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Americans more supportive of ‘gay men and lesbians’ than ‘homosexuals’

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  1. I don’t want to tarnish all Americans with the same brush but ‘rolled up eyes to sky’

  2. I have always hated the word homosexual, I guess because of the way bigots the word in disgust. I do prefer gay or as I put it I’m a man who happens to be gay.

  3. People respond emotionally and irrationally to language and often use it in a similar way. This is one reason why all opinion surveys must be approached with great caution. Generally figures supporting or opposing a view should only be trusted when shown to be reasonably consistent over time, and through different studies and sample groups and with questions put in slightly different ways.

  4. Christine Rourke 16 Feb 2010, 3:43pm

    Riondo is right.

    Past negative associations with the word “homosexual” (mostly down to historically hostile media and religious use of it) has stigmatised that word for many. I personally do not like to use it.

    Meanwhile, the word Gay has become much more acceptable, and certainly carries less emotive baggage for most people out there.

    Frankly I suspect the same survey done in the UK would reveal similar results.


  5. Personally I would always call myself ‘homosexual’, although I do sometimes use ‘gay’ (and never, never NEVER queer… ugh!), just BECAUSE it’s a medical term. It’s a medical fact that I like men just as it’s a medical fact that I have brown hair and am right handed.

    It has nothing to do with dressing well, being effeminate, risque humour (all lifestyle elements related to ‘gay’) or hanging out in a certain crowd (my only gay friend is my husband – and he’s bi). It may be that people are more hostile towards ‘homosexuals’ – but they are also more hostile to gay men who ask to be taken seriously and don’t make a clown of themselves to fit in with outdated expectations… that doesn’t mean I should be Graham Norton

  6. Yeah, gay men are cool.
    It’s just those f_ckin’ f_aggots I can’t stand.

  7. ‘Homosexual’ is the scientific description for it, and much that many would consider it racist, ‘Negro’ or “Negroid” is the scientific term for people of that race. I find both rather clinical and unpleasant, and I have no problem with being called gay.

    “Queer” to me is a derogatory term along the same lines as “f_ggot”, and some right-on types have tried to reclaim it as a legitimate word, as have some African-Americans done with “N!gger”. Personally, I don’t care how you dress it up, words are still just words, but how they are perceived is far more important. The more the media starts showing ordinary LGBT people leading ordinary lives, instead of mincing fairy stereotypes, the sooner we will become accepted.

  8. Simon Murphy 16 Feb 2010, 4:41pm

    “The more the media starts showing ordinary LGBT people leading ordinary lives, instead of mincing fairy stereotypes, the sooner we will become accepted. ”

    I disagree. It is not going to be the media who starts accurate representation of LGBT people. That’s up to LGBT people.

    LGBT people are a minority group. I believe that no matter how much we achieve in terms of equal rights and acceptance, we will always be a minority and always subject to different standards. That’s the same for any minority group in fact.

    When gay people say ‘Oh the fairies give a bad impression of us’ they are avoiding the reality that a homophobe doesn’t care whether you are a screamer or a closet case. He hates you because he has an irrational objection to what you do in bed. And until he can alter that (usually by getting to know a gay person) then whether the gay person is camp or not is largely irrelevant.

  9. The Grinch 16 Feb 2010, 5:17pm

    Apparently when the survey asked whether respondents were supportive of troops “frenzied rodgering of each others Chocolate Whizz Ways”, support dropped to 0.5% (me and RobN).

  10. Simon: I really don’t think that’s true. I found plenty of straight guys that really weren’t bothered if they saw full-on gay porn, but drew the line when they saw two men kissing.

    I think it’s not the sex that most find offensive, but strangely, the actual relationship and affection.

  11. Mbosaramba 16 Feb 2010, 7:26pm

    I am trying to imagine how one gay would go together with another and with his hand on the buttocks which intentionally moving in various oscillations under worm and gentle massaging of his companion’s hand – on the airforce base, just as one of ours… What a picture! Oh…! Oh…! That’s the love in the first bite, isn’s so?!

  12. andrew flynn 16 Feb 2010, 8:53pm

    I dont like the term homosexual because it seems to imply that I am sexually attracted to men and basically thats it. Well there is more to me than just which sex I am attracted to

  13. WHat about androsexual men and gynosexual women…

  14. Simon

    It’s not as simple as “homophobes vs gays”… most of the time that i’m treated differently it’s due to naievity rather than hatred.

    Me, and many others, have been acting like normal, masculine men for years – we are just invisible.

    The fact remains that because I like guys people expect a certain level of camp – and it’s all too easy to fall into the role people expect of you.

