Question about use of term homosexual

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rikuoamero
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Question about use of term homosexual

Post by rikuoamero »

Don't say: homosexual

Why? This clinical term from the early 20th century suggests that being lesbian or gay is all about sex and is somehow disordered. Furthermore, the term has been co-opted by the religious right, who use it as a weapon against gay and lesbian people.

Instead, use: lesbian (for people who identify as women) or gay (for people who identify as men)
I have to say that when I was growing up, it was the other way around for me. The word gay was considered a pejorative, where homosexual was the politically correct term to use.

So I'm questioning your demand that only certain words be used. What if a member of this group wants to use the word homosexual?
Don't say: sexual preference

Why? This terminology implies that being non-heterosexual is a choice.

Instead, use: sexual orientation
Again, I notice that here, something is being treated as an axiom, as something that cannot be denied. (Just so you know, I accept that sexuality isn't really a choice). I do have to say that this is dangerous, since it squelches any discussion of alternatives. What if one day, there's very strong evidence that sexuality IS a choice? Will you allow it to be called such then?
So you know, I am not suggesting that we 'balance' things here (e.g. every non-choice post must be paired with a choice post).
I can probably understand your reasoning here - most such promotion of choice-sexuality is driven by religious bigotry and you don't want to allow that here. Fine. Then say that. Say that unproven bigoted responses that claim sexuality is a choice, backed up only by religious doctrine and no actual evidence, are unwelcome here. Don't just flat out ban it.

Another reason why I felt like posting this was because I am very uncomfortable when groups or people say I HAVE to use certain words, or there's a problem. It's to do with words being constantly declared non-PC, and new words and terms being introduced to replace them, only to have those words also being declared non-PC and so on and so on.
I never would have expected the word homosexual to be banned, but then again, I should have.

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Re: Question about use of term homosexual

Post by Hayven »

[color=green]rikuoamero[/color] wrote:

So I'm questioning your demand that only certain words be used. What if a member of this group wants to use the word homosexual?
If they explicitly state that, then it would be OK to use that term for that person only. Many LGBT people today find "homosexual" offensive.
[color=indigo]rikuoamero[/color] wrote:What if one day, there's very strong evidence that sexuality IS a choice? Will you allow it to be called such then?
This is like asking "what if one day, there's very strong evidence that the Earth is flat?" It's an unrealistic scenario. We know, through years of study, that sexuality isn't a choice. Any new explanation will have to account for the evidence we already have, and one based on choice is very unlikely to do that.
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rikuoamero
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Post by rikuoamero »

If they explicitly state that, then it would be OK to use that term for that person only. Many LGBT people today find "homosexual" offensive.
And what if some group of LGBT people find the term gay to be offensive? Are you going to cater for them and say "Right, the word gay is offensive, you're not allowed to use it!"? If you do...what words are we allowed to use? If not...
It seems to me here that you're picking and valuing one group of people's claims of being offended over that of another group of people. Not all LGBT people are the same. Heck, some of them don't like the term LGBTQIA+ (mainly because it's a mouthful, and it assumes that heterosexuality is the default and that those who are not heterosexual are the outliers who must identify as such. Why not simply say "I am a person" and leave it at that?).
Also, do you plan to keep tabs on which people are allowed to use the dreaded "H" word? This may sound mocking, but it's honestly the only way I can see you moderating this sub-forum when you say that only the person who "explicitly states that, then it would be OK". So if Person #1 says "I explicitly want to be able to use the word homosexual", then it's okay for him, but if Person #2 says "I'm homosexual" (without declaring a desire to use the word), does #2 get a ban or some sort of negative reaction? Why do we have to declare which words we want to use?
This is like asking "what if one day, there's very strong evidence that the Earth is flat?" It's an unrealistic scenario. We know, through years of study, that sexuality isn't a choice. Any new explanation will have to account for the evidence we already have, and one based on choice is very unlikely to do that.
I understand this. I'd probably say the same thing when it comes to creationists when I say to them "Come back when you have evidence that the world was created, evidence that accounts for everything that supports evolution too".
However, I wouldn't outright BAN the topic. I wouldn't say "Thou Shalt Not Talk About Creationism EVAR!" I'd just say "Make sure your evidence is air-tight, then we can talk"
Basically, what I'm worried about is this attitude of what seems to be dogma that cannot and ought not to be challenged. I've seen it in other atheist communities.

