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So what if LGBTQQIAP2 is a mouthful? Just learn it already

Josh Jackman August 2, 2017
Lesbian couple kissing at a cafe

Tell me if this rings a bell.

“There are so many letters in LGBT-whatever now! It’s ridiculous! It’s like, LGBTABCDEF, right? Hahahaha I’m very witty.”

Ugh. Yes, person who is trying to invalidate my identity. So many letters. Almost half the alphabet, and who remembers all of those letters? I get stuck after J.

alphabet up to j
Wait, what comes next? I know this…

Sure, it’s understandable that not everyone would know what every letter stands for.

We’re all aware of the initialism LGBT, standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

If we added a Q, for queer, that also wouldn’t throw too many people.

After that, it gets a bit trickier. Many wouldn’t be able to name I for intersex, P for pansexual, or A for asexual.

There are also some variations which include another Q – for questioning – or a 2, which stands for two spirit, a term used widely in Canada by non-binary indigenous North Americans.

So, for the record, that’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, Two spirit.

“It used to be so much simpler!” the complainers cry.

“Why can’t everything be black and white?” they might as well add.

Well, because gender and sexuality are spectrums, and because persecuted or erased groups are finally finding their voices.

During the 60s and 70s, the terms ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ were popularised and became common parlance, while the bisexual and transgender communities struggled for inclusion.

This was the case until the late 80s and early 90s, when ‘LGBT’ erupted into the mainstream.

Lesbian couple with their child

And though this term is commonly used to this day, the initialism has evolved to include more letters, and thus more sub-groups. Sometimes as many as 10.

“That’s too many!” some will be yelling, right now.

“My brain hurts from remembering all these letters!”

So, you know how there are more than 10 countries?

More than 10 foods?

More than 10 colours?

And you know how you remember more than 10 names for them, and what colours the names refer to?

Yeah, it’s just not that hard.

After all, you already know four of them – LGBT, got that wrapped up – and learning the others just takes a small amount of effort.

Just like, the tiny modicum of effort that it takes to remember all your friends’ names.

“Sarah, Kyle, Louise, Adam…nope, that’s it. Can’t have any more friends, because four is my limit, apparently.”

“Kyle! Adam! And their children, who also have names maybe”

“There’s Britain, America, Australia, Canada and nope that’s all the ones I know and I’m offended that I have to learn more.”

So what’s at the root of this absurd objection to learning more letters and what they stand for?

I mean, they’re just letters.

Labels are useful for people finding themselves, and it shouldn’t be that hard to learn a few more terms just to be nice and recognise people’s identities.

And there’s the rub.

People can’t be bothered to recognise other identities they’re not used to. They don’t want to see gender or sexuality as a fascinating rainbow spectrum – it’s much easier to view it in monochrome.

“It’s political correctness gone mad!” they yelp desperately as they flail uselessly against the winds of change.

“It’s those darn meddling avocado-eating snowflake millennials wanting to be different!”

No. It’s not. It’s the true human condition, and they don’t want to acknowledge that, because it’s complicated. And change is scary.

Cry me a river.

Then go learn your LGBT alphabet.

More: asexual, bisexual, feature, Gay, gender, intersex, lesbian, LGBT, Pansexual, Queer, questioning, sexuality, Trans, Transgender, two spirit

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