Use of the noun gay to refer to a particular person "the author is a gay" or particular people "they are both gays" is commonly considered offensive. Instead, phrases that employ the adjective are preferred, as in "a gay author," "they are both gay," etc. The noun does, however, function as a neutral or positive self-descriptor, and in its plural form is common especially in phrases with other plural nouns that relate to sexual orientation and gender identity, as in "the rights of gays and lesbians. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gay.
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List of LGBT slang terms
It has been used in various languages since the early 20th century as a means by which members of the LGBT community identify themselves and speak in code with brevity and speed to others. Because of sodomy laws and threat of prosecution due to the criminalization of homosexuality , LGBT slang has served as an argot or cant , a secret language and a way for the LGBT community to communicate with each other publicly without revealing their sexual orientation to others. During the first seven decades of the 20th century, a specific form of Polari was developed by gay men and lesbians in urban centres of the United Kingdom within established LGBT communities. Although there are differences, contemporary British gay slang has adopted many Polari words.
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