GLBTQ vs. LGBTQ vs. GLBT vs. LBGT? Warning: RANT!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 24, 2008 2:49 PM GMT
    Confused by the topic? I am okay first a little background. I'm involved the the gay-str8 group on my campus.. the University of New England. I just gave a small speech introducing a gay rights leader here in Maine. During my speech I used the accronymm, GLBTQ, to descirbe our community. However, when I read her bio just before introducing the speaker, I read the following sentence, "...and she has been involved in fighting for LGBT rights in Maine for eight years now."

    So, I am wondering... what are there so many damn accronyms for our communtiy? Some told me its better to used LBGT as opposed to GLBT cause it puts the "women" letter in the accroynm first. Lesbian before Gay. Uhhh why? "because wmoen's rights have been suppressed for centries and it a way of showing we support women's right." What a load of shit! No I support women's rights by voting for women's rights, supporting moderate feminists, etc... not by saying LGBT instead of GLBT.

    and what's up with the "Q" is it Queer or Questioning? I don't get what the difference is between gay/lesbian and queer?

    Also, I had to make a poster that said "Come to the Alliance: UNE's LGBTQQIAA club." Some guy said, "we need to be inclusive and support everyone." I was like... how many more letters are we going to put into our community? Supposivly the latter accroymn stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and Allies.

    I fear soon people will mock us for this ... is they haven't already. Be inclusive yes... but we're gonna run out of space when trying to include EVERYONE.

    I propose that we be now called HANHP (Heterosexual Allies and Not-Heterosexual People)

    Wait... gay have been suppressed bu str8 people for thousands of years... so we should put their accroynm "letters" first--because we want to show our support for gay rights. (NHPAHA) phew... didn't wnt to seem homphobic or heterosexist.

    Anyone else find this odd? We gonna keep adding letters to be "politically correct?" Just always use LGBT>>>.... Cause we are men here... who cares if we're gay men--our people still treated women like shit in the past and now to make up for it... we say "lesbian" first.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Oct 24, 2008 3:40 PM GMT
    I know exactly what you mean.

    I remember when i first heard the term GLBT, i learned what it stood for and thought hey, that is a useful acronym.

    From then on it seemed every time i heard the acronym someone had added a letter to it.

    GLBTQ i heard...Q? What is this Q? Apparently it stood for "queer"...this confused the hell out of me. Wasn’t queer just another word for gay? Isn’t this completely redundant? Yes, but it was explained to me that some people like that word better and we can't exclude them! Uggghhhhh

    A year or two later i hear the term again and someone added an extra T....GLBTTQ. Because we have transvestites AND transsexuals. Alrighty, at least that makes sense to the degree that they are indeed different things. But still, holy cumbersome acronym batman!

    Then i hear the acronym again and it was something like GLBTTQS. Needed an S for Straight you see. Then i heard something like GLBTTQSA. Needed an A for "allies" of the cause you see.

    Since then i have been on a quest to find the bastard who is adding letters to this acronym so i can shoot him or her.

    Lets make it even more ridiculous. Eddie Izzard, which everyone loves, calls himself a male lesbian and an executive action transvestite, i think we need more letters in that acronym to represent him and his particular brand of sexuality .

    Seriously though, i stay away from that silly acronym all together now. Much less cumbersome to just say "all sexualities" or "the whole sexual spectrum" or something of that sort.
  • olden

    Posts: 194

    Oct 24, 2008 5:21 PM GMT
    And we have still failed to include the SWPLLAPDHM - Straight Whores Who Perform Lesbian-Like Act for the Prurient Delectation of Herterosexual Males. icon_wink.gif
  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Oct 24, 2008 6:36 PM GMT
    Fuck'em all!

    I've only cared about being treated as a human with individual right and responsibilities. The minute one aligns with a group one loses some level of that freedom. Plus, I don't have to worry about the silly discussion of the appropriate acronym of description I should call myself.

