Why did “gay” stop meaning “happy” and start referring to “same sex relationships?”

In honor of Pride month just around the corner, PBS Digital Studios’ Origin of Everything series educates viewers on the history of the word “gay.”


Most people know that gay meant happy or lighthearted before it’s now modern usage to describe people who are attracted to the same sex, but did you know that gay used to mean noble, and fine or “showily dressed?”

Let PBS’ Danielle Bainbridge teach you those and other fun facts—like when gay started referring to sexuality—in the interesting video below.

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