Men who have sex with men currently comprise about 2% of the U.S. population.
Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term was originally used to refer to feelings of being "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy". 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 as a noun, referring to the people, especially to gay males, and the practices and cultures associated with homosexuality.
Some reject the term homosexual as an identity-label because they find it too clinical-sounding; they believe it is too focused on physical acts rather than romance or attraction, or too reminiscent of the era when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Conversely, some reject term gay as an identity-label because they perceive the cultural connotations to be undesirable or because of the negative connotations of the slang usage of the word.
HIV and Aids:
Despite federal spending to combat AIDS and the ongoing efforts of the CDC, the health agency reported that between 2008 and 2010, new HIV infections increased 22% among young (aged 13-24) gay and bisexual men and 12% among gay and bisexual men overall, regardless of age. Baltimore continues to lead major American cities in the percentage of gay men infected with HIV, according to a recently released report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 38 percent of men who have sex with men in Baltimore were infected - twice the overall percentage in the 21 cities studied by the CDC in 2008.
The original rainbow flag, called the Freedom Flag, was devised by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The design has undergone several revisions since its debut with 8 colored stripes, and today the most common variant consists of 6 stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
Picture of Gilbert Baker's original Freedom Flag showing the meaning of the 8 colors.
LGBT Awareness & Events
List of important LGBT awareness dates and coming sexual diversity events.