    Let the whining commence, but realize I don't care.icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 24, 2008 6:49 PM GMT
    I use queer inclusively, but apparently that's offensive now because some fuckers dont like it and it refers to a specific group of people? it's really stupid if you ask me... i'll continue using queer (and sexually deviant whenever i have to write it in papers) whether it offends or not...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 24, 2008 7:27 PM GMT
    Lam,est acronym ever


    I prefer PEMDAS
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 24, 2008 7:36 PM GMT
    Screw all the acronyms. We non-straights should just be referred to as "The Shamans".
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 24, 2008 7:47 PM GMT
    XRuggerATX saidScrew all the acronyms. We non-straights should just be referred to as "The Shamans".


    Or, I like "homosinsuals."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 24, 2008 7:52 PM GMT
    Back before these things had been invented I used to think of myself as an alternative to "normal" (which was a state I didn't aspire to.)

    Not ABnormal nor SUBnormal, but

    SUPERnormal! (as in "above")

    Call your organization the SUPERNORMALS - it won't end the confusion but it's easy to remember.icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 24, 2008 11:08 PM GMT
    Well ,this is what happens when you make "discrimination" a politically correct agenda. That is, G or L or B or Q or T are special victims needing special rights separate and distinct (discrimination) from the general population. A is the next letter to be added for asexuals and abstainees...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 24, 2008 11:17 PM GMT
    GLBT always sounds like a sandwich in a fancy deli to me...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 25, 2008 12:03 AM GMT
    The ever-expanding acronym LGBT/LGBTQ/LGBTQQIAA is a manifestation of the impossibility of discretizing the many dimensional continuum of human sexuality. In its longest forms, it is certainly cumbersome, but in its shorter forms it is certainly very recognizable as something more inclusive than "gay": We do not all need to be boxed together, but sometimes we do need a rallying cry to be free. However much one dislikes the acronym, one can hardly envisage setting up an LGBT group that did not have some combination and permutation of the people it was supposed to include.

    It is also, however a statement inseperable from its history and within that aesthetic is unsurprising that it has grown. It has grown because many people over time have disagreed with the status quo, and have been disheartened by remaining prejudices within LGBT society: race, class, age, mysogyny, prejudice against transgender people etc. The growth of the acronym is a reflection of its users understanding of these prejudices and a consequential affirmation of inclusivity. It is churlish and counterproductive to, as I fear many on this thread have done, condemn people for attempting to be inclusive! Labels such as "politically correct" denigrate the utterly laudible actions of those who are sufficiently analytical to try to care about the way they talk.

    Nonetheless, those who do perpetually extend the acronym are misguided: there will never be a satisfactory acronym or label that describes the sexuality of everyone since any label that affirms who it includes must do so by omitting those who it excludes. We can rid ourselves of the question of who to include by understanding the fundamental principle at stake: that discrimination for any irrelevant reason whatsoever is unjustifiable. I would contend that the labels we choose ought to communicate this truth as fully as possible. Metaphors like "Spectrum", liberating statements like "Out" are far better than boxes like "LGBTQQIAAS".
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 25, 2008 4:02 AM GMT
    Tim, you're smarter than the average bear (and I mean that in the Jellystone Park sense, with no offense or reference to ... you know .. bears.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 25, 2008 5:45 PM GMT
    I think this thread is also highly illuminating. Gay/homosexual/poof/fag..... LGBT... don't be boxed by the words you choose.
  • Tiran

    Posts: 227

    Oct 26, 2008 6:15 AM GMT
    I see no one had 2 in there little collection. I saw that for two spirited, for aboriginal members when I was involved in college. Some of the board got offended when I refered to it as the "alphabet soup we call ourselves" and didn't like my suggestion of Alphabet Soup as the name of the newsletter.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 26, 2008 7:50 AM GMT
    It's kinda cool, I think, in that all those letters challenge the notion that we live in an either/or world of male/female or even hetero/homo... flipping things around and showing that identity is contingent on a whole host and combination of things including biological sex, an internal sense of gender, and sexuality and attraction, not just male/female or straight. Those concepts were so foreign for a long time that any difference from the "norm" of male/female/straight were considered really fucked up, punishable by law, worthy of being considered mental illness and pathologized. The fact that those letters reclaim with some vocal pride those "fucked up" identities, and pulling them together in a community, begins to undo the powerlessness that we're expected to just lay down and take, and not question.

