaker and situation.

Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation, behaviour, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual. See sex for a discussion of sex and gender. Some people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms. Others consider gay to be a matter of self-identification and homosexual to refer to sexual activity or to sexual attraction that is predominantly to members of the same sex. By using these definitions, a person could be gay and not homosexual, or homosexual and not gay.

If a person has had same-sex sexual encounters but does not self-identify as gay, terms such as 'closeted', 'on the down low', 'discreet', or 'bi-curious' may be applied. Conversely, a person may identify as gay without engaging in homosexual sex. Possible choices include identifying as gay socially while choosing to be celibate or while anticipating a first homosexual experience. Further, a bisexual person may identify as gay while maintaining a monogamous relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Still others might consider gay and bisexual to be mutually exclusive.

Some same-sex oriented persons prefer 'homosexual' as an identity over 'gay', seeing the former as describing a sexual orientation and the latter as describing a cultural or socio-political group with which they do not identify.


Self-identification
Self-identification of one's sexual orientation is becoming far more commonplace in areas of increased social acceptance, but many are either reluctant to self-identify publicly or even privately to themselves. The process is fairly complex, and many groups related to gay people cite inadvertent heterosexism as a leading problem for those that would otherwise self-identify.


Selecting the appropriate term
Some people reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding. They believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some people find the term gay to be offensive or reject it as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.

According to the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees:

"Homosexual: Avoid this term; it is clinical, distancing and archaic. Sometimes appropriate in referring to behaviour (although same-sex is the preferred adj.). When referring to people, as opposed to behaviour, homosexual is considered derogatory and the terms gay and lesbian are preferred, at least in the Northwest [of the United States]."
Sometimes the term gay is used to describe both same-sex male and same-sex female relations. More rarely, it is used as a shorthand for terms queer or gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The term also sometimes includes transgender, transsexual, and intersexual. Some trans and intersexed individuals find their inclusion in this larger grouping to be offensive. It is commonly used to refer specifically to gay men; the precise meaning may need to be made clear from context. The term lesbian, however, is exclusively female.


Gay community
Main article: Gay community

The notion of the gay community is complex and slightly controversial.

Just as the word "gay" is sometimes used as shorthand for "gay, lesbian, and bisexual" and possibly also "transsexual" and others, so "gay community" is sometimes a synonym for "LGBT community" or "Queer community". In other cases, the speaker may be referring only to gay men. Some people (including many mainstream American journalists) interpret the phrase "gay community" to mean "the population of gay people".

Some LGBT people are entirely geographically or socially isolated from other LGBT people, or don't feel their social connections to their LGBT friends are different from those they have with straight friends. As a result, some analysts question the notion of sharing a "community" with people one has never actually met (whether in person or remotely). But other advocates insist that all LGBT people (and perhaps their allies), are part of a global community, in one way or another.


Descriptor
The term gay can also be used as an adjective to describe things related to gay people or things which are part of gay culture. For example, while a gay bar is not itself homosexual, using gay as an adjective to describe the bar indicates that the bar is either gay-oriented, caters primarily to a gay clientele, or is otherwise part of gay culture.

Using it to describe an object, such as an item of clothing, suggests that it is particularly flamboyant, often on the verge of being gaudy and garish. This usage pre-dates the association of the term with homosexuality, but has acquired different connotations since the modern usage developed.

Using the term gay as an adjective where the meaning is akin to "related to gay people, culture, or homosexuality in general" is a widely accepted use of the word. By contrast, using gay in the pejorative sense, to describe something solely as negative, can cause offence.


Pejorative non-sexualized usage
When used with a derisive attitude (e.g. "that was so gay"), the term gay is pejorative. The Times (June 6 2006, p.3) comments that while retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, to mean "lame" or "rubbish". Recently, young bloggers have used "gay" to mean "uninteresting" or "dull" -- just the opposite of the original meaning (e.g.: "That party was so gay."). This usage has its origins in the 1980s, when homosexuality had already become mainstream but was still seen as negative by many people. Beginning in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s the usage as a generic insult became common among young people, who may or may not link the term to homosexuality. This practice is frowned upon in communities that seek to ensure respect for people of all sexual orientations, and is considered to be on par with ethnic slurs. Many defenders of the word's pejorative usage choose to spell it "ghey" to avoid any sexual connotations. Critics object to this change of spelling, often comparing it to the use of words like "knigger" for nigger to evade accusations of racism.

A 2006 BBC ruling by the Board of Governors over the use of the word in the context of a Chris Moyles Radio 1 show statement "I don't want that one, it's gay", cited in the same article, states that:

The word 'gay' ... need not be offensive... or homophobic... The governors said, however, that Moyles was simply keeping up with developments in English usage. [...] The committee... was "familiar with hearing this word in this context." The governors believed that in describing a ring tone as 'gay', the DJ was conveying that he thought it was 'rubbish', rather than 'homosexual'. [...] The panel acknowledged however that this use... in a derogatory sense... could cause offence in some listeners, and counselled caution on its use.

Notes
^ Online Etymology Dictionary. (URL accessed April 4, 2006).

References
1995. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Merriam-Webster, 189-191. ISBN 0877796033.
Harper, Douglas (2001). Online Etymology Dictionary: gay. URL accessed 13 February 2006.

See also
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
GayQueer
Bisexuality
Homosexuality
Lesbian
Civil rights
Coming out
Anti-gay slogan
Dyke
Fag
Gay pride
LGBT movements
List of LGBT-related organizations
List of LGBT-related topics
List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
Gay icon
List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films
Pride flag
Pro-gay slogans and symbols
Religion and sexuality
Sexual orientation

External links
365 Gay News
Gay News UK
Gay News Ireland
Gay Rights Watch
Project Soundwave
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay"

Mukete

Watesih

Pius Ngu,
I`m happy you know alot about the difference between the Cpdm and the state.
Why not take off some of your time to enlighten us.You are the one informing me that my contributions are meaningful.No reader here will tell you that i have been used to beating my chest.I write from my own perspective and allow people like BenteribobsFb to call me grade 1,2 teacher.
I told you people start off with me through invectives,then write ups ,and they will retire.You see you are now resting your case without the readers enjoying a good heated argument between us about the situation in Cameroon.What did you come here
for? Just to tell me in two lines that my write ups are meaningless? Then what makes you so mad about all these meaningless writeups.
Bye bye uncle!


mukete

Fortunately The Post Management can detect the contributions of the original mukete. The post management is able to trace from where each contribution is originating, and there must have realize the childishness in the person using my name.

I will teach them a bitter lesson!

I feel very honoured when I see people (under the name mukete) copying and pasting what I have written in years back. They are telling the world that I am diversified in my reasoning and that I find noone untouchable. In doing this, they do not only demonstrate public interest in anything I write, but they actually lift me up by doing research on my past work here. I give them my permission to use my write ups to write a PhD thesis on Ni John Fru Ndi and his bad sides. I think my write ups can make more than enough data for a PhD thesis on Ni John Fru Ndi.

When the fake mukete copies irrelevant items and paste them here, readers immediately realize the degree of damage my write ups is having on these blind supporters of Ni John Fru Ndi. We know when they sense pepper.

Look Caoline, when I write, I do not look for the chronological oder in which things happen. For me, it is whether it happened or not. When I look at an event, I immediately look at its long term effects and implications. I am not bound to relate things in the order they appear. Ignore the chronology you admire and tell me if any facts or implications I mentioned are wrong.

mukete

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