A-Z Challenge

20130408-085914.jpg is for Gay. Originally, the term was used to mean “carefree”, “happy” and “bright”. However, the term’s use as a reference to homosexuality may have been used as early as the late 19th century.

But, we use it primarily as a noun and an adjective referring to homosexual men and the practices and cultures associated with homosexuality, and have done since its use increased in the 20th century.

Of course, there are some people who use it to refer to anything they regard as stupid or something or someone they do not like. This is rightly frowned upon and it’s use in that context is discouraged by anyone but homophobes, bigots and the extremely ignorant.

One of my WsIP, Defying Leviticus is set in the 16th century when men who loved men where referred to as Sodomites (or Sondomite if you were the Marquess of Queensbury) or an ‘Unnatural’ . Loving other men was ok but the act of Buggery was punishable by death. Indeed, Walter, Baron Hungerford was beheaded in June 1540 under the Buggery Act of 1533 when Henry V111 made it a capital offence. He (Hungerford) shared the scaffold with Thomas Cromwell who lost his head on the same day.

Walter, Lord Hungerford

Thankfully we have moved on from the days when homosexuality was a capital offence. But in other countries, particularly in the Middle East and countries where Muslim is the prevalent religion men and women can still be executed or imprisoned for homosexuality. In our more enlightened culture, it seems extremely harsh and unjust to us that human beings can be so cruel to others merely for being who they are and loving who they do.

But we shouldn’t be too complacent, because there is still a long way to go even in our own country before being gay is seen as normal and hardly worth mentioning. Gay men and women are still targeted by bigots and homophobes, called names, beaten up, maimed or even murdered. The fight to marry and have the same rights as heterosexuals is even now being fought for in the UK and in the USA.

And one day, hopefully the right to marry, have a family, to visit and be visited by loved ones in hospital, and to have the right to be recognised as the next of kin will become a reality for the thousands of gay couples in every state, province and country around the world.

Meanwhile…the fight goes on.



6 thoughts on “A-Z Challenge

  1. Harry

    Good post Jessie, I only know one gay man and no women, I guess there must be more because they have a big bar and club in Belfast, keep fighting.

    Going to re-blog this.

  2. Elin Gregory

    Nice post Jessie. We’re lucky we have a secular state. Though not perfect, that makes it so much easier to look at problems of equality with a rational mind. Religious states have to follow dogma and what worked in Middle Eastern prehistory doesn’t necessarily apply well to the silicon age.

  3. ciarandwynvil

    Thanks for posting this, Jessie. I do hope principles of equality will lead the decisions of lawmakers. The decisions are not about their personal preferences but about the right thing to do. And on the premise that men are born equal, one group cannot be somehow more equal than another before law. I don’t know what is so hard to understand about this simple fact.

  4. Cathy Brockman

    I think the countries have so much more important issues to deal with like hungry and homeless people than to worry with who people love. I thought that should be included in freedom. to be free to love the one you choose. It hurts noone. I feel we all have the rights to have our chosen loved one by our sides, legally sharing in what we earn. What does it matter what sex those individuals are. I guess i better get off my soap box w but it really bothers me that governments want to tell us o how to live who to love how to worship when they should worry about things like people killing, etc.

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