Gay is a word used to describe someone who is homosexual. Today, the word usually means a person who is sexually attracted to people of the same sex and often that person can be also romantically interested in people of the same sex. A gay person can be a male who likes other males or a female who likes other females.
The word "gay" can mean any homosexual person, but sometimes it's used just for homosexual men. In that case, homosexual women are called "lesbian" instead. Sometimes, people use the word "queer" to mean the same thing as "gay" when talking about sexuality.
In the early 20th century and before, "gay" used to mean 'happy' or 'carefree', but now people use it to define sexuality.
People who don't like gay people are called homophobes (or homophobic.) Some people are homophobes because of how they were brought up as a child. Some might belong to a religion and feel that means that homosexuality is not okay. Some homophobes are just very angry and hateful people.
Sometimes people use the word "gay" as a way of saying that they think something is strange or weird.
Gay's negative connotations[change | change source]
Most people use "gay" only when talking about someone's sexuality. Sometimes "gay" is used in an insulting way to mean that something is weak, stupid, or less important. For example, "That is so gay!" is used by bigots to say something looks or acts stupid. They may also use the word "queer" in the same way. This inappropriate way of using the words "gay" and "queer" is considered very offensive, as it can be an attack on someone's identity.