Friday, September 23, 2011

New Word of the Day: "Same-Sex Enthusiast"

On Internet, in a forum that I refuse to link to (nomnomnomnom), I recently came across a fellow who refers to lesbians and gay men as "same-sex enthusiasts." (I'm honestly not sure if his silly term encompasses bisexual people. It...seems not to? Like... maybe he would call bisexual people "same-sex and opposite-sex enthusiasts"?)

Anyway, it's such a bizarre term.

For one, it implies that it's only gays and lesbians who are enthusiastic about people of the same-sex. Like, if my defining feature is that I'm an "enthusiast" of other women, does it mean that straight women basically think other women can all go shit in a hat?

Two, when we consider the word origin and history of "enthusiast," things get really projecty really quickly:

c.1600, pejorative, one who believes himself possessed of divine revelations or special communication from God, from Gk. enthousiastes, from enthousiazein (see enthusiasm). General sense (not always entirely pejorative) is from mid-18c."

Couldn't we also, therefore, refer to those who believe their religion gives them special insight into the suckiness of gays and lesbians "same-sex enthusiasts"?

And three, when one is said to be an enthusiast, it is generally meant that one "is ardently attached to a cause, object, or pursuit," rather than another sentient being. For instance, people are generally "enthusiasts" of things or activities like veganism, meat-eating, cars, cycling, rock-collecting, rock climbing, and being mean to marginalized people on Internet.

With that in mind, it just kind of seems like this guy is trying to say that lesbian and gay people are "enthusiasts of having sex with people of the same-sex," but like, he just couldn't commit to actually saying what he meant. Like, it would have been too wordy for him to be more accurate so he had to invent a dog-whistle shorthand that would be readily-recognizable to other bigots. And, on the Internet forum in which this fellow throws around his made-up word, I've never seen another anti-LGBT person be like, "Dude, I agree with you about the sucky gays, but what's up with 'same-sex enthusiast?'"

It's like some of them are all on the same wavelength: "You know what would really make our comments pop? If we started calling them 'same-sex enthusiasts. Awwww yeah, suh-weet!"

I don't know why I've let myself think about this strange phrase so much and then proceeded to blog about it. I think I'm just intrigued by the lengths some anti-equality advocates will go to just not call us "lesbian and gay." Like, gawd forbid they concede that one small point in the conversation.

But whatevs.

"Same-sex enthusiast."

Neat. I'm sure it'll catch on.

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