The word gay.
The word gay, which was often used to describe moments that were joyous or lighthearted and carefree, has evolved considerably.
In modern usage, the word "gay" colloquially refers to homosexual men, but it can also be used in a demeaning way typically drawn from LGBTQ stereotypes of men behaving or appearing in a flamboyant manner.
In past centuries if you were a single women - you were the odd one out as you were a SPINSTER and needed to find a husband to keep you and it was not a compliment to be a SPINSTER.
However: If you were a single man, you were known as a BATCHELOR GAY - in other words - HAPPY TO BE SINGLE - as men did not need a partner the same way a women did.
The expression GAY became known with men and eventually homosexual men but was NOT what the word originally means at all.
Curious to hear how strangers online experienced how the word was used, Redditor Infrared-masochism asked:
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve been told not to do because it’s 'Gay?'
Interests in certain hobbies are apparently a dead giveaway of queerness.
Oh, Snap! "I took up photography a few years back and my friends asked me to photograph their wedding. I did it and even made them a slideshow with nice music because I wanted to try it out. I showed it to them and my buddy said it was gay. He called his own wedding photos gay." – livinalieontimna
Repeat Offender "A few things I've been called gay for doing:
Using an umbrella
Wearing a sweater
Not knowing how to play any songs by Stevie Ray Vaughn on the guitar at age 15
'Wearing a shirt with another man's name on it' (it was a hockey jersey with a player's name on it and I was 12)
Just to name a few off the top of my head!" – PoisonLenny37
Way With Words "The funny (not funny) thing too was it was when I was in grade 4 and it was the student teacher who said it. We did an annual trip to a water park in June every year before the end of the school year. I had a broken arm that year so on the way out to the bus I ran back to the room and grabbed a book and as I was walking out he was like 'a book? You're gonna spend the day READING?' and I was like 'well, broken arm, ya know?' And he was like 'pretty gay, dude, pretty gay!'" – PoisonLenny37
With A Dreamy Far Off Look... "I didn't know my Dad was your teacher, holy sh*t. Well at least you got it lucky, as someone who still carries around a book with him to this very day, Dad used to call me a gay for reading just about everywhere all the time. 'you're so busy with your face in a book all the time. I'm so disappointed in you, Son. I brought extra condoms down with me because I thought you'd be a chip off the old block taking virginity." - My Dad on the common area at the hotel we were staying at on vacation when I was 13 years old." – byehavefun
Kitchen Kween "Cooking. Umm, I have to feed myself and I’d prefer fresh, nutritious meals that don’t require unhealthy takeaway and cost a fortune." – bruh_wut69
When I recently joined a gym and started to really show some improvement, my friends laughed and called me gay because they claimed it was only the gays who worked out to look body beautiful to attract other men of the same kind. Oh really ????? -Scotty
Observing these normal types of behavior had skeptics convinced of their suspicions.
Squeaky Clean "My Dad used to tell my brothers not to wash their hair so much or they would 'turn gay'." – ineedatinylama
Long blond hair and blue eyes makes me gay
I have long blond hair, being a beach bum, with blue eyes, a typical California surfing dude, and am teased all the time by my friends because I am very ' pretty' and with the hair and eyes etc. am called gay all the time. It's a laugh between my friends as they know I love pussy and is also a great turn on for the ladies as they think they are turning the gay boy straight when I have sex with them, but all along I am straight.
When friends noticed me humming a Streisand song they all joked that I must be gay as she is such a gay icon. I'm actually not gay and love Streisand but it does come with the gay label. - Marcus
"Real men can fry a steak with the grease in their hair 👌" – LionToTheSlaughter99
Fashion industry I must be gay as I work in the fashion industry and is not a world full of big butch macho men like me, so everyone assumes I am gay. I love it as the female models I work with feel safe around me and there is not that tension in changing rooms. If only they knew I was actually straight. -Jones
Cat Gender "I was taken aside by my deeply concerned and shocked friend and was told 'you know that’s a MALE cat you’re stroking?' I was astonished." – jim_jiminy
Hair dresser I am a hair dresser in a top salon in New York and everyone assumes I am gay. I only do womens hair and am flambouyant and camp but actually straight and love it when people assume I am gay. I camp it up in the salon saying ' I am gay gay gay gay and so very happy' -Florence - even my name is gay....
The Stigma Of Kindness "Being kind to others." "Excuse me, wasn't aware that I had to burp and fart right in your face to state that I'm a straight guy." – Lumbertech
"I've heard this one many times. Apparently basic human decency is in such short supply these days that the idea that it could come from a straight person is inconceivable." – thequietthingsthat
Liza Minelli Went to a Liza concert and was called gay by my friends, which I am not, but did laugh as they all see her as a gay icon and loved by gay men so, I must be gay. - Seanus
Ear Candy "Literally just happened about 5 minutes ago. Listening to music at work, Cindy Lauper's 'Time After Time' came on. Co-worker walked by and informed me how gay I looked sitting at my desk listening to that song." – Bypolur
There is a straight way and a gay way to examine your body parts.
Not-So-Cute Cuticle Check "Apparently I passed a straight guy test (back in the 90s) when I looked at my nails palm up with my fingers curled in vs palm down with my fingers out straight." – Humble_Nobody2884
"Had a friend who said he had weird bumps coming up on his skin so i suggested he go to the dermatologist. He said only women do that. Alright man, good luck…" – mrboondoggle
In elementary school, a couple of my classmates asked me to check my shoe because I stepped on gum. I bent my right leg behind me and looked over my shoulder to inspect the sole of my shoe, which turned out to be devoid of any of the suspected gooey substance. The two yahoos howled hysterically and said the way I checked my shoe was soooo gay, and that therefore, I must be." Apparently, straight dudes would inspect the bottom of the shoe by lifting their feet up in front of them and inverting their ankles upward. Gee... how did they know?
It's all just a laugh these days and to be called gay is not the slur it use to be.
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