Almost every week we hear people complain about the lgbt acronym.
Recently student bodies have suggested that bi should be bi+ to include persons who are not attracted to ethier male or female. On first glance we need to ask if it appears like asexual eraser!
That’s just one of many arguments in regards to our collective name.
A while back there was a hate campaign to have the T removed, naturally it failed with deep criticism from the entire lgbtqia+ community.
In the early nineties our communities were seen as separate enterties.
The Gay community:
Clearly The Gay community became progressively inadequate to describe all of the groups making their rightful mark on the world.
The Transexual community:
Recently transgender has been used as an umbrella term to reflect the devisity of the trans community.
Lgbt is not entirely inclusive too.
How many times are we asked….
What does Q,A,I mean?
Queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and of course allies are missing from the most used lgbt acronym.
The sub groups are often buried too.
Asexual boasts over seventy sub groups. Naturally at first glance it’s impossible to represent each sub group of each part of the acronym.
However the fact that we have the opportunity to answer what most of these terms of the LGBTQIA+ acronym are allows ourselves and others to explore the groups that are often brushed to one side, or would be buried under a universal umbrella term for all.
A good example is the use of the term Queer as a universal term. At first I had reservations, still do.
I understand and respect the need to reclaim queer and I personally advocate it being a part of the acronym for individuals to identify with, to empower themselves against the old school homophobes, biphobes and even transphobes throwing queer back into their face, given half the chance.
However there are still many that do find it offensive, because of the amount of times it was used against our community before another generation reclaimed it.
A generation that opposes it now is a generation that didn’t and may still not have a privileged life, due to convictions that can not be overturned.
Back when I was younger I knew a twenty three year old with a nineteen year old boy friend who was convicted because of the Age of consent was twenty one for homosexual acts, yet 16 for heterosexual. He is still an ex convict and hardly feels privileged.
Recently Huffpost decided to change their own lgbt vioces of their site to Queer voices, which demonstrates that the term is slowly drifting into mainstream media usage.
Queer is alot easier to say than lgbt as Jon Snow, the UK based newsreader (not the GOT charater) found out talking to Owen Jones, Mirhia Black and a few others when Soho had a vigil to Orlando. Even Owen struggled with continously saying lgbt. After a few repeats it becomes a tounge twister.
Above: Jon Snow demonstrated how difficult saying LGBT is, he also pointed out “we are all a little queer!”
So is it time Queer is used to describe the entire family?
Are we ALL ready for it?
Is Queer the best description to describe us all, representing the diversity of our family?
Is it fair to use Queer as a group description when so many still find it offensive or its not accurate to describe so many?
When setting up the cards we use a discussion began, I recall it went on for about a week. Our conclusion was to use the LGBTQIA+ representing all of our community.
The plus represents the duplicates and a nod to the sub groups, Pansexual, Demisexual and so on.
However we spotted flaws in this too. Slowly we came to the conclusion that nothing was perfect, we wanted everyone to be included. Queer is hardly a fair term for some, yet lgbtqia was too complexed. The conclusion was to use our rainbow family when it wasn’t so clinically required.Softening the blow a little.
Just like individuals, groups should have the right to use the words they feel best represents themselves or their work. As Pride matters aims to represent all of the lgbt community, including allies, including asexuals we use the full acronym lgbtqia+. It suits Pride matters because all our members represent each part of the acronym. Obviously there are times when some groups are not represented in the acronym because they are not relevant to the group that haven’t been included. A good example is not including allies or asexuals when talking about sex, another is removing certain letters when stats are being used and dealing with those stats separately. However the more inclusion the better.
Do we need to drop anything?
Drop the inward bitch fighting and inward blaming of other parts of the community.
We need to replace it with…
A little more respect to individual groups.
A little more understanding of age groups and their reactions to using certain alternatives.
A little thought of geographical differences, what you may find acceptable in your part of the world someone else may find offensive.
Probably Queer will eventually filter into media even more, used as a universal description, people will embrace it better than my generation ever could. It will probably have a more diverse meaning in time goes. What it leads to is probably less usage of terms and labels too. Perhaps one day our community will become more amalgamated, perhaps one day the use of labels will decline due to better awareness and perhaps one day the fight for equality will be over and we all will just be seen as human.
Interesting articles in regards to this subject.