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Dear Washington Post, please stop calling me a "homosexual"
Americablog.com ^ | 7/05/07 | John Aravosis

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda; mentalillness; wp
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So apparently I can now offend homosexuals by calling them homosexual.
1 posted on 07/06/2007 4:19:19 PM PDT by tuesday afternoon
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To: little jeremiah; wagglebee

Ping.


2 posted on 07/06/2007 4:19:57 PM PDT by tuesday afternoon
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To: tuesday afternoon

More Orwellian BS.


3 posted on 07/06/2007 4:21:23 PM PDT by Radix (The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race)
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To: tuesday afternoon

It’s the correct, clinical term.

Apparently, this person is unwilling to deal with reality.


4 posted on 07/06/2007 4:21:59 PM PDT by Keith in Iowa (A dyslexic, agnostic insomniac asks, "Is there a doG?")
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To: tuesday afternoon

That’s a rather Queer opinion.


5 posted on 07/06/2007 4:22:19 PM PDT by JohnD9207 (Lead...follow...or get the HELL out of the way!)
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To: tuesday afternoon
Is fruitcake OK?
6 posted on 07/06/2007 4:22:39 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Now with an improved red neck!)
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To: tuesday afternoon
So apparently I can now offend homosexuals by calling them homosexual.

And I intend to do so at every opportunity.

7 posted on 07/06/2007 4:22:46 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: tuesday afternoon

So Queer or Fag is ok?


8 posted on 07/06/2007 4:22:54 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: tuesday afternoon
So apparently I can now offend homosexuals by calling them homosexual.

Yeah. That's just soooo gay!

9 posted on 07/06/2007 4:23:49 PM PDT by null and void (A large gov't agency is more expensive than a smaller agency with the same mission, yet does less)
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To: tuesday afternoon

So, is Homo right out?


10 posted on 07/06/2007 4:24:07 PM PDT by poinq
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To: tuesday afternoon

faggot


11 posted on 07/06/2007 4:24:12 PM PDT by toddlintown (Six bullets and Lennon goes down. Yet not one hit Yoko. Discuss.)
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To: tuesday afternoon

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.


12 posted on 07/06/2007 4:24:20 PM PDT by Theresawithanh (With an F, and an R, and an E, and a D, and an F-R-E-D...FRED!!!!!!!!)
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To: tuesday afternoon

I like the Simpsons. Does that make me homersexual?


13 posted on 07/06/2007 4:24:21 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: tuesday afternoon
But they called us "homosexuals" throughout the piece, and that's not great. It's degrading and offensive and archaic.

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.

14 posted on 07/06/2007 4:24:22 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Sic Semper Tyrannis * U.Va. Engineering '09 * Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Democrat * Fred in 2008)
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To: tuesday afternoon
Aren't they supposed to be called “poofers”?
15 posted on 07/06/2007 4:24:48 PM PDT by Mark was here (Hard work never killed anyone, but why take the chance?)
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To: All
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.

In plain language, this professional homosexual is full of crap.

16 posted on 07/06/2007 4:25:05 PM PDT by dighton
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To: toddlintown

Turdburgler?


17 posted on 07/06/2007 4:25:05 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: tuesday afternoon

Fag.


18 posted on 07/06/2007 4:25:09 PM PDT by svanni
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To: tuesday afternoon

Very gay.


19 posted on 07/06/2007 4:25:21 PM PDT by NucSubs (Rudy Giuliani 2008! Our liberal democrat is better than theirs!)
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To: tuesday afternoon

No, not the “H” word!


20 posted on 07/06/2007 4:25:21 PM PDT by TonyM (E)
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To: tuesday afternoon
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.

Homosexuals do have a psychological problem!


21 posted on 07/06/2007 4:25:33 PM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: tuesday afternoon

I can think of a whole lot of other terms if they prefer. I just can’t post them on FreeRepublic.


22 posted on 07/06/2007 4:25:43 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (When toilet paper is a luxury, you have achieved communism.)
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To: tuesday afternoon

Excuse me but gay used to mean cheerfully happy but that didn’t stop homosexuals from corrupting the word. They are what they are.


23 posted on 07/06/2007 4:25:46 PM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light..... Isaiah 5:20)
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To: tuesday afternoon

“And while gays were once thought to be mentally disturbed - that all changed in 1973”

No it did not. Faggots are still mentally disturbed.


24 posted on 07/06/2007 4:26:10 PM PDT by gate2wire
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To: toddlintown

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”.


