What does gay as a maypole mean? (Red White and Royal Blue spoilers)


If you’ve made it to this post, chances are you’re currently watching or just finished watching Red, White and Royal Blue on Prime Video and have some questions about one of the movie’s many amazing scenes between Alex and Henry. Most specifically the one in which Henry tells Alex he’s as gay as a maypole.

Warning: Spoilers ahead — though if you’ve landed on this page, you’ve likely already seen the movie.

After a steamy night together in Alex’s room during an early scene in Red, White and Royal Blue, Alex and Henry share a sweet moment in which Alex shows a vulnerable side of himself in telling Henry he’s bisexual.

When he leaves space for Henry to open up about his own sexual identity, Henry replies that he’s “as gay as a maypole” which breaks the dramatic moment a bit as Alex laughs that he doesn’t know what a maypole is — and it’s not alone as many have been searching for information about the phrase following the film’s release. So what exactly does gay as a maypole mean?

RWRB explained: What does gay as a maypole mean?

The phrase “gay as a maypole” is a playful and whimsical expression used to describe someone’s strong and unabashed homosexuality. A maypole is a tall pole traditionally used in various cultural celebrations and dances, often adorned with colorful ribbons, flowers, and other ornaments as part of May Day celebrations in some cultures. The phrase “gay as a maypole” typically draws on the exuberant and festive nature of these celebrations to describe someone’s high spirits and happiness.

When someone says they are “gay as a maypole” in the context such as Henry uses the phrase, they are emphasizing the extent of their gay identity with a lighthearted and cheerful tone. It’s a way of expressing their openness and pride in being gay, highlighting their exuberance and joy in their own sexual orientation. This phrase is an example of creative language and wordplay often used to convey a sense of humor and positivity about one’s identity.

So in the context of Red, White and Royal Blue, the phrase “gay as a maypole” is used humorously by Henry as a lighthearted and affirming way to acknowledge his sexual orientation expressing that he’s proudly gay, in remark to Alex expressing his bisexual identity.

Red, White and Royal Blue is streaming now on Prime Video!

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