The word gay is the most common German synonym for homosexual and usually denotes male homosexuality . It is used more and more in public and in written language; in some dictionaries it is marked as colloquial and as a self-name. It was also used for female homosexuality, especially in the past . Today the adjective lesbian is mostly used for this . With gay is often also referred to what and is characteristic of gays whose interests or what this is assigned (Examples: "gay magazine," "gay bar", "gay bar", " gay sauna "). In these contexts, the term primarily has a cultural or social reference and is not limited to a sexual context.
Especially in the language of young people , gay can now also be found as a generally derogatory adjective for objects and facts, even if they have no direct reference to homosexuality or supposed unmanliness. These uses negative connotation can especially in ungeouteten inhibitory or negative effect on the personality development or recently outed adolescents. For this reason, some reject the word and prefer more neutral and less judgmental expressions as self-designation, such as the words gay or queer, borrowed from English , or the phrase “ men who have sex with men ”. The Duden recommends avoiding the discriminatory use of the word gay in everyday language as well, and people who campaign against discrimination and homophobia are now increasingly addressing this.
Gay is with gay translated into English. In the opposite direction, it should be noted that gay tends to also include lesbians, which is rarely the case in the German language. For example, the English term “gay women” is correct, and expressions like “ gay pride ” and “gay people” refer not only to gays but also to lesbians. In its archaic meaning, gay can also be translated as “cheerful”, “happy” or “carefree”.
Etymology of the phrase
How gay came to mean homosexual can only be roughly determined today, but there are different approaches. What is certain is that it was widely used and varied in this sense.
- It is often attributed to the Low German gay for "oppressive hot". In the 17th century this was adopted into standard German and in the 18th century, probably by influencing the antonyms cool , it was converted into sultry . The old form was transferred to homosexual in the 19th century in the Berlin dialect and in Rotwelschen based on warm. Schwuler is also occupied in the Rotwelsch.
- Storfer also assumes in 1937 that it first appeared in Berlin. He points to “ warm brothers ” as possible explanations . That meaning may have developed from the fact that the “ warm ” do not feel indifferent (“cool”) to their peers in erotic terms, but rather warm.
- Heinz Küpper connects gay with “oppressively hot” and explains the relevant meaning as an “allusion to the atmosphere in relevant bars”.
- Paul Derks traces the expression back to a criminological treatise written in 1847, "which suggests subcultural usage."
- In 1862 Friedrich Christian Avé-Lallemant published the third and fourth parts of his work Das deutsche Gaunertum . In it there is gay man with the explanation “the one who is seized by quiet, fearful, dulling warmth, ο παιδεραστης”. The essential explanation ho paiderastes is written in Greek and can therefore only be read by experts. This is followed by the verb gay with the explanation "παιδεραστειν" (" paiderastein "). Growing , on the other hand, means "deceiving, cheating". The same explanations can be found in the Grimm dictionary with reference to Avé-Lallemant as the source.
- In 1891, Albert Moll describes gay as a self-designation for "opposite sex" men and women among each other and for stable relationships, which were called gay marriage or gay relationship .
- In the 1901 published Encyclopedia of Criminology by Hans Gross , gay is declared as “pederast”.
- Hermann Paul's dictionary documents the use as "homosexual" around 1900 without any further explanation.
Homosexuality is the term commonly used in science today to denote a general sexual orientation and preference for one's own gender . "Many same-sex people - men and women - consider this designation to be correct in the biological sense of the word, but they do not agree with the content of the expression reduced to sexuality." Decisive parts of sexuality are the group criterion and sexuality in general Senses are noticeable - as for everyone - in many a situation in everyday life, but in the normal daily routine it is only one of the facets that make up the whole person. "In addition, the term homosexual comes from the somatic and psychiatric pathology vocabulary, which justifies another objection to the use of this word." The latter objection has become less frequent since the 1970s, but the word is still considered to be "clinically influenced". An alternative is the synonym same-sex , which however needs an addition in order to be unambiguous.
For example, gay is used alternately with homosexual or a conscious distinction is made to express something specific. Likewise, gay alternates with homosexual and being gay with homosexuality .
