When you’re reading the paper or any publication where the Associated Press (AP) is having its say, you likely won’t be hearing anything about “homophobia.” The AP has decided to stop using the word – and instead, will describe people and moments as “anti-gay.” The reason is that the higher ups believe that homophobia describes a mental illness rather than an assertion.
If you’re thinking the AP is going, well, anti-gay – consider this: They have also banned uses of phobia in any context. Unless it involves a diagnosed fear, you won’t be reading about the so-called fear of gay people anytime soon.
But if you’re chatting about this with friends, here’s a trivia-worthy tidbit: It was George Weinberg who first coined the term “homophobia” in his book Society and the Healthy Homosexual. That was back in 1972.