Once upon a time, a boy fell in love with another boy. Having been called queer or weird or dead, they came up with the word ‘gay’. Great word. It worked for boys who liked boys – gay boys – and girls who liked girls – gay girls.
Then gay girls thought they needed their own word, based on ancient Greek mythology. Why not? How about lesbian? So was born ‘gay and lesbian’. Or ‘lesbian and gay.’ Ladies first and all that.
Then bisexual people thought they would like to be picked out as separate. The part of their sexuality that pertained to people of the opposite sex didn’t really need a name and the bit that pertained to the same sex was ‘gay’ (or lesbian), but that didn’t embrace the totality of their experience as bisexuals. So bisexual was added. Making ‘lesbian, gay and bisexual’.
Then transgender people – people whose issue is not about sexuality but about gender – decided they would like a part of that lesbian, gay and bisexual action. How about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Even though most gays and lesbians and bisexuals have as much to do with transgender people as anyone else, they were an accommodating lot so… come on in.
You’d think that would be enough letters, wouldn’t you? But what about people questioning their sexuality? Couldn’t they be Q? And people who weren’t about their sexuality but their attitude? Queer people. Could they also be Q? Well, we’ve already got a Q, but come in anyway? And what about people who were born Intersex, somewhere between male and female? Why not? Budge up, everyone! And the people who support all of the above? Could they be Allies? An A might look nice in there.
And so, if you’ve been keeping up, we are now LGBTIQQA. Snappy, easy to memorise, something we can all run up the flag and salute.
But it’s very exclusive, isn’t it? What about other people? What about asexuals for instance? Why not have the new term GSD for Gender and Sexual Diversities? That’s the suggestion of Pink Therapy, a UK-based therapy organisation who should clearly be spending more time on tidying up that cupboard under the sink.
We think we speak for most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning and allied people when we say we love you all, we’re planning to dress up as you at Hallowe’en but why don’t we just have the term ‘people’? How about that?
While lesbians have nothing particularly in common with intersex people and bisexuals don’t necessarily identify as queer and gay men don’t understand the issues around trans politics any better than most people’s Auntie Jean, let’s just stick with people. The dyslexics among us will benefit from that straight away.
You know LGBT? That became LGBTIQQA? Now they want it to be GSD! We're sitting this one out.,