I find myself cringing when I hear the word "homosexual."
Yes, I know it is a scientific term and meant to be clinical. And I know it is odd that this word bothers me when I embrace other words like queer, which is horribly offensive to some.
I know this may be in my mind, but I still have a guttural reaction when I hear the word. To me, it seems that more and more the word "homosexual" is becoming the new "faggot." It is being used by the religious right, conservatives, the media, and just about everyone else as a fill-in for a derogatory term.
Perhaps it is the usage of it- the hate behind the words that you can hear. It seems the only times I hear "homosexual" are from crazy fundies talking about "militant homosexual activists" (something I've been called more than a few times) or "homos." Even when used by politicians and media, it comes off sounding like a word they choke on- "I have no problem with the (gulp) homosexual community."
It just always sounds like an insult to me.
Maybe it's a generational thing. Like most people my age, I grew up hearing "gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender" as the terms for our community. Those a bit younger than me have reclaimed "queer" and it is now a term used to cover a broad spectrum. "Homosexual" always brings me back to a kind of dark place when I was a young kid looking it up in the library trying to find out why I was "different."
It doesn't seem to have a positive connotation. It just always leads back to a cold detachment, separated by hate and bigotry.
Maybe I'm just being oversensitive. Maybe I am just always on the defensive. Maybe it's not the word but how it is used.
Whatever the reason, I just can't help getting angry every time I hear it. It really pisses this queer off.