We are now LGBTQ (depending who you ask)

Just when Americans were starting to understand what the term “LGBT” meant — it’s the new term for the gay community — the organization formerly known as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) has now changed its name to “The National LGBTQ Task Force.”

According to a piece written by NLGBTQTF (I guess?) executive director Rea Carey, this is part of a larger move by the Task Force to focus on other progressive issues that aren’t necessarily L, G, B or T.

Carey doesn’t explain in the piece what the Q actually means. Traditionally it has meant either “queer” (an umbrella term for gay and other things) or “questioning.”

Queer bothers some gay people, as it was (still is) used as a slur against us. Still, the term doesn’t really bother me, personally.

Questioning is an interesting one. It’s become popular in the past several years on college campuses in the US. The way it’s been explained to me is that Q is an effort to include people who aren’t sure if they’re gay, or bi, or trans. So we call them “questioning,” and add the Q to make them feel welcome.

For example, Oregon State University uses LGBTQ.

by-default-2014-10-09-at-7.45.28-PM

But check out the university’s full definition of who the LGBTQ office caters to:

Welcome, our office serves to meet the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Allied communities, as well as those who identify as Same Gender Loving, Two Spirit, Asexual, Pansexual, and Poly-Amorous.

star-trek-q-larger

Actor John de Lancie playing the character “Q” on Star Trek – The Next Generation. (Q always struck me a bit gay.)

Same gender loving,” you ask?

SGL was adapted as an Afrocentric alternative to what are deemed Eurocentric homosexual identities (e.g. gay and lesbian) which do not culturally affirm or engage the history and cultures of people of African descent. Specifically, the term SGL affirms Black homosexual and bisexual men and women through its African American conceptual origins, African inspired iconography, philosophy, symbols, principles, and values[2][not in citation given] The term SGL usually has broad, important and positive personal, social, and political purposes and consequences. SGL is anti-hate and anti-anti-Black.

Back to “questioning.” I’m not sure I entirely understand the argument, as I was definitely queer in college — though I wasn’t out, I knew by then that this gay thing wasn’t going away — and I’d have not been caught dead at the local gay group meetings, Q or no Q.

I also don’t particularly understand how gay, or bi, or trans groups need to add a Q, but no other group out there does. You don’t, for example, see women’s groups adding a Q to their name, to welcome men who are questioning whether they might in fact be trans women. And, I’d be curious if bisexual and trans groups (not LGBT, but groups particularly devoted to those communities) are adding Q to their names as well. I’ve not seen it.

I get the intent, to be welcoming. I’m not however sure that the name-change is effective, particularly after the American public has yet to fully comprehend the last name change, when we became LGBT.

And it’s more problematic than that. The Task Force now uses LGBTQ. Whereas our largest national gay group, the Human Rights Campaign, uses LGBT.

And guess what foreigners use? Typically, LGBTI (I for “interex“), or LGBTIA (the A often means asexual, but I just googled it and sometimes it means “ally”). Then why don’t other progressive groups have allies too? I’m an environmental ally. And I care about women’s issues, and race. Why is it always the gay groups that keep adding letters?

And it’s not just abroad. Here’s a conference last year in San Diego, devoted to “LGBTQIA youth.”

Star Trek star George Takei speaks at a conference devoted to "LGBTQIA" youth in San Diego in 2013.

Star Trek star George Takei speaks at a conference devoted to “LGBTQIA” youth in San Diego in 2013.

And ILGA, “the” international gay group, uses LGBTI, but not Q or A.

Now, one could argue that the ever-expanding abbreviation is a sign of our forward-looking-ness. That gays add it because we “get it,” and perhaps other groups don’t as of yet. And I suspect that’s exactly the intent. And as gays are on the cusp of getting everything they/we want, it’s perhaps understandable why gay rights groups want to reorganize themselves, lest they be put out to pasture by their own success.


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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  • Badgerite

    I think he’s taken, John.

  • dcinsider

    Fixed LOL.