“In the last 50 years, what is called egalitarian gay ['among equals'] or gay has emerged. While homosexual refers to an act (or behavior) of a guy, a queen, a bisexual, even a straight person, gay refers to an attitude, an identity, a lifestyle, (and queer to theory and politics: challenging heteronormativity ['combating heteronormativity ']) while gay is primarily proclaiming homosexuality [' offensive visualization of (one's own) homosexuality '], and the other simply consists of homosexual acts . "
An application to persons and texts before about 1970 and especially before Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1825–1895), the “first gay man in world history”, is mostly incorrect from a sexual science and historical point of view.
“Men have been desired by men for thousands of years - somehow. How this desire is experienced, assessed and described, however, determines the respective culture. For example, the difference between the ancient male-male Eros, which rose to Platonic statecraft, and our contemporary homosexuality is enormous. Whatever Socrates , Wittgenstein and Roland Barthes , Tchaikovsky , Benjamin Britten and Cole Porter , Charles Laughton , James Dean , Cary Grant and Anthony Perkins , the economist John Maynard Keynes , the FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover or the colonialist Cecil Rhodes (' Rhodesia ') may have felt and practiced - they were definitely not gay , as is unhistorically said today. "
For the historian Hergemöller , Urnings , homophiles , homosexuals and also gays are different "historical manifestations" of a "multi-layered development".
The compound gay-lesbian and the abbreviation of the syllable les bi schwul (also spelled LesBiSchwul ), which has meanwhile also been mentioned by the Duden editorial team with regard to political and cultural issues , try, unlike the unifying term homosexual , to make the differences between lesbian, bisexual and gay visible through a common term close. An additional role is played by the fact that although homosexual theoretically includes men and women, there is a semantic problem (→ on the term homosexuality ). This can also be seen in the usage, especially in the 1950s to 1970s, when one spoke more often of “(male) homosexuality and lesbian love”, but the tendency is consistent up to today's lexicographers .
Self-names are subject to historical changes. Gay is currently the most common self-designation for men who love men. Some prefer other self-designations, some reject any designation. An extensive survey (45 minutes) on behalf of the Lower Saxony Family Ministry among 353 male adolescents (seven are missing for this question) aged 15 to 25 (36.5 percent between 15 and 20; average: 21 years) using questionnaires in the scene and over the Internet (paper: 49 percent; Internet: 51 percent) between June 1998 and June 1999 gave the result in the table in the columns “NI-Jugend”. An online survey at one of the largest German-speaking gay internet portals gave a similar result, although fun answers cannot be ruled out. The portal is aimed primarily at young and middle-aged people. In 2002 a questionnaire was carried out in Munich. People were mainly addressed through the scene. 2512 people took part, of which 65.8 percent (around 1653) were men. The majority of the participants were between 25 and 45 years old. For men, however, 16 percent were over 55 years old. All three surveys are not representative, but the trend is clear for all of them.
|gay (j: internet <paper)||65.6||227||69.9||824||84.5|
|bisexual (j: I> P)||7.2||25th||-||-||3.0|
|gay (j: I >> P)||6.6||23||15.7||185||-|
|Multiple answers from: gay and / or gay and / or homosexual||6.4||22nd||-||-||-|
|I reject such definitions (j: I = P)||3.8||13||-||-||-|
|Multiple answer: other combinations (without gay)||3.2||11||-||-||-|
|this is not clear to me at the moment (j: I >>> P)||3.2||11||-||-||-|
|homosexual (j: I> P) (q: homo)||2.3||8th||4.0||47||11.6|
|different, namely: (cool, enchanted etc.)||1.7||6th||-||-||0.8|
Not everyone who feels same-sex attraction or has same-sex sex calls themselves gay . Among men who have sex with men , there are also predominantly heterosexual men, i.e. men who are predominantly attracted to the opposite sex who would not call themselves gay . Some people describe themselves as bisexual and among them there are those who would also enter into relationships with people of both sexes. Some bisexuals refer to themselves as gay because of the social imperative to be monosexual (→ Gunter Schmidt ) or because it is easier to talk to other people, always or depending on the situation or the topic discussed .
