In part, you are correct, there are many words that can be used in place of one that may be offensive, but in a climate where someone will try to be offended by anything you or I say we must apply reason and realize that they chose to be offended.
But I fear you are mistaken, we all get to choose when we are offended, while Pavlov had dogs, we have reason, we can use that reason if we wish.
You use a bullied child as an example, reacting to "fear and anxiety" when they hear a word used to bully them from another source (not just an adult), if you as a parent, teacher or Guardian addressed the issue as an issue of 2 parts, the first is words, words only hurt if you allow them to hurt... no matter how I call you "Magpie" unless you choose to be offended, I have just been acting the fool, if you choose to take my words to heart and feel offended, you chose that, you gave me control... so you know, I chose "Magpie" because it can be used to refer to a gossip.
The Second part of being bullied is the physical part, the Assault and Battery component, Assault is the threat of violence, battery is the actual violence. If a child is threatened with Violence, they need to know that their Parents, Teachers, Guardians, School Administrators, Policeman and so on will take that seriously, it's a Crime to threaten violence, punish the criminal and make an example of them (and their Parents and Guardians as well if they choose to teach their children that being a bully is acceptable), but there is still no reason to be "Offended", that just empowers the bully.
I must assume your preference of partners was what was used against you in your past, such an unimportant item to anyone beyond you and your partner... Red cars and blue cars, some folks like red, some like blue, we only have problems when people who like Red cars try to make people that like blue cars like red cars... think about it, every argument over preferences can be made silly by replacing the choices with "Red Car" and "Blue Car", try it in your own life, it works.