I just remembered this.
If you went through a public school system, you inadvertently learned about the birds and the bees in ways that would best be described as "colorful", "scattershot", and "from a kid with a lisp". We gather so much information about them naughty topics that it often becomes difficult to pinpoint exactly where/how we gained a particular nugget of knowledge. (I still swear I learned what "pimp" and "ho" meant while learning multiplication tables) However, last night I remembered how I first heard the term "gay" used in the way we now know and love.
It was third grade, I was nine, and our teacher Mrs. Kenny was attempting to teach us history. The subject was the US Presidents, and she basically hit on all the important ones, i.e. - the ones whose birthdays have been jumbled together for a single holiday. I.e. - Washington and Lincoln. It was a brisk lesson followed by "free time", which came up a good deal in third grade because Mrs. Kenny for whatever reason hated some combination of teaching and children.
As each student tended to their coloring or phonics homework or badly-timed boners, class badass Alex Connors walked up to the cluster of desks where I sat.
"Abraham Lincoln is gay!" he stated.
This puzzled me, as I had only heard the word used in the sense meaning happy, and I assumed this is what he was intending to imply. Not the case. It was explained to me how "gay" meant that he liked boys instead of girls. Again, this puzzled me. By Alex Connor's logic, mixed in with my lack thereof, I could only deduce that "gay" meant a person...
- Had a cool beard
- Was on the penny
- Freed the slaves
- Gave famous speeches
- Was born in a log cabin
- Wore a stovepipe hat
- Was shot by John Wilkes Boothe
- Was a good president
- Likes showtunes
Also, in retrospect Abe Lincoln seemed like a strange target for a "gay" labeling. Wasn't he like, one of the most badass guys in American history? There are at least like 42 gayer US Presidents than Lincoln, and that's just off the top of my head.
So excuse me if my current views toward homosexuality are a bit inaccurate.