25 posted on 07/06/2007 4:26:30 PM PDT by NucSubs (Rudy Giuliani 2008! Our liberal democrat is better than theirs!)
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To: tuesday afternoon
Calling them "gay" when they are the most violent depressed group of people that I've ever met is incorrect but it sounds nice. On the other hand, homosexual is what they are and very descriptive which means that by using that descriptive, they cannot hide from themselves and others what they are.
26 posted on 07/06/2007 4:26:47 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past

Maybe they’re “festive”.


27 posted on 07/06/2007 4:27:05 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: tuesday afternoon

Sodomite comes to mind.


28 posted on 07/06/2007 4:27:54 PM PDT by mountainlyons (Hard core conservative)
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To: WorkingClassFilth

Or “cupcake”?


29 posted on 07/06/2007 4:28:06 PM PDT by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: tuesday afternoon
If you don’t want to be referred to as a John Edwards, don’t act like a John Edwards.

It’s really quite simple.

30 posted on 07/06/2007 4:28:10 PM PDT by Dr.Zoidberg (Mohammedanism - Bringing you only the best of the 6th century for fourteen hundred years.)
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To: tuesday afternoon
In the same way that I still hear friends use the word "oriental."

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....

31 posted on 07/06/2007 4:28:45 PM PDT by randog (What the...?!)
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To: tuesday afternoon
Dear Washington Post, please stop calling me a "homosexual"

Alright.

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.

Better?

32 posted on 07/06/2007 4:29:08 PM PDT by Lazamataz (JOIN THE NRA: https://membership.nrahq.org/forms/signup.asp)
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To: tuesday afternoon

Poofter? Nancy Boy? Temperamental?


33 posted on 07/06/2007 4:29:21 PM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: tuesday afternoon

Homophobic is an offensive term.

I am not scared of homosexuals.

I demand a word change.


34 posted on 07/06/2007 4:30:23 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: tuesday afternoon
One of the many travesties of this perversion is to corrupt the perfectly good word “gay.”

I think some of these perverts would prefer that just about every word in the language referred to their deviant lust-based relationships.

35 posted on 07/06/2007 4:30:37 PM PDT by unspun (Acknowledgment of God affords life, popular & national sovereignty, liberty, responsibility)
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To: tuesday afternoon

Truth offends them.


36 posted on 07/06/2007 4:30:44 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Global warming? Hell, in Texas, we just call that "summer".)
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To: doc1019

Not unless they slathered in frosting.


37 posted on 07/06/2007 4:30:46 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Now with an improved red neck!)
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To: tuesday afternoon
So apparently I can now offend homosexuals by calling them homosexual.

I have no problem calling them fags if it would please their prostates..

38 posted on 07/06/2007 4:31:02 PM PDT by Anticommie
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To: tuesday afternoon
It's degrading and offensive and archaic...

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."

Homo.

39 posted on 07/06/2007 4:31:25 PM PDT by LasVegasMac (I've reached the age where happy hour is a nap.)
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To: tuesday afternoon

Dear John Aravosis, please stop being a “homosexual”


40 posted on 07/06/2007 4:31:50 PM PDT by svanni
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To: tuesday afternoon

Then they have to stop using the word “gay”. That’s our word. Not theirs’.


41 posted on 07/06/2007 4:33:26 PM PDT by freekitty
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To: tuesday afternoon

What if I don’t like being called straight?

And I don’t.

Mrs VS


42 posted on 07/06/2007 4:33:39 PM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
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To: Lazamataz

Yeah or the short form....Don’t mo me.


43 posted on 07/06/2007 4:34:05 PM PDT by xp38
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To: tuesday afternoon

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’!


44 posted on 07/06/2007 4:34:40 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: cripplecreek

I love Tony Romo. Does that make me a Romosexual?

Answer: Not quite yet LOL


45 posted on 07/06/2007 4:35:02 PM PDT by SaintDismas (.)
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To: tuesday afternoon

They successfully redefined the word GAY, wonder if they’ll succeed with the word homosexual.

Sodomite is quite accurate imo.


46 posted on 07/06/2007 4:35:24 PM PDT by tutstar (Baptist Ping list - freepmail me to get on or off.)
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To: dighton

“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.

Grieviously.


47 posted on 07/06/2007 4:35:41 PM PDT by elcid1970
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To: Nightshift

ping...


48 posted on 07/06/2007 4:36:11 PM PDT by tutstar (Baptist Ping list - freepmail me to get on or off.)
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To: VeritatisSplendor
What if I don’t like being called straight?

And I don’t.


How about a member of the overwhelming majority of the world population?
49 posted on 07/06/2007 4:36:29 PM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: tuesday afternoon
HOMOSEXUAL
50 posted on 07/06/2007 4:36:32 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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