- having or showing a merry, lively mood
- bright or showy
- given to or abounding in social or other pleasures
Now fast forward some 40 years and the word gay is everywhere. In fact the above definitions are still listed in the dictionary but are down at the bottom of the page under "older usage" or "archaic". The original definitions have been relegated to obscurity in favor of its present definition of a homosexual man. For the past twenty years gay men kept to themselves and most certainly tried to hide their lifestyle from the rest of the world. Being gay in the larger world was extremely dangerous. It set one up for ridicule, for slanderous gossip, for discrimination, and in many cases, for extreme threats and in far too many situations, for beatings and intimidation. However, somewhere along the way, that all changed and gay men are now being hailed as heroes, as pioneers, as just another way to exist. People are now labeled as baker, as journalist, as gay, and the term gay gives rise to no more of a pause than the other two.
Reading through CNN over the past few years it is amazing how the term gay has proliferated. Many politicians were voted out of office for not being "gay friendly" and many more were voted in that supported equal rights for gays. Every other week it seemed like a different state in our union began allowing and recognizing gay marriages. Today not a week goes by when someone doesn't identify themselves as gay and they are celebrated as the first openly gay baker or banker or ballplayer or bartender. Each "first" being painted as a courageous hero. I wonder what happened to all of those haters from 20 years ago? Did they change their point of view toward gays or are their voices just not heard any longer?
I have read a number of pieces on the stages from birth to death of the great empires of the world. One of the biggest signs of decline is typically listed as the rise of sexual immorality among the populace. Sexual immorality including diminished views of traditional marriage, multiple sexual partners, and a rise in homosexuality. I wonder if any of the rush to embrace our sexual immorality means anything or will we just march ahead and continue having a gay old time?