Dictionary.com Modified These LGBTQ+ Words in Its ‘Biggest Update Ever

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In its “biggest update ever,” Dictionary.com has modified and added over 15,000 words, including homosexual and Pride.

“The unprecedented events of 2020, from the pandemic to the protests, have profoundly changed our lives—and language,” the website wrote in an article. “Change, no doubt, is a prevailing theme of 2020—and change is fundamental to the work of a dictionary.”

One of the biggest changes when it comes to LGBTQ+ terms is the use of the word homosexual. “Informed by GLAAD recommendations and APA guidelines, we have also replaced references to homosexual with gay, gay man, or gay woman as well as references to homosexuality with gay sexual orientation. For example, we now define gayness as ‘gay or lesbian sexual orientation or behavior’ compared to the outmoded gloss of ‘homosexuality.'”

They say the term “originated as clinical language, and dictionaries have historically perceived such language as scientific and unbiased. But homosexual and homosexuality are now associated with pathology, mental illness, and criminality, and so imply that being gay—a normal way of being—is sick, diseased, or wrong.” That change alone affects over 50 other entries. 

Dictionary.com has added the terms ace, ambisextrous, asexual, biromantic, deadname, gender-inclusive, gender diversity, and trans+ to their catalog, concurrently updating other definitions. For example, the definition for bisexual has been updated from “noting or relating to romantically or sexually attracted to both men and women, or to people of various gender identities” to “a person who is romantically, emotionally, or sexually attracted…,” which is more inclusive of asexuality and other identities. 

They’ve also created a separate entry for Pride, referring to “recognition of LGBTQ identity, affirmation of equal rights, and celebration of visibility, dignity, and diversity in the LGBTQ community (formerly referred to as Gay Pride) events or organizations that celebrate the LGBTQ community and its members (often used attributively).”

Cheers queers!

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