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Can We Stop Adding Letters and Come Up With Something All Inclusion?


Heather Shay

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My question deals with the ever-expanding alphabet of identifying who we are. At last look I see the current version is LGBTQIA2S+.

My vote is for GENDER DIVERSE. How about you? Any ideas?

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42 minutes ago, Heather Shay said:

My question deals with the ever-expanding alphabet of identifying who we are. At last look I see the current version is LGBTQIA2S+.

My vote is for GENDER DIVERSE. How about you? Any ideas?

How about one letter, H, for Homo sapiens. Should about cover it!

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@Heather Shay

I’m so used to feeling excluded I don’t I could behave if I’m inclusioned into something.  
 

Online I read people using the term “community” but I don’t feel it -  anymore than if I’m with a few like minded people who just happen to be  born as Hererosexual cis gender  people ;)  Relationships can be momentary and passing.  Allies often just want to be seen that way for a while. 

 

Prefer to be something else in this life than.a letter in some political agendas’ acronym. 
 

Gender diverse?  Ok with me, Healher ❤️, just don’t put it next to my name online as a definition please ;)   

I grew up a guy who passionately desired to be a girl, but was hetero-adaptable.  (Sound familiar anyone??)

Sex without a woman involved  hasn’t seemed to jive with me.  


I’ve lived  a swirling vortex of feelings in conflicting directions, spinning and neutralizing  my power. 
 

In my moment of final decision, I choose to be her,  rather than chase her. 
 

Thank you for prompting me to think🌈🌈

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1 hour ago, Maddee said:

@Heather Shay

 

Online I read people using the term “community” but I don’t feel it. 

 

I share your outlook. There are important points of reference I share with other transgender people, but that doesn't mean I'm "all-in" with everything espoused by the alphabet organizations. I've never been a joiner at heart and my few brief encounters with nearby LGBT groups has shown me that being in one of those marginalized categories does not necessarily make me compatible on a personal level with others who share that status.  The friendships I've made have had nothing to do with whether I or the other individuals are under the LGBT umbrella.

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2 hours ago, Heather Shay said:

My question deals with the ever-expanding alphabet of identifying who we are. At last look I see the current version is LGBTQIA2S+.

My vote is for GENDER DIVERSE. How about you? Any ideas?

I like it. Gender diverse works, is inclusive and descriptive. If wwe continue on our present path, we're going to include every letter in the alphabet. I didn't even know about the current version. Meaning no disrespect to anyone, the term LGBTQIA2S+ is far too cumbersome for everyday use. And it looks confusing. THat doesn't help our cause...

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I've often had thoughts about how all the letters really just boil down to three things.

 

They're just variations from what's commonly perceived as "the norm" in:

1. Attraction (Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Pan, Aro, Ace, etc...)

2. Gender (Trans, Non-Binary, Gender Fluid, Bigender, Agender, 2-Spirit, etc...)

3. Biology, as it relates to sex characteristics (Intersex)

 

So many letters, but really just those three simple things.

 

As far as one single term, there are a lot of people these days who use the reclaimed word "Queer" as a simple way to refer to the entire alphabet soup. But I certainly understand and respect that not everyone is comfortable with that, especially for people who lived through much of the period when the term was commonly used in a derogatory way.

 

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Why not just use the umbrella term, transgender, as it is an actual 1 or more of every other. Transgender people can be gay, hetero or bi.

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  • Forum Moderator

Gay and Queer were the two alternatives i saw as a young person.  I was tickled when i saw the T brought in.  With the proliferation of acronyms i might thing an N should cover them all.  N meaning normal human.   A mixture of all, a rainbow if you please.

I am happy to see the growth of support for others within the community of normal humans.  My gay friends as well as my cis, hetero normal  friends are so much more supportive than 60 years ago when this person was in puberty.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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I can see a parallel with religion. If you want to talk about alphabet soup just look at all the sects and denominations there are. Every congregation has its own distinctive and when that’s not distinct enough there’s a church split and another denomination is born. Now there’s even a growing debate over the gender of the deity. I sure hope we don’t follow in those footsteps! However it seems to be the curse of humanity to divide rather than unite!

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I was thinking Rainbow Society. It sounds elegant and covers everything without having to break it down into a long strand of confusing, and often changing, letters, as if one were trying to recite all the numbers present in pi.

