When looking for a set of homosexual slang terms, it is important to know which words are inappropriate or describe people in a derogatory manner and should not be used. Some homosexual people may use some of the more playful terms themselves; however, that does not give everyone the right to an otherwise negative or hurtful word.
We’re going to go through each of the homosexual slang terms, that way you can see what the consequences are of using each one.
This word is generally used and is appropriate to use if you are describing a homosexual individual. “Gay” in and of itself is not really a derogatory term.
The problem with the word “gay” lies in the fact that people often use it in inappropriate ways. For example, many individuals use “gay” to say that something is stupid or lame. They might say “That TV show was gay last night.” In this sense, it is very offensive to use the word gay, because using gay to describe something that is stupid or lame is also referring to homosexual people as stupid or lame.
Gay refers to a homosexual person, or in the past, it was used to mean happy. This word should not be used in a negative fashion. In fact, being "gay" has been accepted within the gay community.
Neither fag nor faggot is an appropriate word to use. It is a slang term for a homosexual and has historically been used to mock men who act in a womanly fashion. Indeed, some homosexual individuals will even use this word to characterize men who they feel are “gayer” than them. But that is often done in a playful manner.
It is best for heterosexuals to avoid using the words fag and faggot, because they do generally have a very offensive nature.
A lesbian refers to a homosexual woman. The word “lesbian” is not inappropriate to use, since it is the correct name for a woman who dates other women. However, make sure you are not using it in an accusatory or insulting manner.
It’s not necessarily always just what you say, but also how you say it. While “lesbo” is to some extent just a shortened version of the word “lesbian,” it tends to be used in a derogatory way and it should be avoided.
Lesbian women are often referred to as dykes by their critics. This word is one that is extremely cruel. While it does seem to be on par with “fag” or “faggot” for men in some instances, there is just something about this word that makes it seem much worse. Perhaps it is the harsh sound of the word “dyke,” or perhaps it is the fact that so many times when it comes out of the human mouth, it is a word of insult, injury, and attack.
Our next-and last- two words are at least somewhat confusing, but for different reasons. The word “queer” has made its way into popular culture, with much thanks to the success of the television show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. If we look at a dictionary definition though, we find that “queer” has traditionally meant unusual or strange.
Therefore, by examining the origin of the word, we see that it really is not appropriate to use, though one could argue that it is not as bad as fag, faggot, or dykes.
Homo is perhaps the most interesting term that people have used to dub homosexual individuals. While people continue to use it, the origins do not really make sense. We are all homosapiens, so why would anyone run around calling only homosexuals “homos?” We may not ever know, since people do unusual acts all the time. Yet this is another word that should not be used.