  • Of course, if we’re cherry-picking add-ons, I’m gonna go with:

    LGBTMATTHEWBRODERICK

  • I grew up in the 70s and early 80s. “Queer,” as in, “smear the queer” was nothing but a slur. Always. It still is. Often. I have as much of a dislike of that word as any trans man or woman has for “tranny.”

  • Badgerite

    Oh Geese. Best not to confuse the issues and alienate more down to earth types right off the bat with so many letters you have no idea what it means. Stick with what is working and people can translate to real life.
    Besides, Q will always be the Q from Star Trek the Next Generation to so many people including me, why confuse the issue?

  • Polterguest

    I’m not talking about gender, gender isn’t equivalent to biological sex. Gender is an artificial societal construct with roots in biological sex, but they aren’t the same thing. And it is biological sex which I am referring to when I say that gay male = homoSEXual. But you know that’s what I was talking about (unless your reading comprehension is on the 1st grade level.) You just chose to pretend otherwise for whatever reason.

    I don’t think you understand what troll means. It doesn’t mean someone who believes you to be wrong.

  • In this case, using “sex” in the sense of “gender” – “homo” = “same,” ergo “homosexual” meaning “same gender.” It’s NOT all (or always) about sexual activity. That’s exactly the argument the haters are using to put us down. And now I’m going to wise up and stop feeding the troll.

  • Polterguest

    gay man = homosSEXual

  • Again, it’s not always sexual. Sometimes it’s emotional/affectional. It can be more about the person with who you fall (or want to fall) in love.

  • FriendofPoopyhead

    Oh no. Forgive me. Please. For I am now an oppressor. John and I must repent now. We have slaughtered innocents. The allies and the alleys are screaming from our tyranny.

  • Polterguest

    No contradiction at all, really.

  • Polterguest

    The sexual attraction is still there. Gay = same sex sexual attraction. Quite simple.

  • I suspect you are correct. :)

  • petewestcentral

    I disagree.

  • petewestcentral

    Hey, you left out ally or alley.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I suspect you are replying to someone not from the U.S.A.

  • There’s a reason the Task Force is increasingly marginalized, and HRC is the predominant LGBT advocacy group (not that that’s necessarily BETTER, mind you).

  • He meant the character, not the actor (to which I agree). And being married to a partner of the opposite gender doesn’t preclude one from being gay or bi.

  • DrRandyG

    You just contradicted yourself. It’s about ATTRACTION and AFFECTION, not sex. You can be gay and celibate.

  • DrRandyG

    My university simplified the mess – they went from the GSU (Gay Students’ Union) to the QPU (Queer People’s Union). As far as I know, that moniker has stuck for at least 15 years.

  • DrRandyG

    The National Gay Task Force (the original name from 1973) was founded as a private entity; that’s simply the name they chose for themselves. It’s not a formal task force of any governmental entity. The “and Lesbian” was added in 1985.

  • RahimBlogger

    First of all I don’t understand why was the special Task Force created, consisting of only the LGBT forces? I mean, you are all talking here about equality and no discrimination, yet separating the normal Task Force and creating a specific LGBT Task Force.

    Second, the fuss made over the adding letters is just confusing. I mean, what is the difference between adding Q or I letters at the end? Wouldn’t it be more efficient for the group to actually do something instead of just changing the name and adding an additional letter?

  • Indigo

    I had the impression it was mutual.

  • Definitely had a thing for Picard.

  • He was looking a little puffy last season, slimmed down this season – but when will someone invent a spray tan that doesn’t make the person it is applied to look like an alien?

