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The word gay refers to homosexual people, or traits regarded as indicating homosexuality. While used more often for men, the term also encompasses women who choose to refer to themselves as gay women. Before the advent of the LGBTIQ acronym, the term ‘gay community’ often encompassed the entire gamut of the LGBTIQ communities. The word originally meant ‘carefree’, ‘cheerful’, or ‘bright and showy’. Its use to describe homosexuals seems to date from the late 19th century. However, it became increasingly popular in the mid-20th century. In modern English, the word is both adjective and noun. It describes the people, community, practices and cultures associated with homosexuals. Homosexual men began to favour the word in the 1960s. By the 1980s major LGBTIQ groups and style guides recommended the word to describe same-sex attracted people. However, in recent years some also use the word derisively, replacing previous slurs. While some LGBTIQ people ‘reclaimed’ words such as faggot to remove the sting from them, homophobes turned the gay community’s own chosen self descriptive against them. As a slur the word encompasses derision, light-hearted mockery and ridicule. Historians believe the use of the word to describe homosexuals derived from its previous use as a slang term for ‘immoral’ persons or acts. Used as early as the 14th century as slang, by the late 17th century it specifically relating to carnal pleasure. The slang took its cue from the original definition of ‘carefree’  and focussed on the meaning, ‘uninhibited by moral constraints’. The phrase ‘gay woman’ described a prostitute, a womaniser became a ‘gay man’, and brothels became known as ‘gay houses’. Once homosexual male prostitutes came to be known as ‘gay boys’, the use of the word spread to homosexuals in general.

Bob Brown's documentary The Giants is on Netflix

Documentary on Greens icon Bob Brown comes to streaming

Documentary film The Giants, centering on longtime climate activist, gay trailblazer and former Greens party leader Bob Brown, is streaming on Netflix in Australia. Bob Brown was the first openly gay member of the Australian Parliament as well as the first openly gay leader of an Australian political party. For 50 years, he’s also been …

Chansey Paech is the new NT Deputy Chief Minister

Gay MP Chansey Paech makes history as NT deputy leader

Gay Indigenous politician Chansey Paech has been appointed Deputy Chief Minister in the Northern Territory this week. An NT government shake-up followed the resignation of ex-Chief Minister Natasha Fyles this week. Fyles resigned after it was revealed she’d failed to disclose mining company shares she owned. This week, Eva Lawler was sworn in as the …

Instagram photo of actor Tim Pocock

Tim Pocock recalls ‘soul-destroying’ gay conversion therapy

Actor Tim Pocock has opened up about his “soul-destroying” experience of so-called “gay conversion” practices in his twenties. The X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Dance Academy actor recalled undergoing harmful anti-gay hypnotherapy in a new video with Equality Australia, calling for NSW to ban it. “I was first taken to see a psychologist to have my …

Luke Evans and Billy Porter in new gay divorce drama film Our Son

First trailer for Luke Evans and Billy Porter flick Our Son

Actors Luke Evans and Billy Porters are gay divorcees going through a custody battle in the first trailer for gay drama film Our Son. “Married for 13 years, aspiring artist Gabriel (Billy Porter) and his ambitious partner Nicky (Luke Evans) appear to have created the perfect life together,” the synopsis reads. “But Gabriel is struggling …

Jonathan Bailey and Matt Bomer in Fellow Travelers

Jonathan Bailey shows off racy Fellow Travelers prosthetics

Fellow Travelers actor Jonathan Bailey has given his Instagram followers a behind-the-scenes look at working on one of the gayest shows on TV, including an entire table of prosthetic penises. The gay romantic drama has scored great reviews and is streaming in Australia each week on Paramount+. Fellow Travelers is an “epic love story and …

Billy Porter and Luke Evans in gay drama Our Son

Luke Evans and Billy Porter divorce in gay drama Our Son

Actors Luke Evans and Billy Porter play a pair of gay dads going through a divorce in new drama film Our Son. “Married for 13 years, aspiring artist Gabriel (Billy Porter) and his ambitious partner Nicky (Luke Evans) appear to have created the perfect life together,” the synopsis reads. “But Gabriel is struggling to find …

Barry Manilow in concert

Barry Manilow says secret gay relationship saved his life

Singer-songwriter Barry Manilow says he had to keep his sexuality secret for decades for the sake of his career, but his private relationship with his now-husband “saved his life” on the road. Barry has been together with his longtime manager Garry Kief for 39 years, and he only came out as gay publicly in 2017. …

Jonathan Bailey and Matt Bomer in Fellow Travelers

Gay romantic drama Fellow Travelers is a hit with critics

Highly anticipated gay romantic drama series Fellow Travelers is a big hit with critics ahead of its streaming debut. The Paramount+ series finally premieres on streaming in Australia on Saturday (October 28). The eight-part historical drama stars Jonathan Bailey and Matt Bomer as two gay political staffers. The “epic love story and political thriller” chronicles …

Kate Box and Danielle Cormack in SBS episode of Erotic Stories

Kate Box and Danielle Cormack get kinky in new SBS drama

A lesbian explores her kinky side in an episode of steamy new anthology series Erotic Stories this week. The steamy new Australian drama series premieres on SBS this Thursday. A big ensemble cast of Australian actors gets to play across eight racy self-contained stories. In The Deluge, Deadloch star Kate Box plays Cara, who after …

Comedian and TV presenter Paul O'Grady with two rescue dogs

Paul O’Grady will have a vet hospital named after him

British drag icon and rescue animal devotee Paul O’Grady has had a veterinary hospital at his beloved Battersea Dogs and Cats Home named after him, following the entertainer’s death this year. Paul, the entertainer behind drag queen Lily Savage, passed away in March at age 67. After Paul retired Lily, he became known for his …

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