Homosexual. The Equality Matters site, the gay affiliate of Media Matters, has this post about the FOX News Channel’s use of the word “homosexual.” FOX reporters and commentators routinely use that word instead of the more modern term “gay” when referring to, well, gay people and things. The post was inspired by an interesting piece by Jeremy Peters in the Sunday New York Times, The Decline and Fall of the ‘H’ Word, about the history and use of the word “homosexual.”
The word for many gay people today is, as Peters put it, “flitch-worthy” because it sexualizes gay people and depicts us as exclusively sexual beings. There is, in fact, much more involved in sexual orientation than just sex acts. The anti-gay industry likes to use that word because they want people to think that issues that affect gay people are just about sex acts.
For most people, myself included, the word isn’t inherently homophobic or derogatory. For me it’s just out of style. It’s just not what we say today.
The NYT piece compared it to the word “colored” when referring to black people. I agree with that to an extent, but think it’s a little more like saying something like, “find my web blog on the world wide web at www dot jimmylasalvia dot com.” Nobody says that anymore. Only old people would say it like that.
I’ve said before that most of America sees conservatives as old and out-of-touch. The use of the word “homosexual” by many conservatives is one of the most obvious examples of why people think that. Only old, out-of-touch people still use that word.
FOX has recently changed their programming line-up and is showcasing lots of talented young hosts and commentators. The reality is that FOX is not going to attract younger viewers with their new younger talent as long as they are still speaking the language of old people.