  • Don Chandler

    Well, I know you like ice cream, John. But I’m not sure if you like vanilla ice cream. And you might really dislike garlic ice cream. You probably don’t ask why you like vanilla ice cream or why you don’t like garlic ice cream. I’ll bet you don’t even question it. You simply say, I’ll pass on the garlic and take the vanilla. And your mother doesn’t press you on the matter…well, mothers are not so predictable, so maybe I should say, and your waiter doesn’t press you on why you prefer vanilla. Sexually speaking, we have these desires and should we question them? It’s your old ice cream analogy on sexual preference. Only if the public welfare is at stake? Seems reasonable. If you were say straight, you wouldn’t be asked to question your heterosexual desires when you are young. But if you are gay, you are asked to question your desires? Now ask why there is a double standard. The public welfare is not served? Gays make people uncomfortable? The bible says not to have same-sex relationships? On and on. You’ve heard them all. But for me, same-sex attraction was a no-brainer ; it was a facile attraction if not magnetic ;)

    Now religion is entirely different for me. I don’t have that ‘religious gene’. I’m agnostic and like that expression, “I don’t know if there is a god, and neither do you.” But I’m surrounded by people that adhere to various faiths to various degrees. So I let them alone unless they get “fundamental” with me. But you can’t ask fundy’s to question their religion. No amount of reason will prevail and asking them to question their faith is like inviting them to visualize a set of horns on your forehead. So I just let them be. Avoidance. It would seem like religious folks would put a Q after their faiths: CatholicsQ or maybe BornAgainQ. But they don’t. They just accept people that are considering their faith and let them join in the religious service: Q is implicit. Of course the LGBT community would accept a person questioning their sexuality. I know people that are straight that belong to the LGBT community. There are no barriers. It’s inclusive. Religion is exclusive in the sense that gays can’t marry in say the Catholic Church. Gays are going to hell in some of these roadside houses. But yeah, it would be nice to see them question their faith or the people that contrived their faith: question authority and know thy self…not a universal approach or inherent in humanity? That’s why we have sheeple.

  • Polterguest

    Yes it is. It is about someone of one sex being sexually attracted those of the same sex. It’s quite simple actually.

  • And I questioned whether I was a Christian, and whether God was real or a good person when I was coming out. So why not add a Q to religions as well? People question lots of beliefs and even identities :)

  • LOL I like DiNozzo too :)

  • Emoticons are your friend :)

  • FriendofPoopyhead

    Oh god. John just asked a question. Full on oppression of the innocents has just transpired. This blog is literally Hitler. The only way for everyone here to NOT be Hitler is to recognize this new acronym:

    LGBTQQIABDSMPSAHPDINKFMFE

    Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Questioning Intersexed Asexual Bondage Dominance Sadism Masochism Polyamorous Stay At Home Parent Double Income No Kids Frequent Masturbator Fisting Enthusiast

    I mean, we really must recognize how oppressed fisting enthusiasts are. Those poor people. If we don’t recognize and acknowledge their post-modern identities, we are all Hitler.

  • Indigo

    Yes, they were a nasty crowd, still are, I assume. I forget exatly when it was but they were banned long ago from Pride parades and, at some point when the Gay and Lesbian Task Force was just that, they were refused admission. But when it comes to alphabet soup, they were in the lead. I’ve harbored an active distaste for disguising content with alphabetic flim-flam every since.

  • Aye…

  • BloggerDave

    If the Q does indeed stand for ‘questioning’, the name change will most likely be attacked by religious groups as a “recruiting” effort…

  • Benjamin Martin

    We had this debate more than 10 years ago when I lead the student group in my university (BGLA – Bi, Gay and Lesbian Alliance when I started) and we wanted to make sure to include a broader spectrum of people under our group.The Q (for both questioning and queer) was much discussed back then.

  • dcinsider

    I was just getting used to lesbian.

  • dcinsider

    I think that plays into the enemies hands. They see us as “sexual” minorities and define us by sex, which we have fought against from the 1980’s. It suggests “behavioral” differences, and “there is not constitutional right to engage in {fill-in} behavior.”

    Being gay is not about sex.

  • dcinsider

    I concur.

  • MyrddinWilt

    There is a consent issue there.

    And given what I have been finding out about the activities of NAMBLA/PIE/Spartacus in the past few weeks, it seems they were far worse than anyone imagined.

  • S1AMER

    Wouldn’t it be simpler to just say “Not Straights”?