Older German homosexuals who grew up between 1930 and 1969 (reform of § 175 , lifting of the total ban) had to live discreetly, were particularly threatened by discrimination and criminal prosecution, often hid their own homosexuality and also fled in marriages or fictitious marriages. In particular, men from the lower social class often reject gay as a self-designation. Some former members of the circle did not want to be named at an exhibition simply because of the name of the location Schwules Museum . Some young people also reject gay because of the negative connotation that predominates in some groups, regardless of whether it relates directly to homosexuality or something else, as a self-designation and switch to other terms, including homosexual . Some reject the term because they don't want to conform to a cliché. Some men desiring men connect with gay pink furnishings, campy posturing and the like, which is actually better fag or fagot would fit. Films such as (T) Raumschiff Surprise contribute to this. “I'm not gay, I'm homosexual” can say something about the political attitude and participation in the movement, even if it is not always immediately clear what exactly is meant in individual cases. Some reject any self-designation for their sexual orientation.
Occasionally same-sex lovers are also referred to as gay , and it is thus used interchangeably with lesbian . Albert Moll mentioned this use in Berlin in 1891; in Alfred Döblin's novel Berlin Alexanderplatz , published in 1929, and at least until the 1950s, it was repeatedly used in literature for women. Even in the crooks language of the Viennese gallery there is a gay woman and a gay woman for a lesbian. The woame Schwesda (“warm sister”) can also be found in Vienna . From the homosexual action West Berlin founded in August 1971, a "gay women group" emerged in February 1972. Martina Weiland justified the choice of name with the fact that the lesbian women of the HAW “initially saw more similarities with the gay men (discrimination and joint actions against it) than with the heterosexual women.” Ina Kuckuc also justifies the name choice with the fact that they “take care of themselves of discrimination “symbolize. She also reports on the rejection of “literary word creations such as sapphic, homophile, homoerotic, because they are whitewashed”. In the mid-1970s, however, lesbian found rapid acceptance among those homosexual women who politically advocated women's emancipation . In addition to reversing the connotation of lesbian , a political demarcation from the goals and approaches of homosexual men also played a role; one came closer to the women's movement . In addition, it was first discussed in 1973 that the term gay usually only includes men. In 1975 the group of gay women was renamed the Lesbian Action Center (LAZ). The first international homosexual meeting in Frankfurt in July 1979 was deliberately not given a name linked to gay , but rather the title Homolulu , in order to give due consideration to the homosexual women who attended or should attend. In 2006, the AG Lesbenrechte titled an article about the discrimination against lesbian schoolgirls with the often used phrase “Are you gay or what?”, In the 2008 film Echte Wiener - Die Sackbauer-Saga , Mundl describes his granddaughter Petra as a warm sister , and in In a 2014 documentary, a woman describes herself as not gay .
In 2001, the male hip-hop band Fettes Brot released their single Gay Girls . She plays with the confusing contrast between the two terms. At the same time, she describes herself with the two terms that are otherwise strongly negative in relation to men in the music scene as a reaction to various attacks and the frequent negative use of these words in hip-hop.
In the current youth language, the word gay has been increasingly used as an antonym too cool in recent years . It is considered a derogatory adjective in relation to objects and facts (also with people) and does not have a specific homosexual connotation. It is used as a synonym for uncomfortable, embarrassing, strange, boring or annoying . A very general expression of dissatisfaction is expressed, for example, with “Is that gay again!”. You can say more specifically about “a gay math work”. According to Martenstein, behind this is above all the eternal pleasure of the youth in provocation, where judgmental terms often come from the area of sexuality and the socially favored is always negatively connoted, but the socially frowned upon is turned into a positive. The same mechanisms existed earlier with geil and more recently with the synonymously used adjective porno and its antonym psycho . Using it as a general adjective can sometimes be embarrassing, as was portrayed in the film Sommersturm : Without thinking about it, Ferdl asks the gay Malte at the table to pass him “the gay salt”. Only then does he become aware of whom he was saying this to, and he is visibly uncomfortable. The self-confident Malte can resolve this situation with humor. The often heard saying “Are you gay or what?” Does not always mean a question as to whether you are really homosexual, but can also come as a comment if something fails, simply in the sense of “Is it still possible?”. If the question is really answered once with “yes”, this can lead to initial confusion because it is not expected. Continuous use with a negative connotation, even if it does not directly relate to homosexuality, is especially not fun for those who are not yet or recently outed and can be inhibitory or negative for personal development, such as confiding in a friend. It can also lead to uncertainty in other everyday life, as the underlying opinion must first be clarified mentally in individual cases. In Correct and Good German published by Dudenverlag, this use, which should also be avoided in everyday language, is called discriminatory.
