Georgia cattle farmer Gene King has always been someone who likes to get things done. Of course, he thought he had dotted all of his i’s and crossed all of his t’s when he applied for a special opportunity from Uncle Sam. However, unfortunately, things didn’t go well with his application for one very odd reason: you see, Mr. King has an address that the federal government deems to be too offensive for him to get his special permit. You see, Mr. King wasn’t initially able to get a special interstate transport license because his town made the individual reviewing the application blush and they slapped down the reject stamp.
You see, Gene King is a proud resident of Gay, Georgia. And no, the name doesn’t mean what you think it means. Frankly, that’s probably why Mr. King doesn’t have a problem with living in Gay and doesn’t think you need to have a problem either living in it or visiting it either.
For your information, Gay, GA got its name because it was named after a former postmaster named William F. Gay who lived in the remote area in the 1880s. Even though the name only has just over 80 residents as of the 2010 census, and is in Meriwether County, Georgia, it certainly wasn’t meant to contain a description for someone’s sexual orientation. Of course, for a time the town was also called “Sasserville”, so it’s possible that there is more history to this than one might think. However, Gene King will still defend his tiny little hamlet.
“Nobody has a problem with being in Gay, Georgia,” King said in an interview.
“I don’t have a problem living in the town. But apparently, the USDA has a big problem with Gay, Georgia.”
Of course, there is no question that Mr. King is proud to be a Gay farmer, but he definitely will be the first to admit that it can be funny to explain to others just where he comes from. However, things certainly got serious when he couldn’t get his special ID, called a Premises Number, because of the name of his hometown. He was pretty crestfallen, to say the least.
“The reviewer said that the automated system keeps kicking it out because the name is an offensive word and it simply won’t accept my application because of that one word,” King said. It seems that the USDA has banned the word “Gay” on all of their applications, and no, they won’t make an exception for King even though he has tried to ask. The officials at the USDA even requested that King should lie on the application and simply say he lives in “Bay, GA” instead of “Gay, GA”!
“I said no, I wouldn’t submit it as Bay instead of Gay. I want to tell the truth and keep it as Gay, Georgia,” Gene King said. “After all, that’s where I live. However, she said, do you want a number or not?” King added when he recalled his conversation with the government employee.
Of course, the USDA thought they should do some damage control in regards to Mr. King’s predicament, so they issued the following statement:
“This premises allocation number was originally developed in the early 2000s to be used for the National Animal Identification System. At the time, we had limited technology available, and the program was also fairly contentious. IT developers were a bit disturbed about the possibility of pranksters creating “bad” premises IDs as a way to show there is a problem with the program or the IT systems. Thus, they created a word database of several examples that had bad connotations that would never be allowed in this system.”
Of course, this all begs the question, what are they going to do with Gene King’s application? Is he going to have to move his farm to somewhere that isn’t Gay (no pun intended)? Should he have to at all? Have your say below!