A recent New York Times article – “The Decline and Fall of the ‘H’ Word” – made me realize that I am ambivalent about the linguistic acrobatics we have to employ in today’s civil and politically correct society. I understand that Rush Limbaugh, Scott Lively and their ilk use “homosexual” as a means of demonizing and diminishing us, but it’s still our word. If someone were to describe me as homosexual, they’d be scientifically accurate. I am a man who is sexually attracted to other men. But that’s as far as it goes. It does not speak to how I live my life, who I love, and what I believe. (I use “fabulous” for that.) As another example of accuracy: I was always a homosexual, even before I came out.
When neocons, homophobes, and religi-fascists use terms like “homosexual lifestyle” or “homosexual agenda,” they are showing their true need for a dictionary for these are empty terms, meant to do little more than incite grade-school outrage from their barely grade-school educated audience.
We took back queer, so let’s keep the word “homosexual.” It’s part of science and history.
And when I refer to Rush Limbaugh in the future, I will call him the “obese” talk show host because it’s scientifically accurate.
Stephan M., Bayside, NY