    Seriously, this is verging on silliness. Yes, there are all sorts of us who have been cut out and rendered Second Class (or Third, or Fourth) Citizens because we’re not heterosexuals.

    But is being “not them” enough to define an “us”? For all our common causes, we have many, mani differences.

    I remember back when the group was the National Gay Task Force, and then added “Lesbian” because many of us believed gay men had pretty much reserved the word “gay” as a noun for themselves and not an adjective that encompassed women. Okay. But adding some more letters, and then more, starts turning everything into a mockable alphabet soup (read other comments below) with a very cloudy broth.

    So let’s get back to simplicity, and simply rename the group (now and forever, to save on stationery printing costs) the WAS [We Ain’t Straight] Task Force.

  • Indigo

    True but Q is hot in an alien-culture way.

  • Indigo

    remember NAMBLA?

  • GarySFBCN

    I try to avoid these topics because the ‘generational divide’ becomes painfully obvious. Being older chronologically doesn’t mean you have to abandon being open-minded, but it appears that it what happens to many of us.

  • The_Fixer

    Get ready for a new one heading down the pipe: MOGII.

    Some people have been talking this up as a replacement for LGBTQUIA (Better yet: QUILTBAG). It tries to be all-inclusive yet compact because it stands for “Marginalized Orientation or Gender Identity and Intersexed.

    It does seem to represent everybody – Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual certainly are marginalized orientations. Gender Identity covers trans folk and those who don’t believe they have a gender, and Intersexed covers those who are just that. It does have compactness going for it.

    But to me, for some reason, it just doesn’t seem like it will catch on. Partly because it’s new and “LGBT” has inertia. To me, it sounds odd – like it’s anew kind of transportation, an animal, or a video game character’s name.

  • The_Fixer

    Sex gets a lot weirder and more complex as you dig deeper.

    Some men are not attracted to men in the least. They just enjoy male-male sex. Does that make them gay, straight or bi?

    Yes, human sexuality is far more complicated than we know. As time goes on, we’ll surely understand it better. However, there are a lot of people who would not have us explore it as it will then make their antiquated and limited notions of sexuality impertinent.

    Regarding men who enjoy sex with other men but don’t have an emotional attraction – that’s bisexuality, but not what I call “bigender affectionate.” To me, the term “sexual orientation” strictly concerns who we have sex with. I use (for lack of a better term) “emotional orientation” to describe who we emotionally attracted to.

    Sexual researchers have been exploring the difference between who we are emotionally attracted to, and who we are physically/sexually attracted to. They are distinctly different things, and the investigation of both sides of what we call “falling in love” is adding greatly to our understanding of human attraction.

    For most people, their emotional attraction is in concert with their sexual attraction. Not all people are wired that way, however. I know some people who are emotionally attracted to people of both genders, but only attracted sexually to the opposite gender. I also know at least one person who is attracted sexually to his gender, but not emotionally.

    It does get confusing. However, it’s great that sex researchers are discovering this. Knowing that such outside-of-the-mainstream combinations of sexual and emotional attraction are naturally occurring in humans can go a long way toward helping such people understand and be more comfortable with themselves.

    However, it can also curse us with yet more acronyms :)

  • Jim Olson

    And of course, the UCC is on the cutting edge. We’ve apparently dropped LGBT and all the other acronym salad letters from the name of our denominational advocacy organization. Whatever. http://ucccoalition.org/why-the-coalition-changed-its-name/

  • Myrddin Wyllt

    Some bi-folk use queer because they identify as gay tribally even though they have an opposite sex partner.

    Sex gets a lot weirder and more complex as you dig deeper.

    Some men are not attracted to men in the least. They just enjoy male-male sex. Does that make them gay, straight or bi?

    The endless obsession with classifying and labels needs to stop because the point is that consensual and sane sex just isn’t anyone else’s business.

  • Myrddin Wyllt

    Hey what about the BDSM community? What do they have against Kink?