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I suppose "gender diverse" is an option, but that may not adequately cover the folks who are fine with their as-born gender, but with varying sexual orientations.  Multiple different issues being gathered under the same heading, as @Heather Nicole pointed out.  And some like me have multiple different things going on...I have bisexual attraction, gender issues, and unique biological characteristics.  

 

In years past, I had thought of using "Alt-Sex" for alternative sexuality, but apparently that one has been used for the BDSM crowd.  We could use "Rainbow Society", but that gets a bit close to the name of the Rainbow Family - the counter-culture primitive camping group. 

 

I've never been comfortable with the word "queer."  To me, that's just a synonym for "weird" no matter how we try to redefine it.  So, still grasping for my word. Perhaps "Diverse Identities" would work?

 

 

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13 hours ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

I suppose "gender diverse" is an option, but that may not adequately cover the folks who are fine with their as-born gender, but with varying sexual orientations. 

Isn't that what the "+" sign is for? To include those who don't fit with the LGBTQ acronym?

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19 hours ago, Aggie1 said:

I can see a parallel with religion. If you want to talk about alphabet soup just look at all the sects and denominations there are. Every congregation has its own distinctive and when that’s not distinct enough there’s a church split and another denomination is born. Now there’s even a growing debate over the gender of the deity. I sure hope we don’t follow in those footsteps! However it seems to be the curse of humanity to divide rather than unite!

Interesting observation. That said, the various monotheisms (ie: Christianity, Judaism and Islam) don't try to use an umbrella term for every denomination. For example, broadly speaking, Christianity is divided into Catholicism, Orthodox, and Protestant--the various protestant denominations don't try to include every congregation into a single acronym. Likewise, Judaism can be split into Orthodox, Reformed and Hasidic while Islam is content with Sunni and Shi'a.  And that is but one example. The Eastern religions such as Buddhism et al are similarly broadly divided.

 

The point being that within our LGBTQIA2S+ community, the attempt to include every variety is resulting in a cumbersome and unwieldy acronym with little attention being paid to usage. WHile the intent is noble, the practice actually makes it not only difficult in terms of communication, but makes the community the object of ridicule among the more conservative elements of our society, which in turn leads to further marginalization and contributes to the hate being spewed forth against us. A single, easy to use term (I don't care what it is) would be helpful. 

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I have a great idea I understand we want to have an acronym to represent us but we are all human right? Instead of trying to separate ourselves from everyone else why don't we just call ourselves humans? Happy Unified Mortals All Noteworthy.

I think that about sums it all up.

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I'll leave religion alone, but the plus sign shows the failure to peg people into boxes. I rarely use it in my writing. If I want to be as inclusive as I think I can, I use transgender and gender non-conforming/gender diverse persons. I think those terms can capture most people who are not cisgender. But, I suspect there might be holes in these dikes as well. If people are looking for specific gender terms there are a lot of them out there. Also using the phrase above leaves out sexual attraction. They are separate issues. It is basically who you might want to snuggle up or more. What your gender is doesn't matter. I am attracted to women. So, some would call me a lesbian, and I do use it out of ease of conversation. What if I was male would I be a heterosexual because I like women. I wouldn't or I wouldn't now, but I haven't really change to whom I am attracted--it was women before my transition and it is women now. Also sexual attraction can almost be as various as gender.

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20 minutes ago, ImAva said:

I have a great idea I understand we want to have an acronym to represent us but we are all human right? Instead of trying to separate ourselves from everyone else why don't we just call ourselves humans? Happy Unified Mortals All Noteworthy.

I think that about sums it all up.

Yes it certainly does, but people are naturally boxy. We want categories for everything. And that is the way it is. Could we rid ourselves of that. I cannot see how either personally or socially. It does not limit our ability communicate in different ways. I try to come up with what is informative and understandable. If I come across some different way to communicate my thoughts then I will switch.

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People are naturally boxy...I'm not sure how we rid ourselves of that.  My husband's German ancestry lends itself toward endless lists, categories, file cabinets...I can't imagine not being boxed somehow. 😆

 

@Marcie Jensen You make an interesting comparison to religion.  It works on some level...unfortunately, it is limited for people like me who fall into more than one category.  Perhaps we might have to divide into different communities based on attraction, identity, etc...  I guess being bisexual, transgender, and intersex would be sort of like identifying as Baptist, Republican, and a member of the Masons? (Just a random example.)  

