The H-Word

Several readers have tried to convince me that I don't actually find the word "homosexual" hurtful.  I don't know why they think they know more about my feelings than I do.  They have never met me, never done any sort of psychological analysis.  Besides, why would I say that I find it hurtful when it doesn't?  Just for fun?

I don't know why they care so much.  How does it hurt them to respect my wishes?  Even if I did say "You've convinced me, I was mistaken.  I don't find the term hurtful at all," how would that affect the quality of their life?  

Even if I was the only person in the world to find the term hurtful, how does it hurt them to avoid using it?  If someone told me "I am triggered by the word 'scarlet.'  It causes me pain.", I wouldn't say "No, you're not.  You are mistaken."   I would simply refrain from using it in their presence.  

But I am not the only person in the world to find the term hurtful.  In fact, the LGBT people who don't find it hurtful are in the minority.  If you don't believe me, check out these articles:

From "The Week": "Why the word 'homosexual' is offensive'

From "The New York Times": The decline and fall of the h-word.

From "Psychology Today": Why is the word homosexual offensive?

From "LGBT All":  LGBTQ Terms to Avoid"

Do's and Don'ts Around Gender and Sexuality (Ole Miss)

Increasing LGBT Cultural Competence.

Allyship (U of Missouri Rolla)

LGBT Vocabulary (U. of Southern Utah)


  1. Both 'gay' and 'homosexual' are bigoted terms. Better not to use any denomination, neither for same-sex loving people nor for opposite-sex loving people, as it was for most of human history until the second half of the 19th century, when everything started to get even worse thanks to the segregation caused by labeling our feelings.

    1. We see things starting to get better in Europe and America during the late 19th century, with sodomy being legalized in Prussia and France, and moving from a capital offense to incarceration in Britain and the U.S., plus the rise of the first gay neighborhoods.

  2. I prefer "administrative assistant."

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