  • lol

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I think it should be LGBTQGDTOTICAKOLI (LGBT+Questioning+Got Drunk This One Time In College And Kind Of Liked It)

  • Don Chandler

    I remember questioning why I had same-sex attraction. With all humor, I remember trying to change it to opposite-sex attraction and I failed repeatedly. Eventually I gave up on the notion. But had I heard that sexuality was not a choice, I might have pursued dating at an earlier and healthier time and learned to be happy about who I was sooner. Bisexuals have a choice in who they date, male or female; they might be questioning things. But I never felt I had a choice. Some Science suggested that sexuality was determined both biologically and through upbringing; I think they are half right and half wrong and also missing something. And when I was dealing with sexuality, psychologists still considered it a disorder, I was glad they rectified matters. And then religion said being a homosexual was a sin implying choice; and they were and are all wrong. I know how you feel about labels, but being gay isn’t a label for me, it’s part of who I am. The sooner I confronted it, the better. Perhaps that Kinsey scale allows for questioning if you are someplace in between gay and straight–a Kinsey 1-5? But then you are bisexual to some degree and the gay and straight ‘label’ fails where the bisexual ‘label’ is apt and the degree of bisexuality is questioned. Sure questioning ourselves is be good but some things just are. And LGBTQ is certainly a mouthful of label!

  • mark_in_toronto

    Can you imagine if the groups represented by every letter of these various combinations of acronyms went their own separate ways demanding their own unique battle for rights? Whether it’s an acronym like we’re using now or a clever name or phrase . . . let’s certainly NOT fight amongst ourselves over something so . . . trivial. I’m sure some clever LGBTQIA person will think of something.

  • nicho

    When I was a young’un, gay meant anyone in the sexual minority community — men, women, trans (for what it was at that time). It didn’t mean “questioning,” because that implied you were trying to decide. Usually, you were gay, but were trying to play both sides of the fence to avoid coming out. Then, someone with apparently nothing better to do, decided that gay meant only men (hint, it wasn’t men). These were presumably the same people who decided that “human,” “woman,” “women,” and “history” were sexist too — leading us to “humin,” “womyn,” “herstory,” and a host of other linguistic silliness. We should just go back to “gay” and be done with it.

  • John de Lancie is married to Marnie Mosiman and has two grown-up sons.

  • Sean

    Agreed! Trying to cram a lecture about the many permutations that sexual and gender identities come in into one name is self defeating.

  • NCIS… that Mark Harmon is so dreamy.

  • kingstonbears

    You got my vote on that one. Ok, time for a Sapphire ‘tini

  • M-I-C , see you in prison K-E-Y- Why? Because this doesn’t matter and the haters aren’t done yet. M-O-U-S-E-

  • goulo

    But the negation makes it confusingly ambiguous: it looks a lot like (Non-Cis) and (Straight) at first glance, instead of Non-(Cis and Straight)…
    …so maybe NCNS?

    Oh, it’s alphabet soup no matter how we cook it. :)

  • BKX

    Screw all this letters bullshit. Let’s just change it to Non-Cis&Straght (NCS for short). No more adding letters. If you’re not cis or not straight, you in the group. Done.

  • Totally gay. He had a big one for Picard.

  • Markus Harker

    Actually sexual minorities is commonly used in other countries and i am liking that more and more. We have racial, ethnic and religious minorities, so why not sexual minorities?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Name changes, unless they’re accompanied by major political changes, don’t mean squat. Anyone can rebrand. Democrats do it and now even Republicans, always late to the popularity party, want some of that action.

    To become relevant the Task Force will have to focus on the issues that matter to working class LGBT folks – a decent minimum wage, affordable, good housing, union organization and benefits, the fight against police violence against young transgendered people and people of color and the fight for a decent income for the youngest and oldest among us. And above all the fight for passage of an ENDA or a robust Civil Rights Amendment that includes ourselves, women, people of color and working people.

    That relevance will only come from abandoning the twin parties of rich and embracing the fights of LGBT working people. The Task Force, unfortunately, has too many ties with Democrats for that to happen.

