002. Definitions

Standard

Okay.

Before this goes any further, I think we need to establish a common vocabulary:

ho·mo·sex·u·al
adj.   Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.

gay
Can be used either as an adjective to refer to or anything regarding those attracted to the same sex, or as a noun chiefly for homosexual men. Lesbian is typically used to refer to homosexual women. Is often used synonymously with “homosexual” but tends to be more loaded, carrying associations with the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex) community and political and social activism.

queer
adj.  Used in reference to the LGBT communities as well as those perceived to be members of those communities. Originally it was a derisive term but has since been claimed as an identifier by many in the gay community.

For my own purposes, I’ve chosen to go with “same-sex attracted” or “homosexual.” It’s more clinical-sounding but accurate. If we’ve had this discussion, I feel comfortable saying that I’m gay because you know what I mean, and more importantly what I don’t mean. If you were to ask me right out if I’m gay, I’d probably respond, “I’m attracted to men, yes, but I don’t identify with the gay community as it currently exists.”

So now that we got that over with…

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