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Ruth, I love those three photos!
Regarding the whole "alphabet soup" issue. If we are to be a community that represents and includes all persons whose sexual and/or gender identity is "different" than the mainstream, then I'm fine with having as many letters as needed. It is up to each of us to individually identify ourselves in a manner which is personally comfortable. Sexual orientation and identity can be very fluid, so the inclusion of many identifying terms is necessary.
Actually, the LGBTQI... collection comes out of many years of activism, debate, political correctness and incorrectness, and idealism. If all of the pixels and bits and bytes and paper that went into the discussion, could be collected together and made into something, it would be very impressive.
wikipedia version of that history.
Back when the dinosaurs were lumbering across the Midwestern swamps - yet to be renamed "wetlands" - and I was a struggling gay young man, I joined gay rights groups whose purpose was to provide community, refuge, and debate issues of the day. At the time, we referred to the issue as "gay", which we all thought was inclusive of anyone who wasn't "straight" in the supposed binary of sexuality. Then, in this entirely subjective history, a few women joined the group, and it was changed to "Gay and Lesbian". But that's not fair, so it was changed to "Lesbian and Gay". Much time was spent then with complaints about how bad men are, and how gay men were no better than straight men. These discussions managed to drive a lot of people away, and then there grew the realization that oppression has always been there for many flavors of gender expression, so it was expanded to LGBT although some guys thought GLBT was more appropriate since they thought they existed first, not remembering Sappho.
Then there was the academic movement of the 90s and beyond, who felt that "Questioning" and "Queer" should be added, which alienated some of the veterans who experienced much persecution involving the word "queer" but which many of the younger, and older, members of the movement said, get over it you crusty old farts - of which I am proud to be, but agism isn't part of the paradigm.
I find it pretty appalling that intersex folks are often forgotten in all of this. If anyone has been persecuted for their involuntary gender /sexual nonconformity, it's intersex people. Often, mutilated shortly after birth, and then repeatedly for life. Exactly which bathroom is an intersex person expected to use?
Oh well, enough of my rant. With enough letters in an acronym, we can just call it "Anybody but Straight Homophobes", or "ASH".
I think all people should be able to choose how they label themselves, and others should respect that. There may be limits to that, and the debate will never end. Never. Not ever.
Having much of my life been affected by persecution and discrimination, I don't care what labels people use.
@Jim G. I suspect the media made up the alphabet thing and that someone added the letter Q because they knew some of us do not identify completely with the other letters. Some of us initially disliked appropriation of the word "gay" (happy). I find myself increasingly quoting Emory, the most effeminate character in Mart Crowley's Boys in the Band who got some of the funniest lines. At one point, Emory says, "Show me a happy homosexual and I'll show you a corpse," which in the 60s was a fairly accurate statement. Originally, queer meant nothing more than "different." That's why I like it. Yes, it is an epithet in the mouths of homophobes, but that doesn't bother me. Look at the way African-Americans re-appropriated "nigger" in the 1960s and later. If I were African-American, I think I would like the N word, too. But I think I see the point made by those who want the word banned. I just do not like the obsessive attempts to be politically correct. Not sure what you mean by "the whole community thing."
Don't say "LGBT" when you "LGBT." It ought to be LGBTQ. Some of us don't like alphabet soup to begin with, and the four letter version is too confining.
Hey, BJ. Welcome, and hello to you as well. Glad you could join us.
Hi BJ. I provided a welcome on your comments, but also welcome here. How's life in TN?
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