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Re: Question about use of term homosexual

Post by Divine Insight »

Haven wrote:
[color=indigo]rikuoamero[/color] wrote:What if one day, there's very strong evidence that sexuality IS a choice? Will you allow it to be called such then?
This is like asking "what if one day, there's very strong evidence that the Earth is flat?" It's an unrealistic scenario. We know, through years of study, that sexuality isn't a choice. Any new explanation will have to account for the evidence we already have, and one based on choice is very unlikely to do that.
I'm all for human rights and individual rights. As far as I'm concerned if a person could "choose" their sexual orientation I see nothing wrong with this. In fact, I personally feel that the LGBT community is actually playing right into the hands of religious fundamentalists when they insist that sexual orientation is not a choice. It's almost like they are "confessing" that if it was a choice this would loan support to the religious claim that it's a "willful sin".

And here's the problem I have.

To begin with I don't doubt that for some people sexual orientation is not a choice. Being extremely heterosexual myself I would suggest that my sexual orientation is not a choice. So I can certainly understand this position.

However, bi-sexual people cannot be ignored. And while a bi-sexual person could claim that they have "no choice" but to be bisexual, they would still clearly have a choice of which type of relationship to enter into.

So clearly sexual "preference" is a "choice" for some people.

I have also had conversations in the past with bi-sexual people who did not seem to be concerned about the whole "choice" thing. In fact, they were totally open to the idea that they are freely choosing to be with whomever they choose to be with. Their argument is not "defensive" against the religious claims that if this is a choice then it must be a "sin". They openly confess that they couldn't give a hoot about the religious concept of "sin".

They argue that in a "Free Society" they should be free to be with whomever they choose to be with, without being judged on that choice.

I have also heard "bi-sexual" people argue that, for them, sex is not even an issue at all. On the contrary, they argue that they seek a "person" as a partner. And whatever sex that person happens to be is totally irrelevant.

For for them it would actually be an "insult" to even suggest that their relationship are based even on "sexual orientation". Because even that implies that sex is the prime motivation for the relationship.

So I wonder, and my question would be, where do these people fit into this "LGBTQIA" picture? They are insulted by the very suggestion that their choice of a relationship has anything to do with sex at all.

I mean, the relationship itself my be sexually intimate, but what they are saying is that the choice to enter into the relationship was not based on sexual orientation at all. It was based entirely one compatibility with the other person as a person.

So actually for them, it was nether a 'sexual-orientation' or a 'sexual-preference'. Instead, any sexual issues were merely the result of two people who were attracted to each other for entirely other reasons, unrelated to sex entirely.

So how do these "bi-sexual" people fit into this LGBT picture if the LGBT community is arguing that it's "Not a Choice".

Clearly for some people it is a choice.

If it wasn't a choice there would be no such thing as "Bi-Sexual" people.

How does the LGBT deal with this? Do they reject "Bi-Sexual" people as not being part of their community?

In fact, doesn't the B in LGBT stand for "Bi-Sexual"?

Like I say, I personally stand behind everyone's right to do as they please. So for me, even the argument that they merely want to "choose" the right person to be with is totally cool.

But it just seems to me that bi-sexual people would have a hard time claiming that they don't have a choice, when the freedom to choose is high on their list.

And like I say, "What's wrong with that?"

Demanding that it isn't a choice, seems to me to be nothing more than handing the religious zealots precisely what they want on a silver platter. It's almost like an admission that if it was a choice then the argument that it's a "willful sin" would have some sort of merit and could be made to stick.
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Re: Question about use of term homosexual

Post by help3434 »

[Replying to post 1 by rikuoamero]
Don't say: sexual preference

Why? This terminology implies that being non-heterosexual is a choice.

