S is for:

Same-sex attracted You’re not -˜gay’, you’re -˜same-sex’, said a drunk but well-meaning fellow passenger on a Star staff member’s recent interstate flight. Actually, he responded, I really am gay.

The language of homosexuality -“ and debates about the value or otherwise of the word queer -“ have kept regular Star letter writers busy in recent weeks.

But what of this newcomer to the GLBTIQ alphabet: S for same-sex attracted or simply same-sex? This title has snuck in through the back door and into popular usage, particularly among supportive straight people, who know that gay is not inclusive and homosexual is too daggy and weird.

The inclusion of attracted makes it relevant for young and/ or closeted people who haven’t actually started rooting around yet.

For what it’s worth, an author on Wikipedia.org thinks it’s more about potential bisexuality: Same-sex attraction focuses on spontaneous feeling, but de-emphasises identification with a demographic or cultural group, and also leaves open the possibility for co-existing opposite-sex attraction.

Singles From diehard activists to radical conservatives, the debate over gay relationship recognition has angered just about everyone in recent months. Everyone, that is, except those with the most right to be angry of all.

As their happily paired-off counterparts demanded their rights, singles retained a dignified silence. In fact, they had good reason to be the most vocal. Gay couples may not be able to walk down the aisle in Australia just yet, but they’re well ahead of their single friends.

As in the straight world, advertisers courting the gay community generally target couples, portraying blissfully content pairs, with little space for solo acts. At the same time, activists bleat about the need to recognise a range of relationships -“ singles not included.

Why have unpartnered gays not spoken up and urged acknowledgment too? Because they can’t believe their luck.

The endless compromise of being half of a couple? No need to worry. The strain of monogamy or the drama of an open partnership? Not an issue. The absolute freedom, all of the time? Bring it on.

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