Blogger Ed Brayton at scienceblogs.com caught a hysterical guffaw by the American Family Association on their site OneNewsNow. As they were reporting on athlete Tyson Gay going to the Bejing Olympics, they forgot all about their site's censor that replaces all instances of the word "gay" with "homosexual." They have since corrected the error, but it is certainly worth the read.
With that said, I propose that we start evolving our own society's censor by replacing "Sexual Orientation" with "Love Orientation".
We all know how the right wing Christian organizations prefer to use the word "homosexual" rather than "gay" because they know that we don't like it and because they probably are able to raise more money for their causes. Homosexual is much scarier than gay. By the same token, "evangelical" sounds a bit more frightening than "christian."
Our history has brought us from the dregs of the mental illness myth to a growing acceptance amongst most Americans. Therefore, we moved away from the clinical definition of our community from homosexual to gay. I think this change in our brand has done wonders for our collective self-esteem but we have more work to do.
It has become common practice to use "sexual orientation" as a way putting us in a category. Like homosexual, sexual orientation is a cold dry phrase that completely lacks any sense of romance. Sex is merely a component of love. I think for most of us, our ultimate goal is to find love, not sex.
Let's start using "love orientation" when we refer to ourselves. Words are very powerful and I think it will help to put it in the heads of non-gay people that we are a very loving and compassionate people and there is way more to us than just our sex.
Sure, the Evangelicals will still use "sexual orientation" until kingdom come, but "love orientation" is a much better sell.