    Maybe there's an argument that we don't need to reclaim these individual identities and own them anymore, I don't know. My personal feeling is that most of those letters really represent unique identities that have different sets of misunderstandings about them, and may still need to be put out there as individual concepts so that heterosexism can be deconstructed... An example being the Q for "Queer," that both reclaims a "bad" word from the past, while also suggesting that gender and sexuality are on a continuum, not just either/or. I like the fact that all the letters in LGBTQQI (at least) address the overlap and distinction between gender identity, biological sex, gender expression, and sexuality - I still see them as continuing to not be understood or yet acceptable to most in our country and need to exist explicitly in order to continue generating dialogue. And I still think those concepts placed together as a community label creates inclusion, power, and diverse voice.

    Just some thoughts. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 26, 2008 7:59 AM GMT
    I say to hell with the acronyms. I just call everything "faggots."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 26, 2008 9:30 AM GMT
    jakebenson saidI say to hell with the acronyms. I just call everything "faggots."


    I like your rational thinking...

    I propose a triangle with Faggots, Breeders and Hags, just let people put a pin where they think they fall between those.
  • gibbay

    Posts: 59

    Oct 26, 2008 1:33 PM GMT
    Greygull saidLam,est acronym ever


    I prefer PEMDAS


    I haven't heard that one before, what does it stand for? The only thing I could think of when I read it was: People eating my delicious ass slot
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 26, 2008 2:00 PM GMT
    I understand that GLBT was as much a political as a descriptive term when it came into use. It fit nicely with the concept of rainbow diversity that had emerged at about the same time.

    It attempted to cover all of us who were sexually "different" from the majority straights, to combine us all for political strength in numbers. It's never fully worked that way, of course, our community perhaps being forever cursed to be as easy to organize politically as herding cats.

    But I do have a problem with the replacement of GLBT with LGBT. Who voted on that change, and why is it happening? I see it as some squeaky lesbian wheels getting the semantic grease.

    At least GLBT represented some sort of hierarchical sense: a rank ordering in terms of numbers. Plus "gay" is also the universal term that covers most of us, men & women both.

    So why are lesbians listed first now? Did they suddenly have a population explosion? As a gay man, am I also covered by the term lesbian, as lesbians are by gay? And BTW, I know women who dislike lesbian as being too clinical, and call themselves gay, too.

    No, it was purely a power play by some activist lesbians to get "first billing" for themselves, on the claim they were being marginalized by gay men. It's that kind of selfish waste of our energies that marginalizes all of us on the more important playing field of national politics.

    And so endth my own rant for today.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 26, 2008 3:53 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidNo, it was purely a power play by some activist lesbians to get "first billing" for themselves, on the claim they were being marginalized by gay men. It's that kind of selfish waste of our energies that marginalizes all of us on the more important playing field of national politics.


    Honestly, I could care less who's letter goes first. What bothers me is ther are people out there who actually care! Come on now how immature. And people like that I view as being ultra left feminist: feminists which do not believe in equal rights... they believe all men are pigs and women are superior to men.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 26, 2008 4:11 PM GMT
    cjcscuba1984 said...And people like that I view as being ultra left feminist: feminists which do not believe in equal rights... they believe all men are pigs and women are superior to men.


    Believe me, I've met them. But I don't let a few angry apples ruin the barrel.

    Here's an excerpt from an email reply to another RJ member, who asked me what I did yesterday (Sat):

    "Today we helped out with a lesbian golf tournament, to raise money for The SMART Ride, which in turns raises money for HIV/AIDS.

    http://www.thesmartride.org

    The tournament organizer owns our most popular lesbian bar in Wilton Manors, and is a friend of ours. About 100 women participated, but the surreal thing for us was the party afterwards beginning at 2 PM.

    http://www.newmoonbar.com/newmoonbar/index

    It was held at her bar, under an outdoor pavilion, and its very strange partying with 100 lesbians when you're about the only men there. I actually studied their group dynamics, which I found quite a bit different compared to gay men.

    But enjoyable for us, all nice women and not the angry dyke-with-a-chip-on-her-shoulder crowd, many of them thanking us for our volunteer work. What also struck me was they all know each other by name, not something I see at our gay bars, where some guys will know a few other guys, but not everyone.

