Dictionary.com has announced in its latest update that it has revised LGBTQ definitions while adding a lot more.
The website – known for its cheeky tweets to nearly 400,000 followers – boasts over 20,000 revisions or additions to its database. And now useful terms like “ace” and “deadname” can be found in the online dictionary.
Some changes that were made include replacing the word “homosexual” and “homosexuality” with “gay,” “gay man,” “gay woman” or “gay sexual orientation,” based on discussions with GLAAD and in accordance with American Psychological Association guidelines.
Dictionary.com said it made these changes to avoid implying or suggesting that being gay or bi is a pathology.
“For example, we now define ‘gayness’ as ‘gay or lesbian sexual orientation or behavior’ compared to the outmoded gloss of ‘homosexuality.’ These changes alone affect over 50 entries,” they wrote in their update for September.
“The previously used terms – homosexual and homosexuality – 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.”
The website also changed the definition of words with the -sexual suffix, updating “the phrasing of ‘romantically or sexually attracted to’ to ‘romantically, emotionally, or sexually attracted to.'”
“Not only do these revisions help eliminate heterosexual bias in language, they also help better convey the diversity and richness of – and take Pride with a capital P in – human sexual experience and identity,” Dictionary.com explained, also saying that they added a new entry for the word “Pride” that refers to “events” or “recognition” of LGBTQ people.
Dictionary.com, which was founded 25 years ago, has typically followed the Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, but over the years began making its own decisions on updating the terms on its site. This is similar to Merriam-Webster, which added singular-they and made “they” its word of the year in 2019.
The website announced these updates alongside many changes, most notably its decision to capitalize Black when referring to people’s racial identity. They also added language to define or redefine support animals, addiction climate change, identity, technology, pop culture, and political terms.
How big is BIG? We've updated over 15,000 entries on topics ranging from race and sexual orientation to climate and internet culture.https://t.co/kNdHhsLYrn
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) September 1, 2020