No joke. My middle name is Gay. Every little girl's nightmare. I remember as a child, I would be teased by the kids at school for having the middle name, "Gay". They would joke and say that I was gay (homosexual), because my middle name was Gay. I would try to hide my embarrassment, by telling myself that my middle name was actually "Gayle". You know, like Oprah Winfrey's best friend, Gayle King. My mom would tell me that the name Gay was a nice name back in the day (I was born in the mid-60s). I was always ashamed of my middle name, and would try to hide it. My mom had a friend who's first name was Gay. I remember having a special bond with her, in name only. I remember watching reruns of "The Flintstones"cartoons, listening to the theme song that promised, "you'll have a gay old time" when you're with the Flintstones. I tried to make peace with my middle name, but it didn't come for a long time.
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with being homosexual. It's just that back then, homosexuality was not as accepted as it is now. Kids have teased each other based on their name or nickname, or middle name for ages (and they most likely always will). My husband's nickname was "Aggie". You can just imagine what the kids did with that one.
According to Mirriam-Webster's dictionary, the first and second definitions of "gay" are, HAPPILY EXCITED (as in merry), KEENLY ALIVE AND EXUBERANT, HAVING OR INDUCING HIGH SPIRITS. It can also mean, BRIGHT & LIVELY and BRILLIANT COLOUR. (On the other hand, gay can also be another word for a homosexual.)
As I have matured, I have become to appreciate the original meaning of gay, as happily excited, keenly alive, exuberant, and having high spirits. My middle name has become one of my mottos in life. I like to live life with a positive, upbeat outlook. I want to live life with exuberance. Life is so short, so why not choose to live it with high spirits. I love to fill my life with bright, lively and brilliant colours. I guess you could say that "Gay is my middle name".
Have a wonderful day!
-- Angela Gay Gentile