From Middle English gaynesse, equivalent to gay + -ness.
gayness (usually uncountable, plural gaynesses)
- (rare, dated, uncountable) The state of being gay (colorful or festive); display or dressiness.
- 1545, Roger Ascham, Toxophilus; The School of Shooting, in Two Books, London: John Russell Smith, published 1866, →OCLC, page 124:
- And truly, at a short butt, which some men doth use, the peacock feather doth seldom keep up the shaft either right or level, it is so rough and heavy ; so that many men, which have taken them up for gayness, hath laid them down again for profit:
- 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene iii], page 87, column 1:
- Let me ſpeak prowdly: Tell the Conſtable, / We are but Warriors for the working-day: / Our Gayneſſe and our Gilt are all beſmyrcht / With raynie Marching in the painefull field.
- (rare, dated, countable) The state of being gay (cheerful); gaiety.
- (uncountable) The state of being gay (homosexual); homosexuality.
- Synonyms: homosexuality, queerness
- Hyponym: lesbianism
- 1940 January-June, Allen Bernstein, Millions of Queers (Our Homo America), [Unpublished MS of the United States National Library of Medicine], →OCLC, page 51:
- You cannot blame their gayness, their queerness, their homosexuality on sudden wealth.
- 1954 October 26, Jack Kerouac, “Jack Kerouac [Richmond Hill, New York] to Allen Ginsberg [San Francisco, California] Oct. 26, ’54”, in Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters, Penguin, published 2010, →ISBN, page 247:
- Tell Al Sublette I met a great new pianist called Cecil Taylor, [he] plays like [Oscar] Peterson gone Classical, fast runs but Brubeck-Stravinsky-Prokofieff chords, a Juilliard classicist—He, like [James] Baldwin, [is] colored, [and] I think gay,—Baldwin is gay. I don’t dig all this gayness.
- 1959 May, David McReynolds, “McReynolds Reply to [Seymour] Krim”, in Mattachine Review, volume V, number 5, Los Angeles: Mattachine Society, →ISSN, page 9:
- I doubt very much that their "gayness" had any deep sexual roots. I think it was simply an exotic form of juvenile delinquency.
- 1970, Carl Wittman, The Gay Manifesto, New York: The Red Butterfly, →OCLC, page 4, column 1:
- Those of us who have been in heterosexual marriages too often have blamed our gayness on the breakup of the marriage.
- 1999, John Corvino, Same Sex, page 185:
- Were there gay people in the ancient world, or is gayness a uniquely modern category?
- 2015, E. Reltso, Our Sex Saturated Society
- Their goal was to compel open legal recognition of their beliefs about sex and gayness as being the law in the United States.
homosexuality — See also translations at homosexuality