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“I’ve done these puzzles twice”

June 18, 2007

I got an email today including this: LGBTQI, which reminded me of my newfound distaste for the “alphabet soup” thing in the LGBTQI community.  That is, if you haven’t heard, Lesbian, Gay, Bisequal, Tansgender, Queer, and…Intersexed?  I’m guessing on the last one; no one has officially enlightened me yet.  I would like to note a few things about this.

First, it’s long, ugly, messy and confusing.

I understand that we are a community very sensitive to issues of identity, and desperate to not leave anyone out, but i think this is a failed effort.  I really feel that every time a new letter/group is added on it simply emphasises everyone we are not including.  “No, i’m sorry, this is a private party, and you’re not on the list.”

Third is something that came up in my college “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Straight Alliance” (i think that was the name…not exactly a dirth of letters there either).  Someone thought we ought to add transgender on there, for inclusiveness and welcoming.  The response that i found interesting and relevant was that transgender is already included.  That is, trans is not a sexual orientation, it is a gender identity, so trans people, like everyone else, are included by virtue of their sexual orientation – the only topic the organization’s name addresses.

I think including Queer is a bit redundant, because the whole point of Queer was to encompass all of the above, and more.  Clearly it failed.  (I, personally, like Queer a lot, but i fully understand people who are uncomfortable with it, and i think it is of less use than other terms outside the queer community because people don’t really know what to it means.)

Overall, i think that the concept this is based on is flawed.  Not the concept of inclusion, but the one that says you are not included if you are not specifically mentioned by name.  Just think how preposterous it would look if, in the name of race relations, we tried to name every race on earth.

I think i am going to make a concerted effort to simplify my vocabulary.

Lady Brett
“Day Care Blues” – Trout Fishing in America

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