In addition, it is still used as an explicit swear word with which supposedly “unmanly” behavior is devalued. This can be understood as gestures assigned to women roles and the choice of words assigned to them, or “feminine” behavior in a larger context, such as how people react to a situation. The person using the word intends to delimit their own masculinity from alternative concepts of masculinity if the boundaries between masculinity and femininity are not perceived as sufficiently sharp. "Unclear dividing lines between the sexes are seen as a disruption of the gender order and disturb many in the construction of their own gender identity ." Fagot , gay pig , gay man and other variations thereof are still among the newer term victims in a non-feminine context as well most common and worst swear words among German-speaking young people. Its use is particularly pronounced and offensive in the field of hip-hop music, especially in gangster rap . There the setting was taken from reggae . A US study showed that heterosexual adolescents who are bullied with homophobic statements in school or on the way to school have the same high suicide attempt rate (around 20 percent) as LGBT adolescents, in contrast to other heterosexual adolescents without such discrimination experiences ( six percent).
Many male adolescents who desire same-sex people reject the term gay for themselves because of the often negative use in everyday life and switch to gay or homosexual as a self-designation. Some use the term itself as a derogatory adjective. People and organizations that campaign against discrimination, homophobia and anti-gay violence are currently focusing on the two topics mentioned above. In a school in Bremen , some students dealt with this topic themselves, carried out their own survey on homophobia and openly discussed homosexuality. As one of the most immediate consequences, the use of swear words in the schoolyard has noticeably decreased.
Change of connotation
In the past there were mainly negative foreign names for homosexuals, which were based on the description of sexual acts ( sodomist, pederast, florence, tribadin ). The first positive work comes from Heinrich Hössli , who spoke of the Greeks' love for men . Karl Heinrich Ulrichs introduced the terms Urning , Urninde and Uranism in 1864 and spoke of the riddle of male love . From 1870 onwards there was also talk of contrarist sexual sensation and from 1868 of homosexuality , a term that spread and became generally accepted , especially from 1886 through the medical work Psychopathia sexualis . Especially in the circles around Adolf Brand one spoke of masculine culture , masculine eros , love for friends , favorite love and enthusiasm for friendship .
Linguistic usage until the 1960s
As early as 1891, Albert Moll reported in his book Die Conträre Sexualempfichtung that homosexual men and women refer to each other as gay and that if they lived together one spoke of a gay marriage or a gay relationship . Even in 1920, the word was common in the gay world of the big city as a self-designation, even if not for everyone. The then 17-year-old Bruno Balz is said to have described himself as gay to Magnus Hirschfeld , whereupon the latter is said to have violently rejected the name, as this was a swear word “that the 'normal' use to insult and belittle 'us'; therefore 'we' have to avoid this bad word in any case. ” WH Auden reports in his English diary on April 6, 1929 that a young woman stood next to him on the tram and wanted to flirt with him. “ I wanted to make her an 18th century bow and say 'Sorry [sic] her, Madame, but I'm gay.' ”(German:“ I would have loved to bow to her in the style of the 18th century and say 'Excuse me, Madame, but I'm gay'. ”) Some referred to themselves as homophiles or homoerotes. These terms were also often used after the Second World War in the homophile movement , which wanted to adapt to the majority society as much as possible, cautiously courted tolerance and hoped for success at some point. In public parlance, homosexual people only appeared in certain contexts, the term homosexual was used disparagingly , be it in the description of an illness or to categorize criminal acts. In the 1940s and 1950s, even among homophiles, there were always attempts to find suitable and positive terms in the journal Der Kreis , of which few achieved a moderate level of awareness and none were generally accepted. The medical term homosexual was partly turned away from the fact that “in the consciousness of the majority, this word creates repulsive images and an aftertaste of perversion.” In contrast to gay , female homosexuality was also circumscribed with the slang phrase lesbian love in serious reporting homosexual women referred to as lesbians or lesbian women . This can be seen, for example, in the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court of 1957, which speaks of "male homosexuals and lesbians".
