Lose the “Homosexual”


Right-wing newspapers and talk show hosts insist on using the word “homosexual” rather than “gay”—and with good reason, if their goal is to subtly denigrate GLBT people. A new survey showed that the “homo” word carries a much more negative connotation than does the word “gay,” particularly with Democrats. The New York Times/CBS News poll found that support for allowing gays to serve openly in the military dropped from sixty to 44 percent when the word was switched from “gay” to “homosexual.” Like the word “Negro” in the 1960’s and 70’s, the word “homosexual” may be technically acceptable, but it still packs the wallop of the bad old days.  (May/June 2010, BTW)