February 1, 2024

Deck We Now Our Gay Apparel

Whether you're dressing for a party, going to church, or getting ready to put up the Christmas tree and prepare for Santa Claus, most people wear their best clothes at some point over the holidays. This is what the song 'Deck We Now Our Gay Apparel' is about - the good times that we have wearing our best outfits.

An elementary school music teacher in Traverse City, Michigan decided to take the "gay" out of the song Deck the Halls and change it to "all of our holiday finery." The decision was met with outrage by parents on the schools Facebook page (comments have been disabled) and elsewhere. One parent said "I think that it is wrong to rob the kids of this wonderful song! By removing the word 'gay' you are making it a big deal, and one word can have many different meanings."

The word gay was used for centuries in various senses before it became associated with homosexuality in the 1930s. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary cites the line in Cary Grant's 1938 film Bringing Up Baby where the character explains to his wife why he's wearing a dress: "I just went gay all of a sudden."

The song was re-instated by the school district after the outrage, but some are wondering if it will be removed again. The principal of the school says that they are looking at other options for next year's show. If the song does go back into the curriculum, it should be accompanied by a lesson about synonyms to ensure that children don't get the idea that only gay means homosexual sex.


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