Beginning of the second wave of the gay movement, unevenness
In the Spelling Duden, gay appears for the first time in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1967 and in the GDR only in 1976 - both times with the explanation "coarse for: homosexual". (It was already included in the larger works.) Without close ties to the homophiles , a new generation grew up and tradition was radically broken. From the end of the 1960s / beginning of the 1970s, people began to consciously use gay outside of the scene and in positive contexts, sometimes as a provocation, sometimes to free themselves from the stigma ( stigma reversal ). At the same time, the clinical homosexual was often rejected , but for official names it was open and shocking enough in relation to the euphemisms used earlier and the only permitted option. In the militant beginnings, the virulent antihomosexuality was challenged, at the same time made visible and the (sometimes low) extent of the tolerance shown. From the point of view of society, the homosexual was abnormal and perverse, which the actors did not refute, but seemingly confirmed. To be gay was to insist on the difference, to be aware that one was different from others and not conforming to the preconceived ways of life. It also meant making a decision out of homosexuality, which one had been passively at the mercy of before coming out. Above all, it meant moving away from the position in which one vied for tolerance and demanding that society accept homosexuality as “what the worst antihomosexual fantasies had made of it: a perverse form that is not commensurate with normality of sexuality. ”Many conformist and homoerotes were deeply disturbed by the appearance of the gays. Nowadays things are more moderate again, no club of the two extremes has survived without switching to a more pragmatic course, but one no longer hides like in the past and does not generally use pseudonyms like in the circle .
One of the first significant mentions after the Second World War was gay in the 1970 film "It is not the homosexual that is perverse, but the situation in which he lives " . The word was subsequently used consistently in new contexts and the connotative framework was positive tried to occupy. In the media coverage, gay was initially only quoted in quotation marks, "in order to distance itself from the offensive manner of use." In the reports on the Homolulu meeting in July 1979, for example, Die Welt put scenes-related expressions in quotation marks, while the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung ( WAZ ) already used the term gay without distancing quotation marks and without negative connotation. After initial difficulties, the designation has "established itself in current usage as a designation convention for male homosexuals and is the expressly advocate self-designation of the minority".
The change in values did not take place uniformly, which allows conclusions to be drawn about social values and the tabooing of various sexual identities. In the 1980s, conflicting strategies for naming homosexual men developed. While the left-liberal press frequently used expressions such as gay or gay , conservative reporting avoided these terms. Even today, some people use the term homophile or the redundant form homosexual and lesbian . This also applies to the GDR, which had abolished Section 175 as early as 1968, but stated in the comment that “uniform sexual behavior” should be “aimed for”. And in the SED program, “combating behavior alien to the nature” was required. As usual, paraphrases such as Freundinnenkreis were used , which didn't always help, since from a point in the 1970s advertisements such as “Frau sucht Penfriend” were no longer accepted, and for a long time homosexual was avoided in the title, instead of being used as homophile the 1985 study by the interdisciplinary scientists Homosexuality at the Humboldt University, which was named on the situation of homophile citizens in the GDR .
