Black and African-American are in, Negro and Colored are out. Hispanic is still acceptable, but Latino is where the zeitgeist is headed (no matter if actual Latinos prefer the term “Hispanic” over the term “Latino”–they’re just pawns in the game of white moral posturing, after all). Oriental has been tasteless for generations now, we describe them as Asian.
What about gays? That’s the default identifier I employ. Do I need a few good lashings from the PC o’ nine tails to straighten (heh) me out? From Google’s Ngram viewer, the percentages of books published in the US containing each of six nouns recognizably identifying those who are into others of the same sex, in their plural forms to avoid sweeping up confounding adjectives:
Good thing I’m not always as clinical in my thinking as I should be–homosexual is on the way out and gay is about to take the top spot. Apparently it’s what the buggers prefer, so far be it from me to protest.
Sapphic and sodomist, barely identifiable on the graph, have become even less apropos over time. Prior to the second half of the 20th century, not much was written about gays at all. Society said if you’re going to do whatever you want to do, fine, but do it behind closed closet doors. We now recognize that for being the hidebound, retrograde stuff that it was, though, as we celebrate alternative lifestyles, striving relentessly to bring them out in plain view!