March 20, 2007

Another word for homophobia

From Cole Paulson (in my Innovations seminar winter quarter): gaycism used as a parallel to racism and a competitor to homophobia (a word that some object to as suggesting, via its -phobia portion, too narrow a meaning).  It's two syllables shorter than homophobia and fits well with some of the other -ism words (sexism and antisemitism, in particular), and of course there's that rhyme with racism, which can be exploited to emphasize parallels between the two types of prejudice, as in this report on the Queerty blog about a recent interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

He went on to use the lessons of apartheid to make the controversial correlation between racism and gaycism

I get a modest number of Google webhits, most of them clearly treating the word as novel, some taking credit for coining it.

If gaycism catches on, -cism might become available as a new suffix.  Re-cutting, anyone?

zwicky at-sign csli period stanford period edu

Posted by Arnold Zwicky at March 20, 2007 11:42 AM