Club names that contained the word gay were often rejected by the registry court in the past. The last such complaint by the Freudenstadt District Court on July 15, 1987 was overturned by the Rottweil Regional Court on January 14, 1988 following a complaint by the Freudenstadt gay group . It was based on an expert opinion by the Duden editorial team, which itself referred to Hans Georg Wiedemann. Because of their name, other clubs had problems getting accepted into umbrella organizations. The Landessportbund, for example, found the name of the Berlin club, then known as the gay sports club Vorspiel , offensive and refused to accept it. In 1989 the association won its membership in court. A club name without gay does not guarantee acceptance. In the year 2000 , Die Schrillmänner , RosaKehlchen and Queerflöten also had to win their membership in the Badischer Sängerbund by court order, as they were viewed as an “ethical disruptive factor” and a “threat to youth work”. The Bundesverband Homosexualität, in turn, did not integrate the word gay into its name when it was founded in 1986 , because at that time attempts were made to set up a joint association for gays and lesbians and later some mixed groups were also members.
The Green MP Jutta Oesterle-Schwerin , who has been sitting in the Bundestag since 1987 , quite naturally used the words gays and lesbians in several applications to the government regarding the legal treatment of homosexual couples , as it was in line with her position on the subject. It didn't ask anyone to use it themselves. In May 1988, the CDU MP Fritz Wittmann was indignant in a letter of protest to the President of the Bundestag Philipp Jenninger about the "wilderness of language culture". Among other things, he blamed Oesterle-Schwerin for using “the Goss-associated vocabulary” and for having “rolled it out with relish”. The self-designations were not only included in federal publications, but "to make matters worse" also in parliamentary reports, although they were "unworthy of the House of Representatives". In the same letter, he was outraged that a third-party name that he judged to be “derogatory” had been adopted: the adjectives used by the GDR were West German and West Republican in more and more official documents in the FRG .
On June 24, 1988, an application by the Greens was denied because the title was Clause 28 in Great Britain , affecting the human and civil rights of gays and lesbians . On July 1, 1988 Bundestag President Jenninger informed MPs Oesterle-Schwerin that the application could only be admitted with a modified title; "The phrase gays and lesbians" should be replaced by "the phrase homosexuals and lesbians". Headings and topics that would be put on the plenary agenda and thus attributable to the whole of Parliament should only be written in such a way that they can be accepted by all Members of the House. Quite a few colleagues do not see the terms “gay” and “lesbian” as part of standard language. The linguist Luise F. Pusch finds it interesting "that Jenninger presumes the right to censor the language even though he does not speak the language." In the reply from July 12, 1988, Oesterle-Schwerin gave him linguistic tutoring, explained her point of view and concluded with the words: “There is one thing that you will definitely not achieve: I will continue to be supported by lesbians and gays in the House and not by homosexual citizens Fellow citizens talk. ”On September 29, 1988, the Bundestag's Council of Elders spoke out against the use of the terms“ with a large majority ”. On November 11, 1988, at the instigation of the CDU / CSU, the Bundestag administration switched off the phone for the gay section of the Green parliamentary group, which was headed by Volker Beck at the time. On the same day Jenninger occurred because of an easily be misunderstood by the presentation speech back from the office of President of the Bundestag. In the meantime, Peter Gauweiler had also made statements in Bavaria that indicated that he wanted a law like Clause 28. On November 12th, Oesterle-Schwerin wrote again to the President of the Bundestag, declaring her aversion to homosexuals , but proposed, in order to encourage an early settlement, as a new application heading, impairment of human and civil rights of homosexual people by Clause 28 in Great Britain and comparable attacks On the emancipation efforts of the lesbian and gay movement in Bavaria , because the gay movement was not marked as colloquial in the large dictionary of the time and was therefore assigned to the standard language by the editors, as were most of the other word formations. Vice-President Annemarie Renger replied on November 21, 1988 that she still could not allow the motion as no new circumstances had arisen. Even if the gay and lesbian movement has passed into the standard language, “they can still not be accepted by all members of the house”. The Bundestag administration refused to even print applications with the terms gay and lesbian . Hubert Kleinert called this "language censorship by the GREEN parliamentary group". In the Bundestag session of November 24, 1988, Oesterle-Schwerin read out two further motions, which had been waiting for some time to be dealt with, in order to allow the MPs to vote on whether they could be admitted in this form. In a document was requested in the Department of Family and Social Affairs , a gay Unit and the task force policy on women a lesbian Unit set up. In the other document, funds were requested for central organizations and national measures of the lesbian and gay movement. Vice-President Renger pointed out that if adopted, the texts would be included in Section 15 and therefore the use of “such terms” was not permitted. Although she wrote the words in her letter, she used veiled paraphrases throughout the Bundestag session. As alternative proposals, she offered the homosexual movement and the homosexual lecture . Klaus Beckmann spoke out against the introduction of “fighting terms”. In the vote, a slim majority of the MPs present was against the admission of the motions in this form. Paul Hoffacker (CDU) mocked the fact that members of the SPD in the back rows had not followed the recommendation of their parliamentary management. In a press release on the same day, Oesterle-Schwerin stated: “The term 'homosexuals' proposed to us ... contains a certain attitude towards gays and lesbians: Whoever says homosexuals speaks of a 'group that we have to help' ... or the one Have a 'hard fate'. Ultimately, it's about the following: Do you accept self-confident gays and lesbians as they are and how they call themselves ... or do you talk about poor, fate-beaten homosexuals. ”The Rules of Procedure Committee decided on December 8, 1988 that the headings of templates should be written in such a way that they are suitable as official formulations of items on the agenda.
