Why do people use the phrase "gay and lesbian"? Isn't that kind of redundant? Technically, aren't lesbians also "gay"? So why not use simply "gay"? Here's the way I understand the definitions of certain terms: Homosexual -- A formal word meaning a person of either gender who is attracted sexually only to members of his or her same gender. Lesbian -- A formal term meaning specifically a female who is attracted sexually to other females. Gay -- A casual term for a homosexual (see above) and applying equally to either a male or a female So, why do people often say something like, "The audience was composed of both gays and lesbians"? OK, if lesbian refers specifically to a female homosexual, that's fine. But why don't we have a specific term for a male homosexual? It seems a little unfair to me that we don't. This post is certainly not meant to be critical of lesbians or downgrading them in any way. I'm just curious about the terminology. Thanks!