Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Human First, Gay Last

I hate the word "homosexual."

I hate it because it has the word sex in it; and because, for that reason, it's distracting for a lot of people; and because it's an easy label for people to compartmentalize people like me; and because it focuses people on something that's none of their business; and because it emphasizes sex over every other aspect of being gay; and because it makes sex seem like the basis of my relationship with Chris; and because it allows people to think that all homosexuals do is have sex; and because it has negative connotations.

I hate the word "gay."

I hate it because it's an easy label for people to compartmentalize people like me; and because it's a perfectly good word in the English language that has negative connotations, preventing straight people from using it unless labeling someone who's homosexual; and because I'm not the least bit gay about being a homosexual; and because it's too simple a word for something that's so complex; and because it's often the first word used to describe someone, instead of words like intellectual, or writer, or human being.

I'm a human being first, and a homosexual or a gay last.

In the meantime, I'll continue to work on finding a word that appropriately captures the beauty of life and love that is shared between two men.


  1. Rick, I like your approach on this. You ARE a human being first and everything else is a label. I heard someone say recently that "labels limit". Isn't that true? We are often very limited by the labels that we, or other people, have placed on us. Very important to make sure we are using the right labels. And that goes for everyone.

  2. How about if we do away with labels all together. I heard somewhere that all labels do is help people to figure out what we are from their perspective, so they are able to deal with us in a stereotypical fashion. Thus, if someone is labeled gay, people use their automatic responses to deal with the gay person as they usually do, which may not be in a positive manner. All this does is allow people to go through life unconsciously, not looking beyond the label, not allowing new information in, not coming up with an appropriate response to each situation. How will people ever change for the better if this keeps happening?