""LGBTQ"" And probably some other random letters..who can keep up these days.

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Riven-N-Rent Riven-N-Rent 2 years, 3 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Kasey G
    Kasey G

    Okay this is something that has been irking me for a while now and I would really like to know if anyone shares my opinion on this ; Please make note not to get offended if I say something you don’t agree with, we’re all hear for the conversation<3 I’ve been feeling more and more lately that the “LGBT” acronym ( I guess now there’s a “Q” in there too…and probably some newer letters I’m yet to catch wind of ) is ridiculously stigmatic for us. As homos, we are, more often than not, treated differently as is. Throwing one big, really ugly looking, hard to pronounce acronym that sums us all up into one single group just seems like the opposite of the equality that we should be striving for. I want people to see me as Kasey (My Name ) not as something different. People should stop trying to name me, or themselves. Identify as human, and someone who wants to belong, don’t identify as someone who’s looking for a name tag.

    Questions? Comments? Concerns?

    Profile photo of gaywithoutgod

    @mike-anders we moved your reply to the forum as it was a response to this topic.

    Here’s your original reply:

    Hi, Kasey. No offense, here; just an observation. This same idea came up recently in a secular humanism blog in which someone noted congratulations to the first African American woman astronaut. Well, what ensued was a long thread of commentary by various people about whether or not one should even bother with racial labels and, if so, which one is “the correct one.” I didn’t see any comments among the hundreds that recognized that labels are useful for certain situations, to accomplish certain things, but they are wholly inadequate to describe any one person. I think the same applies to us.
    What bothers me occasionally is the thought that, when someone applies “lgbt” to me, I still don’t know what that person imagines that represents for how I live my life, what my social and political opinions are, etc.
    Anybody can stereotype entire groups of people, and any time you slap a label on someone, you’re potentially reducing them to “a type.”
    Having said all that, the alternative is to have no terms with which to refer to the fact that our life experiences have been quite different from most people’s because of our sexual orientation.
    As drag queen Harvey Fierstein (sp?) once said: “Visibility at all cost!” I think it has been growing visibility above all else that has allowed Mr. Average-American-Hetero-Guy to realize we’re just people and aren’t threatening or degenerate, or evil, or diseased, etc.
    I don’t see the point in using lgbtq..l-m-n-o-p, etc. labels most of the time. But it IS appropriate to refer to it when we’re specifically referring to some experience or issue that is directly related to sexuality.
    BTW, not that it matters, but my personal preference of label for myself (when it matters) is “queer,” because its general, doesn’t try to define my sexuality too narrowly but makes it clear I’m talking about the experience of being part of a sexual minority.

    Profile photo of Kasey G
    Kasey G

    What a well articulated response that was! =)

    You make a really good point when you mention that the alternative would be having no identifier that indicates just how different some of our life experiences are, especially as a result of our sexuality.

    I can admit that it is practical in some instances, especially in terms of unity amongst us homos; My fear is that our unity may actually end up furthering the already existent stigma that sexualities other than “hetero” have to deal with on a daily basis. For instance, when you’re walking through a school nowadays, there’s usually a room, or several rooms, that says “LGBT” friendly, or something to that effect. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love and appreciate that there is a “safe” place for people who don’t fit into the sexual norms to congregate and meet people they can relate with (its no secret that we’ve all desperately needed a place like that in our life times,) but at the same time I feel like it makes us look SO different, and is almost a digression in terms of unifying heterosexual and homosexuals (not that I think its that binary, im just using those two terms instead of identifying every different type of sexuality right now lol.) I’m trying my best not to ramble right now, thoughts are kind of just vomiting all over my frontal lobe lol. All I mean is that teachers and students alike should be teaching acceptance and put all of their effort into that, not so much effort into separating kids who aren’t accepted. Its like instead of separating someone so they feel more comfortable, we should be focusing on educating the people who are making others feel uncomfortable, they are the real problem. I hope this still makes sense lol its been a long day and like I said, words are sort of just falling out of my brain.

