Difference Between Gay and Straight

Gay vs Straight

Straight is a word used for the sexual orientation of an individual and anyone who is heterosexual is labeled as straight, whether man or woman. It is considered natural for a man to be attracted towards a woman. This is why the term for this sexual orientation has been fixed as straight. The clinical term for men having physical relations with other men is homosexual, but as this term has negative connotations, gay is the term used to refer to men having sexual relations with other men. There are differences between gay and straight men that pertain to not just sexual orientation but also to other aspects of life that will be discussed in this article.


Gay is a word that has today come to refer to homosexual men though it was not always so. Till the start of the century, gay was a word that was free from such connotations, and it meant bright and happy individual who was also carefree. Gay also reflected an attitude that was light and carefree. Today, there are only gay men and the word homosexual is used only by scientists and researchers studying sexual orientation of individuals. A gay is a guy who gets attracted to people of his own sex rather than women.


Straight is a word that has always been used for heterosexual individuals, whether men or women. So a man getting attracted to a woman is considered natural, and he is labeled straight in modern times. Even a woman who is attracted to a man is called straight as against lesbian woman who has physical relations with another woman.

Gay vs Straight

• There can be three sexual orientations namely homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual. Gays are people who are homosexual though it mainly applies to men having sexual or physical relations with other men.

• Straights are people in the population who are attracted to people of the opposite sex. Thus, heterosexuals are straight people and both a man and a woman are thus straight if they are attracted towards opposite sex.

• Gay is a word that did not always mean homosexual people. It was earlier used to refer to happy, bright, and carefree individuals.

• Straight was earlier considered to be the right sexual orientation with gay people being discriminated or looked down upon.

• However, there has been greater awareness about sexual orientations of individuals and gay people are also accepted in the society.

• Gay men show effeminate qualities though not all men with feminine qualities are gay.

• In the eyes of some people, gay is a term that applies to men who have feminine qualities and who like to be penetrated in contrast to straight men who have masculine gender and who like to penetrate.