How did fruit ever become a derogatory term for gay men?

The origins of “fruit” as slang for gay men are complex and unfortunately rooted in negativity. While the exact origin is unclear, several theories suggest its emergence from discriminatory attitudes:

Through my research, as limited as it may be I found some pretty interesting things I knew nothing about.

i.e. The Fruit Machine: The Homosexual Detector.

Yes, yes it is a real thing.

Created by Frank Robert Wake to help identify gay men who were referred to as ( Fruits ) during the 50’s and 60’s in a campaign to eliminate all gay men from the civil service.

This is a complete assumption on my part! Is this where the term Gaydar is derived? Whaaaat!?

What a freakin treat. idiots.

I also found a 1998 play on the Fruit Machine Project link below.

Brian Drader is a Canadian stage actor and playwright. He is best known for his plays Prok, about Alfred Kinsey and Clara McMillen, and The Fruit Machine, about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s controversial 1960s fruit machine project to identify homosexual people.

A documentary film by Sarah Fodey, link below

The Fruit Machine is a 2018 Canadian documentary film, directed by Sarah Fodey. The film profiles the “fruit machine”, a controversial device used by the Canadian government in the 1950s and 1960s in an attempt to identify LGBT employees and disqualify them from the civil service, and its effects on the people whose lives and careers were disrupted or destroyed by 

Though, as far as where the derogatory term ( fruit ) was first used seems to be unknown. There are a lot of stories and assumptions of when and where, but nothing that could be confidently nailed to a time, place, and who.

Most of my finding seems to point to Britain as far back as the 19th century. IDK and who knows if we will ever know.

I used to think that “Owning” derogatory words would minimize the effect and hold on us ‘ as the victim of the slang ‘ but I am finding that it’s probably a little more complicated than I thought it was.

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