  • nicho

    I’m still pondering how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but when I’ve settled that pressing question, I’ll most certainly turn my attention to sorting out how many letters can dance in an unpronouncable acronym.

  • Hue-Man

    I suggest: G&T. The sun’s over the yardarm somewhere.*Hick*

  • Hue-Man

    I’ve made the point before that straight politicians rarely support trans issues. Obvious straight ignorance and hostility from last week’s hearings on Bill C-279 to add gender identity to the Canadian Federal human rights legislation. The Committee chairman:

    “A Conservative senator cited the case of a convicted sexual predator and the notion of men entering women’s bathrooms as examples of his concerns related to a transgender rights bill now being studied in the upper chamber.” and

    ““Whose rights do we trump by giving someone else rights? I support the employment and the housing part, but the fact of the matter is, we’re biologically either male or female,” he said.” http://globalnews.ca/news/1595285/whose-rights-do-we-trump-by-giving-someone-else-rights-conservative-senator-slams-transgender-bill/

  • rudolf schnaubelt

    I see your point. It is all just semantics. For me queer is not offensive. Further, I also like the faintly anglophile tone it conveys.

    Gay is fine as well. Rather than throw in half the alphabet just stick with LGBT. The more letters we add the ludicrous we become.

    emjayyay, I agree, an ever expanding list of initials is just silly.

  • Time spent arguing over arbitrary labels, rigid categories, and increasingly silly abbreviations is time not being spent fighting for fundamental human rights.

    Just saying.

  • Because if gay people won’t stand up for trans people, who will? Everyone should but I don’t see that happening. We are allied in the sense of not conforming to the heteronormative construct of “normal”. The reality is that both gender and sexuality are more complicated than the mainstream culture likes to acknowledge and that goes for just about everyone.

  • Well part of this is just the basic problem with identity politics. How many letters do we have to add to include everyone. I’ll make it simpler: I’m for equal rights for everyone.

    Also, I remember being questioning. There’s no need for young people to label themselves and many are rejecting labels (and who can blame them given the silliness that ensues).

  • FLL

    Agreed. I said that L, G, B and Q could all be covered by the term sexuality, but I wasn’t implying that those four concepts were an exhaustive list of characteristics for something as complex as sexuality. I only meant to say that sexuality and gender identity are type different concepts and not really linked to each other by definition.

  • And he was always was kind of gay :)

  • emjayay

    LGBTQOV!

  • FLL

    There is no willingness to recognize that some don’t possess an inner diva.

    That is very quotable… and also true. Maybe I’m a little off on this, but I’ve always associated the term “queer” with academia or cinematic art. Many universities have a “Department of Queer Studies,” not a “Department of Gay Studies.” Also, the term “New Queer Cinema” came into use around 1990. But your experience also sounds accurate because a lot of people use the term “queer” when they’re talking about that kind of transgressive underground performance art.

  • emjayay

    Yeah, and what you really mean is alternative or not in the majority sexual orientation.

    “… all it takes to be gay is to be sexually attracted to members of the same sex.” Yup.

  • emjayay

    Oh God, here we go again. “Queer” was a big deal about twenty five or thirty years ago and it replaced “gay” among the cool kids at least for a while, and is still around. We still have Queer this and that on campuses, I think. Then slowly “gay” slipped back in and now generally means both men and women and pretty much anyone who wants to jump aboard. Queer could have replaced all the letters since that meaning is the intent, but it really didn’t. LGBT or gay is enough, although as has been explored here several times at great length, the T is a bit controversial. In more official use, queer is much to open to misinterpretation as it is still a slur to a lot of people, particularly those that mean it.

    There is no good reason for more confusion by adding one letter after another to be all encompassingly politically correct.

  • LOL the picture of Q from STNG.

  • cleos_mom

    OMG! WTF?

  • Don Chandler

    Bad idea to add “Q” for Questioning. For gays and lesbians, there is no questioning. For bisexuals and transgender, the questioning is implicit for different reasons–so why add a “Q”? I think you and others were right to hammer into folks heads that sexual orientation is not “choice” which adding “Q” for “questioning” undermines. Like yourself, I started feeling same-sex attraction when I was very young, but there was no question after puberty. I don’t think you want to undermine the “no choice” meme–it’s effective and accurate in describing sexual orientation.

