Some words and the conceptions behind them are utterly derogatory and offensive. I think most folks would agree about the use of ‘the n word’ (n*gger), the d or f words (d*ke and f*ggot/f*g).
Let me add contextually the ‘a word’ (agenda) and ‘l word’ (lifestyle) words coupled with any combination of LGBT. As in ‘gay agenda’ and/or ‘gay lifestyle’.
These words have been used against me and others. Here’s an excerpt from an email a friend received:
. . . we are definitely opposed to a gay lifestyle. I would ask that you not promote a gay lifestyle as acceptable. . . as I and others would be offended by this. . Some people . . . are so sick of the gay agenda being pushed. . .
Ok, let’s make this simple, it’s a life or lives, not a lifestyle. There is no more ‘gay lifestyle’ than ‘straight lifestyle’. What century is it? Besides I am only familiar with the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
And yes words matter, but the meaning behind the words is that LGBT folks are other and not worthy of having a life as straight (read normal) folks do.
And that we have an agenda. Let’s set aside that we all get an electronic item of our choice (mind is an iPhone 8 and then X) when we convert a straight person to LGBT. (It used to be a toaster oven, but times have changed). BTW, not serious on the prize for conversion or the conversion itself.
There is no ‘gay agenda’. Assuming arguendo that 10% of the population is LGBT, how are you going to get the masses to agree to an agenda?
It is as Abby Hoffman said about the Chicago 7, “conspire? hell, we couldn’t even agree on lunch.”
But seriously we are living our lives, and forming our inclusive communities and battling discrimination.
Let’s substitute the word gay for ‘person of color’ and see how the ‘person of color lifestyle’ and/or ‘person of color agenda’ plays.
We should be working towards inclusion and diversity not exclusion and discrimination based on sexual identity/orientation, race, gender/gender identity, socio-economic class, physical/mental abilities, or any other criteria.
Love, don’t hate. Or at least minimally accept. The world will be a better place. We need to celebrate our differences and discover our common humanity.
Peace, love, joy, gratitude, faith, courage, compassion, and blessings.