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How old were you when first encountered the word "gay?"
i wasnt really sure .. i knew i was about 5 or 6 i think .. to be honest i would have rather lived a better life if i hadnt encountered this word, everything is so much about labels and putting things in a box rather than letting yourself be free and gay (in the true sense of the word). I still do remember clearly though the two instances that i have heard of the word. As kids, here in this country boybands were popular, and people would often guess which band member was gay, two boybands in fact were my favorite, the first, Boyzone, i really liked Ronan Keating because he had this sexy earring then i saw this kind looking member with boyish charms, it was then, Stephen Gately (R.I.P.). my "friend"/neighbor/playmate often talked with me and we came to the topic of boybands first he told me that Nick Carter was "gay" and all that but we were still children back then and i couldnt understand the gravity of the situation blah blah.. but when we came to Boyzone i mentioned Ronan and Stephen as my two favorite band members, then he told me something close to this: " oh that, (Stephen Gately [R.I.P.]), he's gay" .. as if saying that was a bad thing though a thorn was put on somewhere around the side of my innocent self.. thanks to this boy who tried to define the borders of masculinity ..

i hope i did a good job in expressing myself by starting this thread, it just means that there really is gay and straight maybe that event i described was just were i split off from "straight" people in my childhood. no harm intended in posting this cause it might be a culture thing too ..and i thought that it would be fun talking about it with people who had had similar experiences ..
I don't know exactly...probably 8 or 9. Nope, didn't know what gay or fag actually mean for a long time...
When I was in junior high.
Me and my best friend would use it as an insult. We were stupid kids back then.
Didn't really know what it meant probably.
Guess I must've heard it from somewhere else first then. Probably him then.
He could've been trying to get me to want to do stuff with him.
Some time before I went to high school, he told me he was gay after we had eaten pizza at a resturant. No fancy resturant thing.
I didn't belive him, thought he was messing around.
After that I drifted away from him. We aren't friends anymore, no idea what he's doing now. He left Facebook before I could him as friend.
Well this wasn't what the topic was about Tongue
Shame I didn't know about my gay desires back then. Would've totally try stuff with that guy, he was nice looking and had a nice member xD
Around 9-10, probably from a movie. I think, I think I even remmeber which movie, but to not make false asumptions I'll just leave it at that.

I started liking guys like a year after that, so it was somewhat nice to be able to put a word to what I was feeling (and have been feeling since), but on the other hand it came attached with all the problems that go with it. Knowing of that word certainly made it very clear that I wasn't going to even mention it....and here I am 20 years later...
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I think for me it was around 10 years old. From watching TV haha
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The ancient origins of "gay" are uncertain, with some etymologists tracing it to the Old High German gâhi ("swift"), though recent research supports wâhi ("pretty") as a more likely source. The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edition) also notes that "the sense ‘slack, not closely fitting’, which exists in all the Romance languages (though not recorded very early in any of them) may possibly be of etymological significance."

Its oldest English meaning, attested as early as 1310, is "disposed to joy and mirth", and was the most common use until the later part of the 20th Century. Its use in reference to homosexuality is not noted in standard dictionaries until 1935, when the word "geycat" was cited as prison slang for a homosexual boy; the independent form "gay" first appears in 1951. However, there are much earlier instances of the usage of "gay" in a similar context, one as early as 1889, in reference to the Cleveland Street Scandal in London, which involved a group of male prostitutes operating out of a men's club in the East End.

Many of these early usages were strongly pejorative, and were employed as insults; the gradual emergence of the gay community as a social and political force later led to the reclamation of the word in a positive sense in the wake of the gay movement; this may account for the relatively rapid change in the popular understanding of the word.

Cultural history

The English word "gay" was originally non-prejudicial, and could be applied to stylish objects as well as to people; it is, for instance, used to refer to various accoutrements of the Canterbury pilgrims by Geoffrey Chaucer, e.g. the Knight's Yeoman was said to have a "gay dagerre." The word is also a close relative of the Middle French and Provençal words gaya and gai, meaning, roughly, "joyful." Occitanian poets defined their poetic craft as lo gai saber, or the "joyful knowledge," and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche borrowed this phrase for his book, Das Fröliche Wissenschaft (1882), often translated as "The Gay Science."

Such a broadly poetic, and largely positive use of the word has faded from use in the centuries since, with its entry into political and cultural debates, whether pro- or anti-gay. This change in the word is reflected in such compound usages as gay-friendly or gay-bashing, as well as with blends such as gaydar (a homophonic pun on radar, referring to the supposed ability of gay men to detect other, possibly closeted, gay men's sexual orientation). In the early twenty-first century, the word "gay" has entered youth parlance as a synonym for "silly" or "ridiculous," a usage that some speakers insist is non-prejudicial, despite its past history of negative connotations.
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I never knew what it meant till I was about 14 or 15, my first bf(kind of) explained it to me. I was a right little shit to him. I never thought my attraction to other lads was a thing I thought it was eh normal. But I knew not to tell people about it though. I remember a time when I kissed another boy where my grand parents lived and all hell broke lose and people where shouting faggot and stuff but I was only 11 and didn't understand what they were saying.
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I was around 7 and overheard my aunt tell my mom that my cousin was gay, so if course I asked what that meant and my aunt said it meant he was cheerful and happy and they both laughed. The answer seemed dumb to me because my cousin was a nasty, grouchy asshole. My younger brothers dared me to go ask him, but I didn't have the balls lol.
I still don't know girl, shoot lol.

We didn't always use to say "Gay", many people still don't, but would say:

"Fussy[Fahsy]" - which is far more intense I think, as its a dirty, foul word;

"Guy who takes cock in his anus"

But is now trivialized in the same light as "Gay", except the meaning is still very heavy and dirty.
So homophobes will use that word instead of "Gay" casually, and it's a very defamatory word.

Even I wouldn't use it to someone I hate.

I learned that word at 8-9.

Even tho it's a disgusting word, it wasn't uncommon for Dads to say things like this to deter their sons back when I was growing up. Actually we have many words people used like this, even different ways to say them depending on Gender, but I digress.

Not so much is this done anymore, but the word still prevails.
I luh de vibe enuh! Sheep

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I don't know.

Maybe that's just because I'm old. ???

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