    In conclusion, I supposed it just bothers me that we need an identifier; I’m just a wishful thinker, and in my head we “gays” should just be allowed to walk around and not feel a need to identify ourselves, let alone be identified by other people. But I supposed the operative phrase there was “wishful thinker”

    Profile photo of HeathenMike

    You are talking about the ideal world, and I think your sentiment makes good sense, if I understand your meaning. But the labels that bother you are not the result of the world being ideal; far from it. Take the example of Gay Pride events. If society hadn’t heaped on us countless negative messages to pile on a sense of shame about our sexuality, there’d be no point at all in Gay Pride parades or other events. But they are specifically a reaction to such “shame-piling-on” messages. I think the first Pride parade could have been the event immediately after the Stonewall Riot. Such things are a reasonable reaction to attempts by homophobes (another label, btw, a negative one; but that’s a whole different purpose and discussion.) to scare and shame us into permanent hiding and invisibility. To the extent we feel no shame about who we are, there is little point in using labels. But until we live in a world where everyone has a clue and respects diversity, there will continue to be a need to use those labels sometimes. The “We’re here! We’re queer! Get used to it!” mantra only makes any sense as long as there are still significant numbers of people who are NOT used to it yet. Unfortunately, that is still the case.
    –Kasey, you’re not the only one who can ramble. : )


    I think I take issue with the fact that LGBT is used and is in itself a limited description. It’s very box-like and doesn’t carry any connotations of continuum or spectra. I quite like “sexually diverse” but I guess that is open to misuse by people with an agenda to make it’s meaning all about the first three letters and not about sexual-preference and all of the cultural and socio-political aspects that go with it.

    Profile photo of Kasey G
    Kasey G

    LOL something about “sexually diverse” makes me really happy ^


    :O Calm down dear, have a cuppa tea and a chocolate hob knob it will help to settle your nerves.

    Profile photo of HeathenMike

    “Diverse” is a fine description, but for groups, not individuals. All by myself, I’m no more diverse than the next guy. ; )
    I like “queer,” even though it was originally supposed to be a smear. I like it, because it doesn’t narrowly define my sexual identity but does imply I’m not hetero. I get, though, that to some people, “queer” is as offensive as “fag.” But so what? Even “gay” is hurled at people with intent to ridicule. If we own it, we can call ourselves whatever we want that we think will make the point we want to make. The whole “diverse” community is never going to agree on labels, and that’s just going to have to be ok.


    I guess that’s why my solution would be to do a Toy’R’Us and stick it all under one roof and let the people within the group decide on what they feel is an appropriate descriptor for themselves 🙂

    Profile photo of Jacob van Tienen
    Jacob van Tienen

    It is only really in the last year or two that I have seen more ‘LGBTQ’ and ‘LGBTQI’ labels on slogans/promos/etc. When I originally came out, it was just known as ‘LGBT’. I think that, though it does not define all of the sexualities that are possible within the ‘non-heterosexual’ umbrella, but it’s enough?
    When people are talking about ‘LGBT’ things, they’re not often going to stop and think about the other sexualities that weren’t included, but as someone not heterosexual.
    If we’re fine with adding Q and then I on the end, what of asexuals, pansexuals, and the various other sexualities that exist? I’m wondering where it would stop if we continued the way we have. I think ‘Queer’ is the best way to summarise sexualities that are not already covered. No offence intended to those who are, of course.
    Your thoughts about identifying as human, though, are quite right. We are diverse, but all the same, why do we need so many labels sometimes?

    Profile photo of ProudPansexual

    I like the term “queer”, it seems more encompassing and diverse of all different sexualities, and as for the issue of it being a slur – “gay” is often used as a slur nowadays, are we going to stop using that? Nonsense, we should reclaim it and don’t be afraid of what others think, at least that’s what I believe!

    There’s also another issue which I think needs to be addressed when talking about the so-called ‘alphabet soup’ of the LGBTQIAP etc. acronym, and that is the visibility of those more marginalised in our community. Just adding them onto the end of an acronym doesn’t do much good, we should be actively supporting these people and include them in queer spaces, imo.

    Profile photo of Riven-N-Rent

    I’ve seen and heard some people just shortening everything to GSM (Gender and Sexual Minorities), which seems like a pretty decent alternative to me, although I find myself using “queer” more often than anything else.

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