I’m not an ‘LGBT American’

The Democratic Party is in full “repair relations with the gay community” mode. Here’s a mailing from DNC chair Tim Kaine. Two things, before you read the mailing: First off, these “accomplishments” are a bit of a stretch. DADT is nowhere near repealed, and as for the hate crimes bill, that was great, but Obama didn’t lift a finger. And as for hospital visitations, jt’s disturbing that in 2010 that’s considered a great achievement. We want to get married.

Secondly… so now, according to the Democratic party, we’re all “LGBT Americans.” I’m sorry, but I’m not an LGBT American, and have never heard anyone, ever, call themselves that. Again, I get it. But I think people are going too far. If we’re going to list everyone who falls under the penumbra, then list everyone – break the Ts into multiple categories, add the queer and questioning youth and everyone else until the acronym is 50 letters long. Why stop at 4? (Many people don’t – in fact, the new thing is to call us LGBTQ among younger LGBTQs.)

Case in point – this is from Wikipedia:

Many variants exist including variations that merely change the order of the letters; LGBT or GLBT are the most common terms and the ones most frequently seen in current usage.[23] Although identical in meaning, “LGBT” may have a more feminist connotation than “GLBT” as it places the “L” (for “lesbian”) first.[23] When not inclusive of transgender people it is sometimes shortened to LGB.[23][24] LGBT or GLBT may also include additional “Q”s for “queer” or “questioning” (sometimes abbreviated with a question mark) (e.g., “LGBTQ”, “LGBTQQ”, or “GLBTQ?”).[7][25][26] Other variants may add a “U” for “unsure”; an “I” for intersex; another “T” for “transsexual” or “transvestite; another “T”, “TS”, or “2” for “Two‐Spirit” persons; an “A” or “SA” for straight allies; or an “A” for “asexual”.[27][28][29][30][31][32] Some may also add a P for polyamorous, and an O for other.[23][33] The order of the letters has not been standardized; in addition to the variations between the positions of the initial “L” or “G”, the mentioned, less‐common letters, if used, may appear in almost any order.[23] Variant terms do not typically represent political differences within the community, but arise simply from the preferences of individuals and groups.[34] The terms pansexual, omnisexual, fluid and queer-identified are regarded as falling under the umbrella term “bisexual”.[35] Likewise, the terms transsexual and intersex are regarded by some people as falling under the umbrella term “transgender” though many transsexual and intersex people object to this (both for different reasons).[23]

Not to mention, ironically, I think LGBT is a cop out for straight people. Much easier for a politician to laud the LGBT community than the GAY community, because no one outside of the gay community knows what the LGBT community even is. I’ve seen signs at rallies proclaiming something or other about “LGBT”, and I’ll bet everyone at the rally who wasn’t gay was scratching their head. In an effort to be more inclusive, we’ve shoved ourselves back into a sort of linguistic closet.

If we’re all one community, then we don’t need to keep adding letters to divide us. And for that matter, who decided that we’d go from GLBT to LGBT a few years ago? And why put L first? Why not TLGB? Or why not give the Bi’s first dibs.

From: Tim Kaine
Subject: Share your voice this Pride Month

Friend —

Today marks the beginning of Pride Month — a time not just to remember the brave Americans who stood up to hate and discrimination at the Stonewall Inn 41 years ago, but a time to stand with those who are committed to that same fight today.

LGBT Americans have helped build the Democratic Party into what it is today. And, as a leader of the party, I’m proud of our role in the struggle for equality.

That’s why it’s important to me — and to the future of this party — that we hear from you.

Take a moment to share your thoughts with us this Pride Month.

At times the pace of progress has not been as fast as some — myself included — would like. And, while equality cannot be achieved overnight, the President and our Democratic leaders in Congress have made important strides over the past 16 months to address barriers that LGBT Americans face.

— Last year, we passed the Matthew Shepherd & James Byrd, Jr., Federal Hate Crimes Act — which expanded the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation and gender identity and became the first federal law to provide protections for transgender Americans.

— In April, the President issued a directive, making critical changes to federal regulations and allowing gay and lesbian Americans to make medical decisions on behalf of their partners.

— And now we are on the verge of living up to President Obama’s pledge to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The House just passed historic legislation to end this discriminatory policy, and the full Senate is getting ready to vote in the coming months.

Governor Tim Kaine

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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