switch/shift gears

  • It can mean:
    1) Figuratively, to change a topic of discussion (most common).
    2) Change one's pace and do something differently (as you said)
    or 3) Literally to change gears of an engine

    Can it be used to refer someone who is "gay" or a "transexual"??
    I've heard it somewhere that it is used to call someone who's gay or something like that. I could be wrong,though.
    One, transexual is a word that should be generally avoided unless you know what you are talking about. It is not politically correct to just apply it to anyone who does not conform to "expected" gender norms.

    Two, I have never heard this phrase used to express being gay or transgender.