The Decline and Fall of the ‘H’ Word

  • metta

    Posts: 39104

    Mar 23, 2014 3:29 AM GMT
    The Decline and Fall of the ‘H’ Word

    For Manys Gays and Lesbians, the Term ‘Homosexual’ is Flinch-Worthy

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/fashion/gays-lesbians-the-term-homosexual.html
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Mar 23, 2014 3:46 AM GMT
    So are most lesbians comfortable that "gay" is the general term? I know if I used "homosexual," it's because I wanted to be inclusive of lesbians, as I was under the impression gay refers to males.
  • Kazachok

    Posts: 415

    Mar 24, 2014 1:41 PM GMT
    Well I use the word "homosexual" rarely, and strictly as an adjective. For me, there are no "homosexuals" as nouns. Plus the word has an unpleasant smell of 19th century psychiatry. Yuck.
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    Mar 24, 2014 1:56 PM GMT
    Our English language can evolve very quickly. There was a time when writing style guides for publications said "gay" was unacceptable slang, and the correct word was "homosexual". Editors at newspapers & magazines would remove "gay" as slang, just as they did with other colloquialisms and slang, replaced by more "professional" terms.

    I remember a Jay Leno Tonight Show "Headlines" from the 1990s, showing a newspaper noting the August anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan. The B-29 aircraft that dropped the bomb was named the "Enola Gay" after the pilot's mother. But the headline was edited to say:

    "50th Anniversary of Enola Homosexual Bombing of Hiroshima" icon_eek.gif

    Nowadays it appears they would have gotten the headline correct.
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    Mar 24, 2014 2:09 PM GMT
    I still use homosexual because it's quicker and easier than gays and dykes or gays and lesbians as they're evidently two separate entities.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Mar 24, 2014 9:15 PM GMT
    It`s an endless game, the evolution of language and associated meanings and values.


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    Mar 24, 2014 9:25 PM GMT
    The word has fallen out of favor because it became the choice of a certain segment of people in the debate on gay rights. When you see a post on fb, a tweet, a comment to a story on a news site or forum, or someone on cable news saying "homosexual rights" instead of "gay rights," or "homosexual marriage" instead of "gay marriage" or "same-sex marriage," or "the homosexual agenda" instead of the already problematic "gay agenda," with very little exception you knew where the person stands on gay rights and it is not one of support. It often even seems the choice of the word is intentional in order to stress their disapproval. It's too bad, because there once was appropriate uses for the word.
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    Mar 24, 2014 9:34 PM GMT
    Unfortunately it's become very difficult for people to keep up with what is considered non-offensive.

    There are still debates on whether queer is offensive or empowering.

    I worry much more about context rather than the specific words used. It's pretty easy to tell when someone is trying to be malicious.


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    Mar 24, 2014 9:50 PM GMT
    creyente saidUnfortunately it's become very difficult for people to keep up with what is considered non-offensive.

    There are still debates on whether queer is offensive or empowering.

    I worry much more about context rather than the specific words used. It's pretty easy to tell when someone is trying to be malicious.




    Agree. I would be offended to be called gay, but I generally correct folks with regards to me in that I prefer queer, homo or fag .... all terms of endearment.

    icon_wink.gif