Instead, use: sexual orientation
I disagree. People don't choose their preferences, they makes choices based on their preferences.

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Post by Hamsaka »

[Replying to post 3 by rikuoamero]
Basically, what I'm worried about is this attitude of what seems to be dogma that cannot and ought not to be challenged. I've seen it in other atheist communities.
I'm 50 years old and it's been enough time for me to see some terms and phrases go from "OK" to "not OK". In spite of the apparent inflexibility, the terms we use go in and out of phase over long-ish periods of time.

My dear Grandma who passed away two summers ago was remarkably accepting of her transgender grandson, lesbian grand daughter and her wife (who is a trans woman). But for the life of her, she just couldn't stop calling black people 'colored'. She'd turn bright red and say "I can't help it! Calling them 'colored' is what I was taught is the nicest way to talk about them!" We weren't hard one her :) well, the great grandkids were, a little.

I'm not too worried I'll use the 'wrong' term, I know where my heart is and I'm glad to be corrected because I have no interest in adding to the LGBTQ burden in this society.

Even if some folks become very upset and insist their terms 'will not be challenged' . . . . well, they will be. Maybe not directly, but these things change, we grow old and die and the next generation gets to call the shots ;) .

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Re: Question about use of term homosexual

Post by Talishi »

help3434 wrote: I disagree. People don't choose their preferences, they makes choices based on their preferences.
I think the motivation of people who say that homosexuality is a choice is that it is a volitional sin, and God has nothing to do with it.

And there are homosexuals who insist that it is not a choice, but when they say that they are actually buying into the paradigm of religious people. Their insistence of non-choice is a denial of volition. But in so doing they are accepting the world-view of religious people that homosexuality is a sin.

Truth is, when I was about eight I found myself crushing on other girls and I don't remember choosing to do so. And if you did a reboot and let me start my life over again I would choose to do the same thing, or at least hope that the same thing happened again.

So who knows? Who cares?
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Re: Question about use of term homosexual

Post by Menotu »

rikuoamero wrote:
Don't say: homosexual

Why? This clinical term from the early 20th century suggests that being lesbian or gay is all about sex and is somehow disordered. Furthermore, the term has been co-opted by the religious right, who use it as a weapon against gay and lesbian people.

Instead, use: lesbian (for people who identify as women) or gay (for people who identify as men)
I have to say that when I was growing up, it was the other way around for me. The word gay was considered a pejorative, where homosexual was the politically correct term to use.

So I'm questioning your demand that only certain words be used. What if a member of this group wants to use the word homosexual?
Don't say: sexual preference

Why? This terminology implies that being non-heterosexual is a choice.

Instead, use: sexual orientation
Again, I notice that here, something is being treated as an axiom, as something that cannot be denied. (Just so you know, I accept that sexuality isn't really a choice). I do have to say that this is dangerous, since it squelches any discussion of alternatives. What if one day, there's very strong evidence that sexuality IS a choice? Will you allow it to be called such then?
So you know, I am not suggesting that we 'balance' things here (e.g. every non-choice post must be paired with a choice post).
I can probably understand your reasoning here - most such promotion of choice-sexuality is driven by religious bigotry and you don't want to allow that here. Fine. Then say that. Say that unproven bigoted responses that claim sexuality is a choice, backed up only by religious doctrine and no actual evidence, are unwelcome here. Don't just flat out ban it.

Another reason why I felt like posting this was because I am very uncomfortable when groups or people say I HAVE to use certain words, or there's a problem. It's to do with words being constantly declared non-PC, and new words and terms being introduced to replace them, only to have those words also being declared non-PC and so on and so on.
I never would have expected the word homosexual to be banned, but then again, I should have.
Words and terms words and terms....we are, as a society, so much more concerned with what we call each other (or want to be called) that we forget how we should be treating each other.
Sad really.

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