Gay vs. Homosexual: Words Matter

If you poll Americans about how they feel about military service being open to people of different sexual orientations, some will respond differently depending on whether you use the term “homosexual” or the words “gay men and lesibans”.

I’ve also read interesting commentary about very subtly coded language biases in journalism, when news outlets choose to say things like “this person was killed” or “this person died”. Same phenomenon being described, but the words can frame the story- and suggest who to blame- pretty differently. Worth thinking about if you write or consume factual content- a lot of biases can be buried in seemingly-neutral copywriting.

I’d be really interested to see a poll where these same Americans are asked to “name a famous homosexual” and “name a famous gay man or lesbian”. Wonder how divergent the answers would be?

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