Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Gay Beret

The term gay was originally used to refer to feelings of being "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; it had also come to acquire some connotations of "immorality" as early as 1637.
The term's use as a reference to homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the 20th century. In modern English, gay has come to be used as an adjective, and occasionally as a noun, referring to the people, practices, and culture associated with homosexuality. By the end of the 20th century, the word gay was recommended by major style guides to describe people attracted to members of the same sex.
Gay Pride, Reykjavik 
The beret seems to be the choice of headgear amongst many gay; I can only guess this is because of many gay men being more fashion savvy. I've met a number of great people thanks to wearing my beret, but also heard derogatory terms uttered under someone's breath, believing I am gay. People's minds work in many strange ways... 
Strangest of all is the continuing saga of US military personnel; the craziness of not being allowed to express your sexual identity - a (sad) joke in the rest of the western world (and not good for the military-beret industry).

1 comment:

  1. As a gay man of 65, I have to say that I haven't ever seen a trend of wearing a beret at any time in the gay community in either the US or NZ. And, not all gay men are fashion savvy; for example I'm rather hopeless at fashion. Anything different and therefore unacceptable is often called "gay" as a slur. I'll wear my beret with as much class as I can muster up and be proud if I'm called gay. But, I suspect it will be because I'm obviously a gay man rather than having anything to do with the beret on my head.