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Why are homosexuals called gays?

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noahmijo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:34 AM
Original message
Why are homosexuals called gays?
I'm serious. I never understood this. Gay to me means happy. Well not every homosexual is necessarily always happy right? I mean I'm straight and I'm not constantly happy. I don't think gay people are always happy, they have their moments of being pissed off or sad like anyone.

I just prefer using the term homosexuals or lesbians as appropriate and leaving it at that.

Then on the other hand Bobby Slaton does make a great point when he says about homosexual men "that's why they're called gays they're hanging out with the guys they're happy! they get to hang out with the guys and STILL get blowjobs!"

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. Guys Are Yummy?
That would be a good thing to research?
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mrboba1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. According to...
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 10:37 AM by mrboba1
http://www.fortunecity.com/village/birdcage/279/gay.htm...

This word used to mean "happy," but it's
meaning changed when homosexuals used it
as code. They were thought of as clinically ill
and were thought only to exist as
homosexuals. The word "gay" gave them a
smaller word that was an adjective, not a
noun. This allowed those who used it to
identify as homosexual in addition to other
identities. Some people use it to include
bisexuals and lesbians. Now that bisexuals and
lesbians are gaining a separate voice, it usually
refers only to homosexual men.

on edit: or check out this:
http://www.wordorigins.org/wordorg.htm
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RodneyCK2 Donating Member (813 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. In other words....
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 10:43 AM by RodneyCK2
it parallels the "N" word African Americans like to call one another. I think in our case (I am gay), we tried to turn a negative term into a positive one, not so sure if that was the intent behind using the "N" word, probably as more of an inside identifier.

The new trend discussed during the last San Francisco Gay parade was that some lesbians now want to be called Dykes, proudly so.
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mrboba1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. I think that is how it
all started out.

It's great that it got turned around into a positive...

Homophobe: He's so gay!
Normal Person: Uhh, so?!?
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
15. Thank you, a fair enough approximation of the history.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
3. Check this out ...
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
4. I prefer the term gay myself
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 10:38 AM by Misunderestimator
Homosexual, being that it has the word "sex" embedded gives SEX too much importance in the definition.... lesbian, though I don't mind it, seems a little clinical (though arwalden seems to love that term :))...

On edit, I see meegbear put up a good link to an explanation on the term.
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noahmijo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. How about I just call you by your first name?
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 10:39 AM by noahmijo
instead of name-calling? :)
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Ok... my first name is...
Mis
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noahmijo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. ::chuckle:: I'm just playin you don't have to give it to me
I didn't mean to actually start a debate or anything with this thread I'm the type that feels if we all had a sense of humor about ourselves or what we are there'd be less hate ya know? Personally I love gay people overall, I'm the type that would actually love to have a beer with Mario Cantone and Denis Leary at the same table (and incidently they're good pals!)
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Lesbian sounds like something from outer space
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Doesn't it just?
:hi:
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #4
16. Lesbian.
I think it sounds very sophisticated and elegant.

-- Allen
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. LMAO!!
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terrya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
5. It sure beats the word "pervert" or "invert" which is what we used to be..
referred to.

I am a gay man. Not a homosexual (too clinical sounding). And certainly NOT "queer"

Terry
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cardlaw Donating Member (228 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. I agree.
Homosexual sounds too clinical. And it's what the Pat Robertsons of the world refer to us as. So I avoid it.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #5
17. I Often Use Queer When Referring To A Large Group...
... but not for any one individual. (Queer Americans must fight for their rights. It's important for Queer Americans to vote for John Kerry.)

-- Allen
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Caution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
7. slang
nothing more. The gay community has embraced at least four slurs off the top of my head and now uses them as a normal reference (gay, queer, dyke and fag)

Dyke and fag still have negative connotations though but you will often see gays use the terms amongst themselves and amongst friends (much the same as the word "nigger" in the African-American community. (though it seems to me the word n***** is more often negative than f** or d***)
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
18. By The Way:
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 11:11 AM by arwalden
I'm "gay"... not "a gay". To me, it's an adjective that can be used to describe one aspect of me. It's not a noun to label me as ONLY being gay and that the sum of all my parts is simply "a gay".

Does that make sense?

-- Allen

(Not that you've done that... I've just seen others use the phrase in that manner and this thread reminded me of how annoying it was.)
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. I agree... I've pointed it out before...
I despise being called "a gay"... a gay person is fine. Have the same problem with "gays", as in "Gays are pushing a homosexual agenda." Call us gay Americans, gay men and women, gay people...
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gauguin57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
19. I actually researched this for an English paper a while back
Linguists belive the term, in its contemporary form, may very well come from the hobo culture of the early 20th century. The term gay-cat (later shortened to gay) referred to an inexperienced hobo who was taken under the wing of an older hobo -- with a sexual relationship subtly or not-so-subtly implied.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
20. Because "normal" is just not the same impact.
nt
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UDenver20 Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
21. 5 Syllables
Too MANY syllables. We may have an overly active sense of style, but we're also lazy as hell.

Ho-mo-sex-u-al
vs.
Gay
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