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11 hours ago, ImAva said:

I have a great idea I understand we want to have an acronym to represent us but we are all human right? Instead of trying to separate ourselves from everyone else why don't we just call ourselves humans?

I second it.

 

I find the letters, to put it politely, irritating...

Whatever happened to just being called a human, and just not adding names/letters. It doesn't matter what flavor you are, or how you like it... still human. I feel the letters just add more confusion and give people more reason to be picky/discriminatory.

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17 hours ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

People are naturally boxy...I'm not sure how we rid ourselves of that.  My husband's German ancestry lends itself toward endless lists, categories, file cabinets...I can't imagine not being boxed somehow. 😆

 

an interesting comparison to religion.  It works on some level...unfortunately, it is limited for people like me who fall into more than one category.  Perhaps we might have to divide into different communities based on attraction, identity, etc...  I guess being bisexual, transgender, and intersex would be sort of like identifying as Baptist, Republican, and a member of the Masons? (Just a random example.)  

It's looks like I wasn't clear (again). Looks like that's becoming one of my best things... Sorry. All I was trying to do with the point about religion was to note that, at least among the monotheist ones, there is no collective, all inclusive label for every branch/sect/denomination, and that our community making the attempt to do so leads to a cumbersome and in practical terms, unusable and confusing acronym.  Again, my apologies.

 

As far as using multiple labels to identify oneself, there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, @awkward-yet-sweet, you already do so; ie; "bisexual, transgender and intersex."  Again, there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's clear, precise and descriptive. More importantly, it communicates your sense of self remarkably well. BUT, it also tends to put you into a "box" as you put it. Again, that's nothing new. We all do it, and have done so for millenia. Seems to me it's part of human nature. We categorize everything--even ourselves--homo sapiens sapiens--but no one uses the taxonomical terms in everyday speech because they are simply too cumbersome. I think the same thing applies here.  For example, I've been "out" for some time now, and I have no issue with telling people that I'm trans. I don't believe I've ever used the term "LGBTQIA2S+" or even "LGBTQ+" to describe myself to anyone in conversational speech. It's unclear, most folks don't understand the meaning and I don't want to have to explain what the acronyms mean.

 

@ImAvahas the right idea--why don't we all just call ourselves humans and go with that.

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10 minutes ago, Marcie Jensen said:

It's looks like I wasn't clear (again). Looks like that's becoming one of my best things... Sorry. All I was trying to do with the point about religion was to note that, at least among the monotheist ones, there is no collective, all inclusive label for every branch/sect/denomination, and that our community making the attempt to do so leads to a cumbersome and in practical terms, unusable and confusing acronym.  Again, my apologies.

 

As far as using multiple labels to identify oneself, there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, @awkward-yet-sweet, you already do so; ie; "bisexual, transgender and intersex."  Again, there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's clear, precise and descriptive. More importantly, it communicates your sense of self remarkably well. BUT, it also tends to put you into a "box" as you put it. Again, that's nothing new. We all do it, and have done so for millenia. Seems to me it's part of human nature. We categorize everything--even ourselves--homo sapiens sapiens--but no one uses the taxonomical terms in everyday speech because they are simply too cumbersome. I think the same thing applies here.  For example, I've been "out" for some time now, and I have no issue with telling people that I'm trans. I don't believe I've ever used the term "LGBTQIA2S+" or even "LGBTQ+" to describe myself to anyone in conversational speech. It's unclear, most folks don't understand the meaning and I don't want to have to explain what the acronyms mean.

 

@ImAvahas the right idea--why don't we all just call ourselves humans and go with that.

@Marcie, That only works when you are speaking in general terms. And I didn't even know what 2S means. Also we might went more exact language in case of the acronym is in use. But must people that know anything, know the LGBT one. But, we want something equaling our own. It was originally just a sexual orientation acronym. Why don't we have more letters for a wide net of people that don't feel included. There is no initial for polyamorous or pansexual. What do you with 2 PPs in this situation. The whole thing is a mess and I don't see any janitor cleaning it up. That includes me. I will say as a transgender blogger, I focus mainly on transgender women's and as so is rather restricted, I have change how I reach a broader community a number of times. I wrote above what I currently used, but I can see a problem with texters I feel they would not want to use something as long as it is. I have also changed how I described myself. It is mainly just a woman, in a context where my transgender is part of the discuss or what I am writing about I use transgender women. One more thought Even the T needs expansion T-male or T-woman for starters. I try to use my own experience. Not always possible. Because of things I have read I have done my best to find out if it's accurate or not.

