Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Problem with "Homosexual"

I've been debating writing this blog for a while now. I fear that it will come off as whining or complaining. This is a questionable fear to have anyway; after all, everyone should have the chance to complain, express hurt, and be heard, but I digress.

This blog is about the word "homosexual". There are many people that have issues with this word for many legit reasons, myself included. When someone asks me why I don't like the word when "that's just the word for it" "I don't mean it to be offensive". There I go...complaining...maybe biting a little.

I'll start, but first I need to clarify. I am not speaking for all queer/lgbtq people-only for myself.

One of the main reasons that people don't like the word is because it was created as a name for the mental illness of a person who was attracted to hir (<--gender neutral pronoun) own gender; it was coined as a disease. I may have some ailments, but my sexuality is not one. This is just one of the problems with the word. There are more, don't worry.

So I have relatives, I won't name them, who used the word "homosexual" often as I grew up and some still do; they never used it positively. I grew up with it as a curse. I can hear them say it "homa-sexuls". That's how they pronounced it; it was far from a clinical use of the word. To call someone like me a "gay man" would have been too much respect.
It wasn't just my family, it was most of the townspeople (like I live in some medieval time or something). The kids used "fag"; the adults used homosexual, but it was all the same thing.

My last reason is probably the farthest out there but just as valid. Homosexual only covers a part of who I am. I homoaffectional, hertocultural, heterospiritual, and heterosocial. I am affectionate with people (just one, really) of my own gender/sex, I am made of many different cultures, I ascribe to multiple religions, and I participate in many different social scenarios. Besides I was gay as long as I could remember...I didn't get to be homosexual until I kissed my first boy at 19.

I guess that wraps it up for now. I just wanted to vent/explain for a bit. Now when people ask me why I don't like the word, I can just give them the link to this blog.


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