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He then adds in mock doubt, "Oh, I don't know, you're rather gay on the quiet." By 1963, a new sense of the word gay was known well enough to be used by Albert Ellis in his book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Man-Hunting. in his 1964 novel Last Exit to Brooklyn, could write that a character "took pride in being a homosexual by feeling intellectually and esthetically superior to those (especially women) who weren't gay...." Later examples of the original meaning of the word being used in popular culture include the theme song to the 1960–1966 animated TV series The Flintstones, whereby viewers are assured that they will "have a gay old time." Similarly, the 1966 Herman's Hermits song "No Milk Today", which became a Top 10 hit in the UK and a Top 40 hit in the U.S., included the lyric "No milk today, it was not always so / The company was gay, we'd turn night into day." In June 1967, the headline of the review of the Beatles' Sgt.As late as 1970, the first episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show has the demonstrably straight Mary Richards' downstairs neighbor, Phyllis, breezily declaiming that Mary is, at age 30, still "young and gay." There is little doubt that the homosexual sense is a development of the word's traditional meaning, as described above.
Additionally, none of the words describing any aspect of homosexuality were considered suitable for polite society.
Consequently, a number of euphemisms were used to hint at suspected homosexuality.
Examples include "sporty" girls and "artistic" boys, all with the stress deliberately on the otherwise completely innocent adjective.
Gay was the preferred term since other terms, such as queer, were felt to be derogatory.
since the sexual orientation now commonly referred to as "homosexuality" was at that time a mental illness diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
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Well into the mid 20th century a middle-aged bachelor could be described as "gay", indicating that he was unattached and therefore free, without any implication of homosexuality. The British comic strip Jane, first published in the 1930s, described the adventures of Jane Gay.