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I volunteered at a pride booth at a fair when I first started identifying as transgender and I was amazed at how some of the folks who came up to talk were able to identify the flags that decorated the booth with the respective letters of the queer alphabet. Something I myself was struggling with. Each of the colors in each of the flags represented a different  facet of the alphabet. 
 

It sounds cool to have your own flag. Until it becomes uncool. Humans tend to rally around flags. Wars have been fought over an allegiance to a flag. Some flags become more important than other flags and are flown higher or more often. Wars have been fought over which religion is more important. S as lol animals are equal. But some animals are more equal. Does the order of the letters in the alphabet carry any significance?
 

I really like the acronym that @ImAvacame up with: Happy Unified Mortals All Noteworthy. I think it was Rodney King during the LA riots who said “Why can’t we all just along?”

 

what does the plus at the end mean? But wait, there’s more! Or This is the end of the line… no more! Or maybe its a subtle recognition that we’’re not all equal which is why there are wars and rumors of wars. However we are all Noteworthy and we all deserve a our own unique PLUS sign! Maybe the + should replace the = sign as a bumper sticker!

 

 

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  • Admin

I for one celebrate the emerging definitions of identity that for the time being add letters to the banner.  I am old enough to remember the drabness of just M or F genders and ONLY Male and Female Sexes in regard to procreation purposes.  Just the two sets of two.  What a wonderful change the last 60 and a few more of my years have come up with in the recognition of ways and expressions of humanity, and the pride people have in those expressions.  Yes, it is a lot of work to educate people in what IDENTITY is all about, and individually it can get old when you have discovered your best and most true Identity, but we have plenty of others who have not found their voices and they need to know they are not alone.  Diversity and Uniqueness wrapped up together in celebration is the reason for the long terms, and I would not change the beautiful present for the drab past just because it is a bit exhausting and confusing.  It is why I am active in the community as old as I am.

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1 hour ago, StephieGurl said:

And I didn't even know what 2S means.

 

"2 Spirit", It's a native american take on what we see as transgender or non-binary. Some people of native american heritage identify as 2-spirit rather than trans or non-binary. (The two spirits it refers to are a male spirit and a female spirit.)

 

32 minutes ago, Aggie1 said:

what does the plus at the end mean? But wait, there’s more! Or This is the end of the line… no more! Or maybe its a subtle recognition that we’’re not all equal which is why there are wars and rumors of wars.

 

The plus just signals that you're not trying to exclude anything, while at the same time acknowledging that it's impractical to explicitly list out every every letter.

 

35 minutes ago, Aggie1 said:

Does the order of the letters in the alphabet carry any significance?

 

Not for the most part, it's mostly just chronological in when they were added. Except, I've heard that putting the "L" before the "G" was done out of respect and gratitude for the lesbian nurses during the AIDS crisis who, very often, were the only nurses willing to work with AIDS patients.

 

As far as "labels" and "boxes", my take is: Another word for "label" is, well, "word". Communication would be much more difficult and impractical without them. Imagine trying to communicate meaningfully about all these particular aspects of ourselves if we didn't have any of these words in LGBTQ+. It wouldn't be impossible, but it would be a lot more awkward and unwieldy. The important thing with labels is that we don't abuse them to place restrictions or judgements on ourselves or on others.

 

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3 hours ago, StephieGurl said:

@Marcie, That only works when you are speaking in general terms. A

EXACTLY!!! That was the entire point!! And I had to look up the 2S definition, too.

 

2 hours ago, Aggie1 said:

I really like the acronym that @ImAvacame up with: Happy Unified Mortals All Noteworthy. I think it was Rodney King during the LA riots who said “Why can’t we all just along?”

 

Me, too.

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Personally, I just refer to myself as queer or gay more often than not since it flows a lot better than the soup of words I could use to describe myself. I have also seen "MOGAI" for "Marginalized Orientation, Gender Alignment, and Intersex", but that one is heavily criticized for being associated with "micro-identities"

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