On Sunday, the NYT published a story by Jeremy Peters on why the word “homosexual” is so offensive and why it’s being phased out in certain circles. The politically correct headline speaks volumes: “The Decline and Fall of the ‘H’ Word.”
Peters, who is gay, says the h-word has never been more loaded. He quotes a Yale professor who compares the word to “colored.” He takes readers on a word journey, asking them to substitute the word “homosexual” for “gay” in a number of phrases to see how it feels. His conclusion: the word “gay” is far less “loaded.”
Sean Bugg, Executive Director of the Next Generation Leadership Foundation and longtime former co-publisher of one of Washington’s gay publications, Metro Weekly , feels similarly to Peters about the h-word. In an email this morning, he wrote, “His article is right. I despise the word homosexual. Whenever I see or hear it used, it tells me a lot about the person using it.”
But not every gay person shares their views. Blogger Andrew Sullivan, who is both gay and a long-time advocate for same-sex marriage, takes issue with anyone telling him what word to use or not and says simply: “Fuck that shit. (See? It’s good to have a blog.)”
Peters writes that the preferred word these days by GLAAD and other groups is “gay.” But here’s the thing: Sully likes the word “homo.” In a story countering Peters, he writes, “I use it all the time – about myself and others.” He admits he also uses the word “fag.”
It can’t be terribly shocking that the blogger who broke away from traditional journalism and belonging to a larger site wants his freedom in more ways than one. He says disallowing the word “homosexuality” is a clear sign of insecurity.
One word Sullivan is on board with banning: “LGBT.”
But only because he thinks the word “reeks of bullshit.”
See his entire post.