In order not to have to use homosexual and to be able to submit the application anyway, the Greens resorted to the terms Urning and Urninde, created by Karl Heinrich Ulrichs as a self-designation and now antiquated , and named the application on December 15, 1988: impairment of people and Civil rights of the British Urninge and Urninden through Section 28 of the Local Government Bill as well as comparable attacks on the emancipation of the Urninge and Urninden in Bavaria . This was followed on January 24, 1989 by a major inquiry about " sexual denunciation [...] as a means of political conflict" with a preliminary remark about the use of terms. Alternating with gay and never gescheuten term homosexuality is urning used.
Even the renewed request to use the words on October 19, 1989 was not allowed to include the words in the title. In the plenary session on October 26, 1989, this was referred to the Committee on Election Review, Immunity and Rules of Procedure, and Dieter Wiefelspütz stated in his speech: “The Bundestag's Rules of Procedure Committee has so far been of the opinion that wording in Bundestag printed matter is inadmissible if they are would be seen as a violation of order, they would be presented in the plenary session of the Bundestag. ”The debate also shows that state parliaments such as the Berlin House of Representatives and even the CSU-dominated Bavarian state parliament, which at the time seemed very conservative in terms of homosexuality, had no vocabulary problems had. There were long deliberations at various levels and the Greens finally announced that, when asked whether these words are permissible, they would, if necessary, take the judicial process, which would also interest the press. On June 3, 1990, the news finally came that the new application submitted on July 26, 1989 with the title Emancipation and Equal Rights Program for Lesbians and Gays , in which the establishment of a lesbian department in the Ministry of Women and a gay department in the Ministry of Family Affairs had been applied for and that was then even received a number that would finally be approved. In the press release of the Greens on June 4, 1990, it was said: “Parliament is expanding its vocabulary”.
Further changes in values
In the course of the discussion about the recognition of same-sex partnerships, a generally increasingly impartial use has been observed since the late 1990s. In 1999 the word was voted into the list of 100 words of the 20th century by seven jury members because it was considered particularly indicative of the century. In 1998 Skinner wrote that the word was also appearing more and more often in the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , albeit mostly in the features section . Today it is used more and more in other departments. The Society for German Language noted in 2001 that gay "is also used and understood as being largely neutral outside the gay scene".
In order to take the wind out of the sails of an emerging, possibly problematic thematization of his never really hidden homosexuality, Klaus Wowereit confidently spoke at the special party conference on June 10, 2001, the now famous words "I'm gay - and that's a good thing!" It was a taboo to be the first top German politician to admit so publicly. Ultimately, “And that's (also) a good thing!” Was chosen as the catchphrase and sentence of the year 2001. In the next election campaign, the outing was a small bonus, especially in terms of credibility with the voters.