  15. Back in the 60’s when I was just beginning to understand my sexuality I found the word homosexual. One day on the BBC news when my day was cutting my brothers and my hair a news item involving homosexuals and spying was covered. Having the opportunity to ask my dad what was a homosexual he replied “person who found sexually attractive persons of their own sex.” At the age of 11 I now knew what I was. Now I had to find out how I would approach this homosexuality thingi. Well around the age of 19 in toronto, I began hearing of Gay. Now I had a problem could I be homosexual and gay. For the longest of time I could not understand this gay thing. Each generation has a way of creating their own identity, for me the world homosexual was for me that gave me the identity that I needed in growing up in a very hostile homophobic world, if i were that 11 year old army brat now trying to understand my sexuality I would use gay, because that is the word that best expresses being gay in 2010, in my city Vancouver, and in my Country. The problem with words and word usage in the States is that they tend to as a culture tend to only understand short words they fear long words and homosexual in an american context is just that it is to long and it sounds to intellectual another fear of the American masses.

  16. Actually I like ‘homosexual’ it puts emphasis on the SEX. Probably that that puts off sexy Americans more than anything else.

  17. Sean: I am homosexual and sex bores the tits off me.
    Each to their own I guess.

    (and please, no ‘you must be doing it wrong’ quips)

  18. Homosexual has become offensive?
    Gay was better but is not inclusive.
    Queer anybody?

  19. The last bastion of the common use of the term ‘Homosexual’ is the Daily Telegraph (the tabloids have used the term gay for years ‘cos their journalists and many of their readers have problems spelling any word longer than 5 letters :~). The Telegraph, well written though it is, sadly just cannot move on and leave this word behind. As others have commented ‘homosexual’, just like ‘negro’ is a perfectly correct term but both words are cold, clinical and scientific, have unpleasant connotations in the way they were used in the past and are offensive to many. But whereas the Telegraph wouldn’t dare headline “New Negro President enters the White House”, it still uses ‘homosexual’ frequently, clinging to the silly and now archaic idea the word gay is a misuse of such a ‘happy’ word. Its use makes the paper look increasingly ridiculous and out of touch.

  20. I’d be interested in knowing the total numbers of votes in each poll. As has been stated here, the word homosexual is rampantly used by the religious and others against homosexuality.
    Remember the olympic star Rudy Gay (I think Rudy was his first name)? His last name was changed to homosexual on a religious news site last year! They had software that would change the occurence of the word Gay AUTOMATICALLY to the word homosexual. Obviously they got caught with egg on their face when a report came out of their system that Rudy Homosexual was doing well in the 100 yard dash.
    I would guess that the poll which used the word homosexual had many more voters. And the increased number of voters was directly related to the word homosexual. In other words, the religious folks go out of there way to seek out anything that uses the word homosexual.

  21. Ward and George in Hawaii 17 Feb 2010, 7:45pm

    It has been our observation that for Americans it is the word SEX that unhinges our minds. Once the word has entered the discussion – same SEX marriage or SEXual anything is is impossible to get the minds of the ‘good and Godly’ focused above the belt-line.

    Ward and George
    54 years together
    And yet,
    Strangers before the law,

  22. Yes, the word “homosexual” has reached slur-like status, which is part of why homophobes parade the word so much. And now not only is “gay” a term of pride and esteem, but also increasingly “queer” and “f@g” (don’t want to trip any possible filters). And “h0m0”, being informal as it is, used to be more of a slur, but now even it seems less unnerving than “homosexual”. The five-syllable word has gone the way of words like “negro” and “retarded” to become insensitive and impolite.

  23. “Queer” is derogatory to many people.
    I wouldn’t even use it against my enemies.
    It is offensive.

  24. Homo-sexual, as used by our own talibanic christian haters, conjures up both the word homo – a slur, and Homo-sexual, eg the horror of these people sticking their dicks in another persons body opening.

    These words have been politicized the followers of Satan in the name of God.

    That is the difference. What we do need is a new term for the religious haters that strikes the bells of how irrational and hate filled they are.

  25. Rashid Karapiet 29 Jun 2011, 9:22am

    This is truly beyond belief. It provides the anti-politiccal correctness dunderheads with more ammunition than they could dream of. What other words will now be ruled out of circulation: obese? diabetic? prissy? conservative? There are quite enough genuinely offensive words for homosexual men and women still in common usage which could do with this sort of attention. What is it with the gay lobby: just when society seems to have arrived at a rational consensus on the place of homosexual men and women we get something like this absurdity of language use. The pampered west needs to raise its eyes from a kind of navel-gazing and do something about where real persecution of gay men and women is endemic, entrenched and more than just the use of words.

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