Dictations

Heavy in Their Loafers

Consider the word gay.  Blunt, yet with a bright ring, this synonym for robust mirth graced our common tongue through the centuries, from Chaucerian verse to the ballads of Cole Porter.  The music died in the late 1960’s, however, when newly “liberated” homosexuals adopted the word to describe their supposedly happy lifestyles.  Through repetition and the negative connotations the word has assumed among those who are “straight” (as opposed to crooked?), gay has become their pet word.

In January 2003, during my tenure as letters editor for the Washington Times, a fellow from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, Rick Rosendall, submitted a letter criticizing another writer for linking male homosexuality to pedophilia.  In the service of clarity, the copy desk changed his references to gay to what that word actually signifies, homosexual (e.g., “gay and lesbian youth” became “homosexual youth”).  Otherwise, Mr. Rosendall’s excoriation of “homophobes” and the “hateful political agenda” of the “intolerant religious right” ran almost verbatim and got top billing on the letter roster.  Just another day of giving our gentle readers their say, I thought as I punched out, if I thought anything at all.

The next day, when I noticed that I had received...

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