Today, gay and its derived forms are used in official documents of the legislative and governing bodies, as well as by politicians - including some conservatives - for example in the Austrian Parliament and the German Bundestag. The word can also be found in declarations of laws or draft laws and in the titles of European Parliament resolutions. The word homosexual has so far been used only once in German-language legal texts , namely in the short title "Homosexual acts" of Section 175 (which only penalized homosexual acts by over 18-year-olds with under 18-year-olds), the "fornication between men" by Replaced in 1969. Otherwise, a more precise definition has been and is either used, the same-sex definition that had long been anchored in judicature and previously used unnaturally , or in anti-discrimination laws in general terms of sexual orientation or sexual identity . In academic papers on the subject, gay is used as a term technicus in the work and in the title, but the term is also used by some authors when the appropriate and correct opportunity is given in papers that do not deal with the narrower subject area. Even some media that are hostile to homosexuality, such as the Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost , sometimes use the self-designation in their articles at the appropriate place.
“It is thanks to your persistence, for example, that I am able to bring the words 'gay' or 'lesbian' over my lips much more easily today. In my youth these were obscene swear words, and I was surprised later that you did not give yourself another, less burdened name.
Today I have to congratulate you on that. In this way you went the more painful way; but you have set something in motion.
You have taken on insults and shame, but you are working on making the words 'gay' and 'lesbian' socially acceptable (they were socially acceptable again quickly; I mean accepted in terms of content). You could have chosen a politically correct name - something Latin or Greek perhaps? [Examples of the euphemism treadmill follow ] "
In the current dictionaries in 2008 gay bar , gay movement , gay organization , gay group , gay bar , gay being and being gay are not marked. Gayness is marked with "seldom" and gay scenes sometimes with "jargon". The adjective gay and the nouns [the] gay or [the] gay are either marked with "colloquial", "colloquial and self-designation" or not at all. In a survey on the general acceptance of taboo words carried out in April 2008 among 1,820 people aged 16 and over and published in June 2008, 63 percent said that they use the word themselves, 27 percent do not use it actively, but they do not mind either and 13 percent find it annoying or repulsive. One percent of the respondents gave no answer.
Similar changes in other languages
The English words gay and especially queer have experienced similar connotation-changing developments in their language area, which can also be found there both as emancipation words and as swear words. Gay is used in English youth language in a similar general negative meaning as in our language area gay .
- In terms of language, pompous is rarely associated with homosexuality. The successor to gay , the newer form sultry , is sometimes used in puns or when the rhyme requires it. For example in the Lila Lied , where the "purple night", rhyming with feeling, is described as sultry .
The words gay and gay have grown into numerous variations.
- The term fagot , which is mostly used insultingly, does not count as it has a completely separate etymology.
- Gayity comes from the same basic meaning “oppressively hot”, but it has a different origin and a different basic meaning. In connection with homosexuality, however, it is sometimes used as a joking secret expression and hides precisely that behind the actual meaning of discomfort . It is rarely used as a rather derogatory term for being gay.
- In the Swiss youth language there is the designation [der] Schwüggel , which is used disparagingly and not for self-designation.
- »He's gay!« - How to deal with a common swear word - Interview with Stefan Timmermanns, Der Lehrerfreund, November 2, 2010
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- Ernst Johann: German as it is not in the dictionary. H. Scheffler, 1962, p. 156.
Duden 1999, p. 3494: “gay”:
1.a) (by men) homosexual disposition, feeling
1.b) belonging to a homosexual characteristic of him; based on (male) homosexuality; z. B. gay
ethos , gay characteristics 1.c) intended for (male) homosexuals, created; z. B. gay pub, gay magazine, gay literature, gay churches, gay commercials, gay porn cinemas
2.) (rarely) lesbian ; z. B. gay women in professional life.
compare also: Duden Fremdsprachebuch, 4th ed., 1982: "homosexual":
1.) for "feeling same-sex"
2.) as "intended for homosexuals and their interests, z. B. a -e bar, -e books ".
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homosexual = […] feeling / esp. Sexual affection for the same sex. from man to man / he is h. assessed
example Austrian dictionary, 40th edition, 2006:
gay = homosexual in men see also lesbian
gays = homosexual see also lesbian
lesbian (short for) lesbian = woman with same-sex inclinations
lesbian see also gay
warm = homosexual (in men) see also gay .
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