I try my damnedest to be politically correct whenever I can. They’re people with disabilities, not disabled people. She is African American, not black – even though I’m white, not European American. He’s not short, just vertically challenged. But despite my best abilities to the contrary, I still manage to offend someone every so often.

There is one certain group of people that I just cannot figure out the best politically correct term for. The accepted term at UCSB is “queer,” but when I’ve used that word at home in San Ramon, people gasp.

“Oh my God, Nicki, you can’t say that. What are you, homophobic?”

I’m sorry! I was just trying to say what I thought they wanted me to call them. You know why it’s so hard for me to figure out the politically correct word? Because there are too damn many rules, and different groups are always getting offended at the newest “accepted” term, so they’re always coming up with new terms. For example, we just got a big flow chart of acceptable and
unacceptable words for queer groups at the Nexus. This chart, sent to us by glaad, is literally 3 feet by 2 feet and gives more directions than a piece of IKEA furniture. I guess I’m not supposed to call a couple “homosexual” anymore, unless I would refer to a straight couple as heterosexual in the same situation. If I would reasonably say, “Danny and Jessie had heterosexual sex last night,” then I could say, “Bobby and Joe had homosexual sex last night”…I think. I’m still confused.

But now, the actual Lesbians are getting pissed. No, not women who like other women. People from the island of Lesbos will be going to a local gay rights organization in protest of the word “lesbian” in reference to gay women. This is a big issue for the 350,000 people who are from Lesbos and wish to call themselves Lesbians without the stigma attached. If they win this battle, they plan on going international and making the word “lesbian” refer only to people from the island of Lesbos.

More rules? Well, fine. All I ask is that everyone get together and decide, once and for all, what they want to be called. I’d really like to treat everyone politely; I just really don’t know how.

On a related note, happy queer wedding day! You newlyweds are looking happy and glowing as always.