Difference between Gay and Straight

Key Difference: Gay is a term given to the people who practice homosexuality. Whereas, straight is a slang term used for heterosexuals.

The term ‘Gay’ was originally used to refer to feelings of being "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy". In the 20th century, the term attained great importance as the title for homosexuals. It is being used for people who get sexually attracted to others of their same gender. People who practice homosexuality are known as ‘Homosexuals’ or ‘Gays’. Generally, the term 'Gay' was used for male homosexuals; later, it began to use for both males and females. Homosexuality, along with bisexuality and heterosexuality, are the three main categories of sexual orientation.

Heterosexual people are known as ‘straight’. It means that it is a slang term used for the people who get attracted to people of the opposite sex. Unlike gays, straights do not get sexually or romantically attracted to people of the same gender. Majority of the human civilization consists of straight people i.e. a couple consists of a male and a female partner. However, some heterosexuals may get attracted to people of the same-sex as well.

The differences between gay and straight can be pointed out as follows:





It is a term used for people who get attracted to people of the same gender. It is a title given to the homosexual people.

It is a slang term used for people who get attracted to people of the opposite sex. It is used to differentiate heterosexual people from people of other sexual orientations.


People who get attracted to the same sex. Mainly used for males but includes females as well.

People who have a sexual relationship with and/or experience attraction towards people of the opposite sex.

Applies to

Both, males and females.

Both, males and females.


Some people discriminate against gays. However, stringent laws have been made in many countries to safeguard the rights of gays.

Majority of people in the world are heterosexual and because of this they usually aren't discriminated against.

Sexual Relations

With the people of same sex/gender. Gays do not get attracted to straight people.

Straight people have sexual relationships with people of the opposite sex. However, it has been seen that few straights also have been in a same-sex relationship.


Conceiving a baby requires two people of the opposite sex; and due to this reason gays cannot have their own children. However, many gay couples have adopted children and other medical ways to have the joy of their own family.

Heterosexuality includes people of opposite sexes as a couple; and this makes it easier for a straight couple to start their own family by giving birth to a child/children.


Gay relationships and marriages are legalized in many countries; however, there are still a large number of countries that do not allow legalization of gay couples.

Straight relationships and marriages are legalized and respected all over the world.

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