Is homosexual a derogatory term to gays?

So I’m active duty military and recently went through the DADT repeal training. Nothing very interesting in there except one thing. Early on in the briefing it makes a point of letting us know, explicitly, that homosexual is considered a derogatory term amongst, well, homosexuals and that the preferred and correct terms are gay, lesbian and bisexual.

This was the first time I’ve ever heard this. Is this true? Are you offended or hurt by being referred to as homosexual vs. gay or lez? Im not asking which term is preferred, as I’m sure it’s gay/lez but are gays actively put off by being described as homosexual?

It’s starting to become derogatory, I think, since it’s being used more and more by elected officials who are trying to limit their freedom. So it’s become a loaded word, sort of. When I hear somebody refer to gay people as homosexual, nine times out of ten, they’re being bigots.

That’s very weird. I’ve never heard anyone take offense to the term “homosexual.”

I’ve never heard anyone use the word “homosexual” in an intentionally derogatory way, nor have I ever heard anyone take offense at it. I wonder if we aren’t on the edge of a shift in PC terms, where “homosexual” will go the way of “colored”. I can’t think of an example of someone using the word “colored” in an attempt to offend, though it’s certainly become an un-PC term.

It feels to me like I assume “Negro” or “colored” feels to black folk. Outdated, and used by people who don’t always have the best intentions in mind.

“Gay” and “lesbian” are the preferred terms if you’re specifying gender, or “gay” as an umbrella term for both genders.

Oh, FTS. It’s a perfectly correct neutral term. That may well be what the problem some have with it is- it’s neutral & not implicitly affirming like ‘gay’ is.

I don’t find it at all offensive, but it does have a somewhat “clinical” connotation, less casual than “gay.” Actually, I use “homosexual” more as an adjective than a noun, describing same-sex behavior, rather than people.

That being said, I hear “homosexual” used by anti-gay politicians and clergy people, who seem to avoid the term “gay,” probably thinking that it sounds too positive.

It strikes me as a bit more clinical but not derogatory. Like something you might want to use in a heady, academic paper.

Really?! I hear “gay sex” and “gay marriage” ALL THE TIME. I get that gay is what gay says, and gay and queer are proud and loud now, but someone hasn’t told Fox News that yet…a quick “fox news+gay” search shows you how much people aren’t listening.

Minnesota Senate Votes to Put Gay Marriage…

Navy Chaplains to Officiate Gay Marriages

Navy Halts Move to Allow Gay Unions

Presbyterians clear way for gay clergy

Braves Coach Accused of Hurling Gay Slurs at Giants Fans

Freudian slips?

When talking about marriage, I usually say “same-sex”, since gay marriage has been framed as…queer.

I guess I’m from a generation that declared something was so fucking gay.

Hmm. Two men wanting to get married is gay marriage, but a gay teacher being open about his sexuality is [teaching homosexuality](Tennessee Considers Banning Teaching Homosexuality in Elementary Schools Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/26/tennessee-considers-banning-teaching-homosexuality-elementary-schools/#ixzz1M7BOG33y). Maybe ‘gaydom’ or ‘gayism’ didn’t jive.

Tennessee Considers Banning Teaching Homosexuality in Elementary Schools

(this link dealio isn’t working! http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/26/tennessee-considers-banning-teaching-homosexuality-elementary-schools/#ixzz1M7BOG33y)

No.

Screw it. lets just call them all Rainbow Children and be done with it [and yes I know about the rainbow families, I am being silly]

And as an odd note in PCism, I just saw a makeup commercial for “Women of Color” - what are we supposed to call people of really dark skin that are not Hispanic in origin now?

I don’t see it as offensive. I find it to be a bit clinical, like calling your knee cap, a patella. Certainly valid but sort of clinical.

People of color is an umbrella term intended for all non-white racial and ethnic minorities, so not just limited to African Americans and Latinos. I actually love this term, it is very inclusive and emphasizes the shared experience of racism instead of dividing people into separate categories.

Except of course where it divides white people from “non-white racial and ethnic minorities.”

No, it divides people who shop for ivory and light tan foundation from those who buy foundations in darker shades of brown. Frankly, I want my makeup people to know how to cover ridiculously pale skin with red patches and be good at it. I suspect darker skinned women (of any race) have their own makeup needs, and I’m not going to get my panties in a wad if companies want to specialize in what their pigment mixers are good at.

I actually hate being called a “woman of color” but whatever.

Not offensive, per se. But it is commonly used by many on the right (when they’re not using sodomite) because they refuse to use the word gay. So while I wouldn’t be offended, I would wonder why they were using homosexual and not gay.

I’ve heard it considered bad if it’s used as a noun. You say homosexual person. It’s similar to saying Jewish person instead of just Jew. This seems common with every minority, honestly. It’s as if identifying them as just the word is dehumanizing or something.

Pale, light, medium, brown, and dark should be sufficient, IMO.

This. I don’t know why some people are making so much hay about its supposed “neutrality,” as if that proved anything. The word “Democrat” as an adjective is “neutral,” in the sense that it does explicitly denote anything pejorative, but we all know that it’s meant to signal that the speaker is assuredly not down with the Democrats.

“Homosexual” as a noun has undergone a similar transformation. Now, I wouldn’t immediately consider the user to be homophobic, but I would be more alert to the possibility. The military, which for a very long time was a very visible bastion of anti-gay policies (I’ll allow that towards the end, these policies were imposed on the military from the outside, rather than issuing from the majority of its members). Nevertheless, the military needs to be mindful of this recent history (and as your training demonstrates, it is).

Btw, “lez” is not the accepted term either. The “-bian” is required as well. I know that represents two extra syllables, but you knew you’d need to make some sacrifices when you chose the military as a career.