Skip to comments.Dear Washington Post, please stop calling me a "homosexual"
Posted on 07/06/2007 4:19:18 PM PDT by tuesday afternoon
The Washington Post published a pro-gay editorial today about marriage. And that's great. But they called us "homosexuals" throughout the piece, and that's not great. It's degrading and offensive and archaic.
I've written about this before, and some have disagreed. But I'd argue that those who disagree don't understand the nuance of language or of this particular phrase. Ask any gay person, regardless of whether they agree or disagree that the word "homosexual" is archaic and offensive, whether they use the term "gay" or "homosexual" to described themselves. I.e., "I'm gay" or "I'm a homosexual." Just ask them. Unless they're living under a rock, gay people rarely if ever use the word homosexual. (My gay-friendly straight friends, however, use the term all the time. In the same way that I still hear friends use the word "oriental.")
Why? First, because it's become archaic. Usage changes, and just as Negro and colored changed to black and African-American, just as oriental gave way to Asian, homosexual has become gay. But second, and more importantly, the word homosexual is offensive in the same manner as negro and oriental. Sometimes archaic words sting. In the case of homosexual, I think the main problem is three-fold. First, the clinical nature of the term. It's a scientific word that mildly dehumanizes gay people by suggesting that they have a medical or psychological condition. Second, the words "homo" and "sex." Both words connote something negative, or at least something that shouldn't be spoken out loud, to a lot of Americans. Third, and most importantly, homosexual is the word the religious right uses expressly and uniquely in an effort to dehumanize gays. Anti-gay religious right activists have said publicly that they will not use the word "gay" - rather, they insist on using "homosexual." Why? Because for some reason or another they figure that the word homosexual helps their cause. And while I don't agree with the religious right on many things, their ability to gay-bash swiftly and effectively is unqestioned. If they think the word gay helps us and the word homosexual hurts us, who am I to argue?
Again, I don't mean to opinionated about it, but if you don't hear the negative nuance in the word homosexual, it's either because you're not listening, or more likely, you don't have an ear for language. There's a reason that colored and Negro and oriental weren't offensive terms years ago, yet are today. The nuance of words changes over time. And while gays were once thought to be mentally disturbed - that all changed in 1973 - the language has not changed since that time.
It's time it did.
PS Don't believe me? Read what a communications professional has to say about this. (Actually, I hadn't read his piece until after I wrote mine, but the logic is remarkably similar.) Also, check out this recent editorial in the lead gay newspaper in the US.
More Orwellian BS.
It’s the correct, clinical term.
Apparently, this person is unwilling to deal with reality.
That’s a rather Queer opinion.
And I intend to do so at every opportunity.
So Queer or Fag is ok?
Yeah. That's just soooo gay!
So, is Homo right out?
To the author of this piece: I do have an ‘ear for language’ after having worked as a medical transcriptionist almost the entire 35 years of my working life, and there is nothing offensive about the term homosexual.
I like the Simpsons. Does that make me homersexual?
Homosexual is quite appropriate, but the homosexuals don't like to hear it because it exposes them for who they really are. Their lobby can hide behind the other terms, but they can't hide behind the real, medical descriptor: homosexual.
In plain language, this professional homosexual is full of crap.
No, not the “H” word!
I can think of a whole lot of other terms if they prefer. I just can’t post them on FreeRepublic.
Excuse me but gay used to mean cheerfully happy but that didn’t stop homosexuals from corrupting the word. They are what they are.
“And while gays were once thought to be mentally disturbed - that all changed in 1973”
No it did not. Faggots are still mentally disturbed.
I think that is the other extreme and makes us look bad. Homosexual is a better way of ignoring their euphemism and reclaiming the word “gay”.
Maybe they’re “festive”.
Sodomite comes to mind.
It’s really quite simple.
Evidently I missed the memo. What do they want to be called--"Asian"? I thought "Asians" was now reserved for muslims, or arabs. Can we call them arabs anymore? I don't hear that term much anymore--is it still kosher?
Uh-oh, now I've done it....
You're a pillow-biting tumblebunny, a real screamer, a "Whoops! Get away! Don't mind me!" limp-wristed, perfume-drenched, legwarmer-wearing pansy and an evil perverter of innocent little boys.
Poofter? Nancy Boy? Temperamental?
Homophobic is an offensive term.
I am not scared of homosexuals.
I demand a word change.
I think some of these perverts would prefer that just about every word in the language referred to their deviant lust-based relationships.
Truth offends them.
Not unless they slathered in frosting.
I have no problem calling them fags if it would please their prostates..
Sun comes up - it's called "daylight."
If the moon is shinning, it's called "nighttime"
And you are a "homosexual."
Don't like the name?
How about, "Twink, faggot, fag, gay boy, fudge packer, hershy highway driver, etc........"
How does that old saying go, "You made your bed, no go sleep in it."
Dear John Aravosis, please stop being a “homosexual”
Then they have to stop using the word “gay”. That’s our word. Not theirs’.
What if I don’t like being called straight?
And I don’t.
Yeah or the short form....Don’t mo me.
Be careful what you wish for...
Correspondent: Mrs Truman, could you get the president to stop saying ‘manure’ so much?
The First Lady: Honey, it took me thirty years to get him to say ‘manure’!
I love Tony Romo. Does that make me a Romosexual?
Answer: Not quite yet LOL
They successfully redefined the word GAY, wonder if they’ll succeed with the word homosexual.
Sodomite is quite accurate imo.
“this professional homosexual is full of crap”
Yeah, in more ways than one. After all, it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.
As a student of the English language, I deeply resent how more than forty years ago homosexuals brutally hijacked the once-pleasant word `gay’, which used to mean `happy, carefree, lighthearted’, and often described those meetings and occasions when a man and a woman met and fell in love with one another.
Tread carefully, FReepers. Gays own this debate and can make their opponents suffer.
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