A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 08, 2019
Homo Set

"Homo” (for “homosexual") is/was an LGBTQ nickname, and the term “homo set” was used for the community. “Two ‘private’ clubs packing in the homo set (one in the Village, one uptown)” was printed in The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, NJ) on August 24, 1967. “Most transparent ads we’ve ever seen offer summer cottages in the Hamptons with wording easily translatable as pitching for the homo-set: ads include key words ‘gay,’ ‘bohemian,’ ‘artistic,’ etc. ‘to share with five other males’” was printed in The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, NJ) on March 6, 1968. Both articles were written by “Voice of Broadway” columnist Jack O’Brian (1914-2000).

“Homo set” has been infrequently used since 1980 and is regarded as offensive.

Similar names to “homo set” include “gay set,” “lavender set” and “swish set.”


(Oxford English Dictionary)
homo, adj. and n.2
colloquial (often derogatory).
A. adj.
Of, relating to, or characteristic of homosexual people (esp. men); characterized by homosexuality; (of a person) homosexual, gay.
1923 Broadway Brevities Oct. 29 A certain newspaper critic widely known for his decided ‘homo’ tendencies.
1933 E. A. Robertson Ordinary Families xiii. 271 Round about six, fifteen and twenty are the recognized ‘homo’ ages in women.
B. n.2
A homosexual man; (in weakened sense) an effeminate or affected man. Also occasionally: a homosexual woman, a lesbian.
1923 N. Anderson Hobo iii. x. 145 Some ‘homos’ claim that every boy is a potential homosexual.
1933 C. Mackenzie Water on Brain iv. 44 There’s a nasty old homo at the next table trying to catch your eye.

24 August 1967, The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, NJ), “Jack O’Brian’s Voice of Broadway,” pg. 14, col. 4:
Two “private” clubs packing in the homo set (one in the Village, one uptown) packed both in because the cops got adamant.

6 March 1968, The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, NJ), “Jack O’Brian’s Voice of Broadway,” pg. 30, col. 4:
Most transparent ads we’ve ever seen offer summer cottages in the Hamptons with wording easily translatable as pitching for the homo-set: ads include key words “gay,” “bohemian,” “artistic,” etc. “to share with five other males.”...Real Fall of Rome stuff.

7 April 1969, The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, NJ), “Jack O’Brian’s Voice of Broadway,” pg. 11, col. 3:
THE N.Y. AREA appears to have its first pirate radio station somewhere near: call-letters itself WGAY and directs its programs and pitches at the homo-set.

1 October 1971, The Star-Ledger (Newark ,NJ), “Voice of Broadway” by Jack O’Brian, pg. 39, cols. 3-4:
The homo-set. in recent conference, decided the “gay” tag is trivial ridicule and would like to be called “herosexuals”: not perverts, eh.

30 April 1972, Sunday Herald-Leader (Lexington, KY), “The VOice of Broadway” by Jack O’Brian, pg. 70, col. 3:
NEW YORK—Big crackdown’s coming on the homo set’s boys-dancing-with-boys discoteks.

31 October 1974, The Jersey Journal, “The Voice of Broadway” by Jack O’Brian, pg. 21, col. 4:
The homo-set’s ambitions to make it in the best Bdwy. theaters were deflowered when the lugubriously gay “Flowers” and the hardly euphoric “Hosanna” sought their sewer-level and went down their drains.

Google Books
Images in the Dark:
An Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Film and Video

By Raymond Murray
New York, NY: Plume
1996
Pg. 430:
Man of the Year
(1995 90min, US. Dirk Shafer)
A Spinal Tap for the homo set!

Google Books
Gendered Pasts:
Historical Essays in Femininity and Masculinity in Canada

Edited by Kathryn McPherson, Nancy M. Forestell and Cecilia Louise Morgan
Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press
2003
Pg. 165:
‘The homo set’, ‘the swish set’, ‘the lavender set’, ‘the gay set’, ‘the wrist-slapping set’, and ‘the gay boys’ were but a few of the popular combinations used to denote local gay communities.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Wednesday, May 08, 2019 • Permalink