Thursday, March 15, 2007


“The gay wall of this gaudy tower
Grows dim around me — death is near.”

Edgar Allan Poe

I've never liked the word gay as a synonym for homosexual.

I've never liked the words queer or faggot either.

What to use?


But that gives a hard and unfair slap to the twinkling face of Tinkerbell.

Maybe just use “plain, old” homosexual.

I always wait for my students to giggle when we read an old poem that contains the word gay.

It isn't fair to the bards who wanted their gay to mean:

animated, blithe, bouncy, carefree, cheerful, convivial, festive, frivolous, frolicsome, fun-loving, glad, gleeful, jocund, jolly, jovial, joyful, joyous, light-hearted, lively, merry, mirthful, playful, sparkling, spirited, sprightly, sunny, vivacious ETC.

And what about the phrases the Gay Thirties or Gay Paris?

They aren’t about homosexuals.

I must admit that I am somewhat of a homophobe.

Does this mean that I’m not sure about my own nature?

I don’t think so.

Men who have sex with other men have never seemed “normal” to me.

And to say that these men are gay has never seemed the right word to use.

Do they have gay sex?

Yes, I suppose they do.

This word gay got me in trouble years ago when I had a job in which I called schools throughout the country to ask for and update the names of their school personnel to be published in a directory.

One time I called someone named (her first name I forget so I have made one up) Bonnie Gay.

The first words out of my mouth were:

“Boy, I bet you have a lot of people who say things…”

Before I could finish Ms. Gay hung up.

I recorded her name in the directory, but I also made a few of my own changes.

I changed the street address to Lesbian Avenue.

I also gave the school a new name (I forget what it was.)

I know these were mean and inappropriate things to do---and I should not have mentioned anything about her name---but I still altered those names.

It produced in me a…

Gay feeling.


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