In the episode 301 "Rainforest Shmainforest" there is an organisation (a kids choir) which advocates for preserving rain-forests. The whole plot of the episode is about Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman being sent (for disrupting Mr. Garrison's lesson) to Costa Rica to perform with the choir on a conference dedicated to forests protection.

I'm trying to understand why the choir is called G.G.W.K. (Getting Gay With Kids).

The last line in the first verse of their song: "Being an activist is totally gay". Is it a reference to one of activist organisations or to activism in general? Is it even related?

P.S. Maybe my non-understanding is due to the fact that I'm not from the US. Anyway, I was unable to find any info on this topic.

  • 3
    I'm not 100% sure what you're asking, but as a long-time South Park fan I'd suggest that it's them being confrontational in the spirit of being funny and awkward. They (Trey and Matt) seem to relish in uncomfortable situations. Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 18:20
  • Added more info about the episode. Thanks to @MeatTrademark Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 18:37

2 Answers 2


As Napoleon states, the original meaning of "gay" is "happy or carefree" but nowadays refers to homosexuality.

In this South Park episode, the joke is that the choir organisation is being naive using the word "gay" when its meaning has changed. They think they are being fun and "down with the kids" when it's really the opposite.

Incidentally, there is a line in the episode where the Costa Rican president says "I'm not getting gay with any kids" further showing that only the choir organisation has missed the problem with the name.

However, the writers (Trey Parker & Matt Stone) are also making a satirical point about activism. The line "being an activist is totally gay" is using the modern meaning of "gay", but as a slur which usually means "lame or undesirable".

The choir naively thinks the line means activism is good, but the episode is really saying activism is stupid. And that's essentially what happens in the conclusion of the episode when they change the lyrics to criticise the rainforest.

  • 1
    SKYE: You're not gay, are you? ARCHIE: Gay, are you kidding? I just lost my job, I'm miserable.
    – SQB
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 9:57
  • one of the funniest episodes ever Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 20:38

While I haven't seen the episode, it may help you to know that the word "gay" once generally meant something like happy, jolly or merry and only nowadays came to more specifically mean homosexual (which is why you may usually find it used in older songs and the like and wonder what they're talking about).

Maybe the makers of South Park are playing with this double-meaning, with the choir employing the more general meaning of "gay" (i.e. "Getting Happy With Kids", "being an activist is total fun"), but which nowadays of course always comes with its more specific meaning. A meaning that the people managing the choir (and maybe everybody else in the show) don't get, or just ignore, but which is pretty obvious to anybody watching South Park.

So as usual South Park was very direct in their statements about the choir and activism in general, while at the same time not 100% direct. But all in all I would doubt that they wanted to make an honest statement about activism being gay but, as MeatTrademark already said in his comment, were just being confrontational and exaggerating for the sake of its own.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .