Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. In modern English, gay has come to be used as an adjective, and as a noun. The word gay arrived in English during the 12th century from Old French gai. In the 1960s, gay became the word favored by homosexual men to describe their sexual orientation.
About Gay in brief
Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. In modern English, gay has come to be used as an adjective, and as a noun, referring to the community, practices and cultures associated with homosexuality. The word gay arrived in English during the 12th century from Old French gai, most likely deriving ultimately from a Germanic source. In the 1960s, gay became the word favored by homosexual men to describe their sexual orientation. By the end of the 20th century, the word gay was recommended by major LGBT groups and style guides to describe people attracted to members of the same sex, although it is more commonly used to refer specifically to men. The extent to which these usages still retain connotations of homosexuality has been debated and harshly criticized. The derived abstract noun gaiety remains largely free of sexual connotations and has, in the past, been used in the names of places of entertainment; for example W. B. Yeats heard Oscar Wilde lecture at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. A passage from Miss Gertrude Stein’s Miss Furr & Skerrene is possibly the first traceable use of the term gay. The British comic strip Jane, first published in the 1930s, described the adventures of Jane Gay, a free-wheeling woman with plenty of boyfriends, implying it referred to her lifestyle from homosexuality. A gay woman was a prostitute, a gay man a womanizer, and a gay house a brothel.
In 1885, a letter read to a London court in 1885 during the prosecution of brothel madam and procuress Mary Jeffries that had been written by a girl while slaved to a French brothel, said: “Some captains came in the other night, and the mistress wanted us to sleep with them… I write to tell you it is a Gay house.” The title of the 1938 French ballet Gaîté Parisienne, which became the 1941 Warner Brothers movie, The Gay Parisian, also illustrates this connotation. A gay cat was a young male apprenticed to an older hobo and commonly exchanging sex and other services for protection and tutelage. The application to homosexuality was also an extension of the word’s sexualized connotation of \”carefree and uninhibited\”, which implied a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage, documented as early as the 1920s, was likely present before the 20st century, but it was initially more common used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as in the once-common phrase \”gay Lothario\”, or in the book and film The Gay Falcon, which concerns a womanizing detective whose first name is \”Gay\”. Similarly, Fred Gilbert and G. H. MacDermott’s music hall song of the 1880s, Charlie Dilke Upset the Milk, referred to Sir Charles Dilke’s alleged heterosexual impropriety, when taking it home to Chelsea.