The gay flag.

Gay also known as homosexual refers to the attraction to the same gender, or similar genders as one's own.

While gay applies to both men and women, the term lesbian is used specifically for gay women and vincian is used specifically for gay men. Gay has also been used as an umbrella term for people who experience same gender attraction, or for anyone in the LGBTA+ community. 

Early History Edit

The earliest documentation of same-sex relations in the western world at from ancient Greece. Relations between adult men and adolescent men was valued as a form of population control.

Ancient Rome took many of its ideas on sexuality from ancient Greece. Many Roman men partook in bisexual behavior. All emperors, with the exception of Claudius, had male lovers until the Christian emperor, Theodosius I decreed a law condemning gay men to be burned at the stake, in 390.

During the Renaissance cities such as Florence and Venice were known for the widespread practice of same-sex relations. However, the authorities were prosecuting, fining, and imprisoning much of the gay population.

Modern History Edit

Along with woman's rights and the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement has been brought to the forefront of society in the last century.

In June 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the right of same-sex couples to marry is on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples. Making same-sex marriage legal in all states.

Flag Edit


The original eight stripe gay flag.

The gay flag was originally decided by Gilbert Baker and was first displayed in a Gay Freedom Day Parade celebration on June 25, 1978[1]. The original flag had eight stripe, with each stripe having a specific meaning, with is as follows: hot pink- sex, red- life, orange- healing, yellow- sunlight, green- nature, turquoise- magic/art, indigo- serenity, violet- spirit.

As the demand of rainbow flags increased they began being sold with seven stripes, without the pink stripe due to the lack to pink fabric.[2]

In 1979 the design was change again because, when hung vertically from the lamp posts of San Francisco's Market Street, the center stripe was obscured by the post itself. The turquoise stripe was dropped, making a flag with an even number of stripes.[2]

Etymology Edit

The first known use of the term homosexual is found in an 1869 German pamphlet by the novelist Karl-Maria Kertbeny[3]. The word is derived from the Greek prefix homo- meaning 'same'. Many modern sources advise against using the term homosexual, and to instead use gay, vincian or lesbian, as homosexual has a history of being used negatively and in clinical context.

The term gay originally meant 'happy', 'carefree', or 'cheerful'. It was occasionally used to refer to homosexual men in the 19th century, but lost popularity in the beginning of the 20th century[4]. The term was solidified in in 1960's when homosexual men began using it to describe their orientation.

Resources Edit

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