Why "Gay & Lesbian"?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by BIGdkluver, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. BIGdkluver

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    Why do people use the phrase "gay and lesbian"? Isn't that kind of redundant? Technically, aren't lesbians also "gay"? So why not use simply "gay"?

    Here's the way I understand the definitions of certain terms:

    Homosexual -- A formal word meaning a person of either gender who is
    attracted sexually only to members of his or her same
    gender.

    Lesbian -- A formal term meaning specifically a female who is attracted
    sexually to other females.

    Gay -- A casual term for a homosexual (see above) and applying
    equally to either a male or a female

    So, why do people often say something like, "The audience was composed of both gays and lesbians"? OK, if lesbian refers specifically to a female homosexual, that's fine. But why don't we have a specific term for a male homosexual? It seems a little unfair to me that we don't.

    This post is certainly not meant to be critical of lesbians or downgrading them in any way. I'm just curious about the terminology. Thanks!
     
  2. Denverbearmark

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    My feminist lesbian friends take offense at being referred to as gay. They insist that it is term applied to male homosexuals and that it is disempowering and disrespecting their personhood to be referred to as gay. It is similar to referring to both genders using the term "man".

    I think the argument could even go farther that saying "gay and lesbian" is perpetrating male supremacy by automatically putting men ahead of women. In discussions around power and social dynamics--all we talked about in my grad school years--it was preferred to put the groups perceived to typically having less power, being more oppressed, or being less recognized first--so GLBT became TBLG or some form of that depending on argument being made or situation discussed.

    A number of us even adopted the stance of using "queer" to describe the community we were in. The argument being that was more inclusive and included people who fell out of the GLBT labels, but who were part of the "struggle".

    While a number of people would say this is just so much political correctness bull--there is some useful mental thought and effort to using terms. Labels do matter; rightly or wrongly they do help us describe and sort individuals and groups. Our perceptions of people or society are filtered by the names we call things--not only GLBT folks, but also race, physical abilities, looks--and other groups and individuals. It is not fair or complete, or the answer to any of societal issues on its own, but it is important to our wrestling with larger issues.

    Although I also admit is can be a bit of navel gazing in and of it self if simply used to make arguments and derail important discussions and actions.
     
  3. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    Back in the 70's we were ALL Gay..........sometime in the 80's the term Gay and Lesbian began popping up and now seems to be the norm. I think it was better in the 70's.
     
  4. greasyboots

    greasyboots New Member

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    It is a malignant, aggressive, patronizing and smug term introduced by smarter-than-thou political-correct leftists. (Yes, I did say "political-" and not "politically-".) Now the term being pressed is "LGBT" (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender). (Notice the L comes first.) The technique of citing each aspect of a topic is a pretention to "caring" which is supposed to defend the speaker from political criticism. One finds this throughout the writing, speaking, and governing utterances of totalitarians in the last hundred years. From the Nazis and Bolsheviks to the dictators and terrorists of our day, there are ample examples of patronizing citations of subgroups made for the purpose of coopting their members, or for pure hypocrisy. Words matter. The words you mentioned are accurate and fine. The new wordings are to talk down to you, to fragment groups, to make everyone special so no one is special. I live in a major city with numerous huge and famous academic institutions all around, and my job puts me in front of people. Some of the meanest, unpleasant, self-centered and ignorant people I deal with are academics whose cars (which I service) carry stickers and crap supporting these degrading "empowering" identities and themselves as "LGBT". These people invent terms, intend to define discussion, and expect always to be first among "peers" of fragmented groups they have defined. Those who use terms like "gay and lesbian" etc. are too cute and they mean no good to any average person (LGBT or not) or to the bigger society. Those who use these terms do not WANT understanding or inclusiveness, they WANT division and they mean to be the elites always.
     
  5. Beachboy19

    Beachboy19 New Member

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    Why not?
     
  6. Beachboy19

    Beachboy19 New Member

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    It is actually true. "Homosexuals" or "gays" usually refers to gay guys only, although technically it shouldn't. Having said that most of my lesbian friends use gay and lesbian interchangeably.
     
  7. big_tits4big_dicks

    big_tits4big_dicks New Member

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    Personally? I hate the feminine term for anything. I still say actress, as to not have to explain constantly, but whats the difference between actor and actress? Waiter and waitress? I don't like that I have to have a feminine applied. I'm just as good as the male equivalent. At least, that's what this actor thinks.
     
  8. Kotchanski

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    I've often wondered this myself, and I'm yet to be convinced by any of the answers I've seen.

    The second post in this thread makes me ashamed to be female... Seriously, women actually see being called gay as offensive in some way? I guess that's where the whole "man hating" stereotype came from "Oh dear lord, don't lump us in with *that type* we demand our own term!!!!"

    Maybe we should redefine lesbian to only include those with their heads so far up their own asses that they feel the need to specifically announce they aren't male every time they mention their sexuality?

    I'm not trying to be a bitch, or to be horrid to lesbians (or those who prefer the term over gay) I just fail to see the need for a specific female only term when we have an all inclusive, easy to understand, innocent and inoffensive word for it already.

    What next? Bi-Les?
     
  9. BIGdkluver

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    Thanks very much to everyone who has so far replied to this thread. I'm glad that everyone has given calm, respectful, intelligent answers and that no one has attacked me personally! I appreciate all your views! :smile:
     
  10. SpeedoMike

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    I'm of an older generation and "queer" will never be acceptable.
     
  11. willow78

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    :firedevil:I know I'm going to get so flamed for this :jumping38: but here goes... :tongue:

    (please remember I have a wicked, twisted, evil sense of humour and this post is meant purely in jest) :smile:

    I think militant feminist lesbians don't like the word "gay" because it originally meant "colourful" or "happy". Have you ever seen a colourful or happy militant feminist lesbian? :biggrin1:

    :nana:
     
  12. blondetwink11

    blondetwink11 Active Member

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    Some members of the LGBTQIPQA community would like to go so far as to remove the aspect of gender completely.
     
  13. blondetwink11

    blondetwink11 Active Member

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    My minor is lgbt studies, and apparently this was intially referred to as political feminism. As with the goal of removing themselves from any sort of male established idea.

    While I do admire their beliefs, its seems that doing as you mentioned above might only incrase the inequality between the queer community and the straight community
     
  14. Remington

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    :biglaugh:

    To me, it just seemed like a form of segregation.
     
  15. BobKinFtL

    BobKinFtL New Member

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    lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, questioning
     
  16. erratic

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    No one will ever settle on one term for queer or trans people. No one can even settle on a single way to spell Hannukah. Shit ain't happening. The end.
     
  17. B_cosmognosis

    B_cosmognosis New Member

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    Because gay men don't have their own Mediterranean island. :biggrin1:
     
  18. erratic

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    Baaahaha. Did you hear that the local government on Lesbos tried to sue to prevent lesbians worldwide from calling themselves lesbians? Aaaaahahahahaha.
     
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