Gay is used to refer to men who are emotionally, sexually, and romantically attracted to other men. The origin of this word dates back to the mid 18th century in England. In the 21st century, the meaning changed: the term is used as a self-ascription mechanism to refer to all things related to homosexuality. However, the fight for the rights of the LGBTIQ+ collective and the disuse of the word homosexual means the word gay is used exclusively to refer to men.
It is important to note that a man is not gay because he has a sporadic relationship with another man; that is known as men who have sex with men. Rather, identifying as gay also implies a social or political identification.
When the word gay is used to mock or in contexts where it is not socially accepted, it acquires a negative connotation. For example, ‘he is so gay’, ‘look at that gay dude’. Before, the word used to refer to men who were emotionally, sexually, and romantically attracted to other men was homosexual. This word is no longer used as it referred to a medical pathology. In fact, in 2006 it was included as an offensive word in the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Guide. However, some men continue using it due to its political and historical importance. For example, one of the first movements in Spain that fought for sexual diversity was the Movimiento Español de Liberación Homosexual (MELH), which used homosexual in its name. In Mexico, the first march for sexual diversity was organized by the Frente de Liberación Homosexual de México.
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