Merriam-Webster tells us it is...
1a: happily excited : merry <in a gay mood>
b: keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits <a bird's gay spring song>
2a: bright, lively <gay sunny meadows>
b: brilliant in color
3a: given to social pleasures; also : licentious
4a: homosexual <gay men>
b: of, relating to, or used by homosexuals <the gay rights movement> <a gay bar>
For me, the meaning of being of gay is being real and honest. Knowing who you really are as a person.
I "came-out" when I was in High School around grade 11. I went to school where there were a lot of closed-minded people. They really didn't have the tools to act or respond to a gay person.
I was bullied all through those years, but there were a few people who stood by me and as a result, became very good friends. They understood my choice to "come-out" as a gay person.
For me, I said to myself "Why hide the real me ?". "Why please the people that weren't important?"
That's what I did. Dealing with homophobia everyday of my life was very challenging and sad, at times. But I surrounded myself with positive, loving, caring people.
There are two ways to go about homophobia. Either you drown yourself with tears and suicidal thoughts or you try to understand them and enlighten their ignorance. For me, I didn't feel like I had to kill myself because of their fears. That would only reinforce their behaviour towards me.
I prayed every night to God to just get me through high school and give me strength to go on, so someday I could try to educate other people who were in my position.
I use my high school experience daily, to be a strong individual. To understand and to be a better person. Back then, there weren't many resources around. Now, let's take advantage of the resources that we have, so that we can prevent the feeling of despair that I experienced.
I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW.... YOU ARE NOT ALONE !