Monday, February 15, 2010

Words Hold Power: Gay vs Homosexual

I've never liked the word homosexual, and have never used it to describe myself. Gay or lesbian suit me just fine. Gay rights. That sounds good. Homosexual rights sounds like a psychotic feature out of the DSM. Apparently a lot of people agree with me. I just found this interesting article on the Care2 website.


  1. The word "homosexual" was created as a diagnostic term in the late 1800s in order to describe what was considered a mental and physical aberration. That's why the ex-gay movement still uses it -- to bolster their claims of "curing" an affliction. "Gay" is a better term because we chose it ourselves. But it is commonly understood to mean gay MEN and so excludes women. That's why, personally, I prefer "gay and lesbian" as an inclusive term or, even better because more inclusive, GLBT. Unlike the article writer, I don't mind the term "same-sex" either. I disagree that it is a clinical term in the same category as "homosexual." It's simply an easy, non-gendered, inclusive way of saying GLBT. And it's especially effective when paired with use of "opposite-sex" as the contrasting term.

  2. I have always liked the word gay...makes me happy....maybe some day there will be no need for any word to describe it..just peoples...