Results for - Different Ways of Being Gay

2,247 voters participated in this survey

Hesitant as I am of being especially wordy in my surveys nowadays, this paragraph from Dictionary.com about the word in question makes an apt prologue to my questions to follow... The sexual orientation meaning of the word gay has become so predominant that people hesitate to use the term in its original senses of “merry, lively” and “bright or showy.” But the word's association with sexuality is not new. The word gay has had various senses dealing with sexual conduct since the 17th century. A gay woman was a prostitute, a gay man a womanizer, a gay house a brothel. This sexual world included gay men too, and gay as an adjective in the sexual meaning goes back at least to the late 1930s. After World War II, as social attitudes toward sexuality began to change, gay was applied openly by gay men to themselves, first as an adjective and later as a noun. It is no longer considered slang. Today, the noun often designates only gay men and is usually used as a collective plural: gays and lesbians. How do gays feel about this? But usage as a singular noun is usually perceived as insulting. It has been argued that gay in the sense “awkward, stupid, or bad” is independent of the sexual sense, and therefore not homophobic. This argument is weakened by the fact that the sexual meaning has long been the dominant one, and thus permeates all usages of gay.

1. My first encounter with the word "gay" was synonymous with , per the Dictionary.com usage alert (!) above, merriment, showiness, festiveness, brightness, happiness and showiness. I especially recall its use in reference to the "gay (18)90's"- an era of U.S. history characterized by decadence, frivolity and scandal- in Pabst Blue Ribbon beer commercials (sorry for being unable to find one starring actual people to accompany this question!). Do you recall that common use of "gay" in your lifetime?

Yes
56%
1,236 votes
Undecided
17%
366 votes
No
27%
598 votes

2. I recall first hearing "gay" referring to anything having to do with homosexuality in a story read my sixth grade social teacher, who wasn't lesbian to my knowledge, read to our class. Her lips made a sly smile upon uttering the word, some of my fellow students laughed, but I was at a loss as to the perceived humor in her action until much later. Do you recall when you first encountered "gay" as a word associated with same-sex attraction?

Yes
18%
387 votes
Uncertain
28%
610 votes
No
41%
899 votes
The word has always been used in that way for long as I can recall.
14%
304 votes

3. Though "gay" was assigned a definition related to homosexuality in an English dictionary early as 1951, the word's use to characterize what is lame, weak, unexciting and unacceptable is more recent. There is apparently some debate as to whether this definition stems from its homosexuality-associated definition. Do you find this use of "gay" acceptable?

Yes
26%
567 votes
Unsure
41%
908 votes
No
33%
725 votes

4. Which definition/s of "gay" do you most appreciate?

The original
35%
772 votes
The currently dominant one
17%
365 votes
The one mentioned in the previous question
5%
115 votes
All
18%
391 votes
None
30%
659 votes

5. Were you to have a baby, considering what "gay" means in the main nowadays, would you name your girl child girl Gaye or a boy child Gaylord?

Yes
4%
83 votes
Maybe for a middle name
7%
160 votes
Uncommitted
13%
288 votes
No
76%
1,669 votes
04/30/2022 Living 2247 53 By: jlrake
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By: jlrake
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