    “Q” for queer is not so bad as it encompasses many other options, among them, straight people that don’t fit into the heterosexual mainstream…say gothies for instance or heterosexuals that are happy without the masculine/feminine dichotomy of our waning patriarchal structure.

    But if it ain’t broke, why fix it John? We’re doing well without adding “Q”.

  • timncguy

    to clarify, I guess I should have said “sexual orientation”. And, an “A” for asexual should be included in my list. But, the rest of your list is not an orientation. Fer gawd’s sake, please don’t start linking pedophilia to orientation. The right wing nuts do that enough.

  • goulo

    I’m not sure that “sexuality is defined by L, G and B” (but I’m not sure what you mean by that). Other sexuality things leap to mind not covered by those 3 categories, e.g. BDSM, interracial relationships, polyamory, asexuality, and (to name some which are typically distanced for obvious reasons) zoophilia, pedophilia, and surely many more types of sexuality I’m not thinking of off the top of my head.

    Despite all US laws against interracial sex finally being wiped from the books (I think the last one only a decade ago?), discrimination still occurs against such couples, and similarly there’s big societal taboos and discrimination against BDSM and polyamorous people.

  • Indigo

    Who donates to that ersatz group? I stopped years ago. All I’ve heard out of them for about a decade now is alphabet soup brain-storming.

  • caphillprof

    Amen to that.

  • caphillprof

    It would be better if gay and lesbian groups would consolidate their gains and get ready to crush the inevitable backlash anywhere and everywhere it raises its ugly little head. The reports of our victory are premature.

    The Task Force is adding initials because it yearns to go out of business. They will slowly lose gay support and with that they will lose any effectiveness. In America, queer remains perjorative.

    I think we should be exceedingly careful about embracing college trendiness. So much of what comes out of colleges never goes anywhere. I can remember many classmates out to change the world, only one got anywhere and she didn’t get too far before she fizzled out.

  • timncguy

    Sexuality is defined by L, G and B. Adding the Q doesn’t really speak to any additional gradations of sexuality. It speaks more to culture. Or, more accurately, a representation of counter-culture. I have no problem in including Q. But, I have noticed many who identify as Queer as opposed to Gay, tend to look down their noses at those who prefer gay over queer. There is an attitude that if you are not interested in stereotypical gay counter-culture, then you must be self-hating and are not really sufficiently gay. You are described as suppressing your inner diva. There is no willingness to recognize that some don’t possess an inner diva. In reality, all it takes to be gay is to be sexually attracted to members of the same sex. Even if every other aspect of your life may be what the Q’s deride as hetero-normative, you are still every bit as gay as they are.

  • rudolf schnaubelt

    I actually like the use of Q. Q for queer in the British sense, slightly off kilter. Queer is an umbrella that takes in all of us and recognizes that what we have in common is that we all differ from societal norms in our sexuality.

  • FLL

    L and G and B and Q can all be described by the term “sexuality” because those letters are describing the complexities of sexuality. You could be even more complex by assigning a unique letter to the different numbers on the Kinsey scale. My only objection to L, B, G and Q is that it’s unnecessarily complicated. The term “sexuality” works just fine.

    The letter T for transgender begins a new paragraph because it concerns a different idea. Gender identity and sexuality are two completely different phenomena. If you want to combine the two ideas as a political strategy because fundamentalist Christians have persecuted both groups, I can understand that logic, but only from the political standpoint. At least be honest and recognize that gender identity and sexuality are not linked by definition. As an example, the fundamentalist mullahs in Iran show murderous hostility toward L, G, B and Q people, but not towards trans people—even to the point of having the Iranian government subsidize sex-reassignment surgery.

  • jomicur

    LGBTQIA..WTF? IMO.

  • HereinDC

    All I can say is, “Oy Vey!”

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