    They had raffles, an auction and tournament awards to announce, and every time a ticket number or prize was announced from the microphone, the winner would be known by her first name. "Ticket number 965032... alright, Kathy's got the winning ticket!" You wouldn't see that in a gay men's bar down here."


    So I hope I'm not being anti-lesbian when I say I don't like changing GLBT to LGBT for their purely selfish reasons, when it's more important we present a uniform & stable name for ourselves with the general public, that isn't changing all the time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 26, 2008 6:09 PM GMT
    cjcscuba1984 said
    Red_Vespa saidNo, it was purely a power play by some activist lesbians to get "first billing" for themselves, on the claim they were being marginalized by gay men. It's that kind of selfish waste of our energies that marginalizes all of us on the more important playing field of national politics.


    Honestly, I could care less who's letter goes first. What bothers me is ther are people out there who actually care! Come on now how immature. And people like that I view as being ultra left feminist: feminists which do not believe in equal rights... they believe all men are pigs and women are superior to men.


    I think you're buying into a whole stereotype of who lesbians are by suggesting that feminists "do not believe in equal rights... they believe all men are pigs" etc. Whoa, tiger! Before you go there, think about what your reaction is being based on... To me it sounds like you're having a reaction to something, otherwise, why would it be such a big deal that "L" comes before "G"?

    My thought is that as a community of LGBTQQI icon_smile.gif, we are very aware of power hierarchy in society. Straight white males basically at the top of the food chain. Within the hierarchy, how do gender, sex, race/ethnicity, religion, class define power and access to it, or being traditionally voiced or devoiced? Why shouldn't our very diverse and inclusive community model for those in our culture who are less-informed (i.e. more aligned with the traditional power hierarchy) that we are cognizant of the history of oppression under which we have all been subject to? If this means putting "L" before "G" to show that we acknowledge that men continue to have an arbitrary position of power, that our community chooses to model equality by doing so, I don't see any harm in it. As gay men, though, maybe it's threatening to our masculinity (and arbitrary social power) to indeed take a "2nd" position behind lesbians - what do you think?

    cjcscuba - I wonder, too, if someone called you out about saying GLBT rather than LGBT, and you got hurt by being called out? Or, why else venting about L before G?
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Oct 26, 2008 6:13 PM GMT
    COJock1974 saidGLBT always sounds like a sandwich in a fancy deli to me...
    LMAO I would like to think my ass is edible.icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 26, 2008 6:43 PM GMT
    homonculus saidHonestly, I could care less who's letter goes first. What bothers me is ther are people out there who actually care! Come on now how immature. [SNIP]... To me it sounds like you're having a reaction to something, otherwise, why would it be such a big deal that "L" comes before "G"?

    My thought is that as a community of LGBTQQI icon_smile.gif, we are very aware of power hierarchy in society. Straight white males basically at the top of the food chain. Within the hierarchy, how do gender, sex, race/ethnicity, religion, class define power and access to it, or being traditionally voiced or devoiced? Why shouldn't our very diverse and inclusive community model for those in our culture who are less-informed (i.e. more aligned with the traditional power hierarchy) that we are cognizant of the history of oppression under which we have all been subject to? If this means putting "L" before "G" to show that we acknowledge that men continue to have an arbitrary position of power, that our community chooses to model equality by doing so, I don't see any harm in it. As gay men, though, maybe it's threatening to our masculinity (and arbitrary social power) to indeed take a "2nd" position behind lesbians - what do you think?[SNIP]


    Sounds to me like you also give an awful lot of thought to something you say that you and others shouldn't care about.

    Let me restate simple objective reasons for retaining the GLBT we had before LGBT:

    1. It's what we had first, and what we had educated the general public to understand. It's like badging a car as a Ford for years, and then mixing the letters and saying everyone will now call it a Dorf. Doing so loses product recognition.

    2. The arguments you make actually apply to the lesbians who are trying to enact this change. Remember, it's a change from what we already had, which requires some justification and rationale on their part, not on mine.

    3. GLBT was never a statement of male superiority, as some lesbians want to make it. It represents a simple order of hierarchy of numbers represented by each category. Plus gay is used as a universal term for both men & women. If anything, it is ANTI-discriminatory.

    It reminds me of how billing is given to actors in movies. Rather than fight over who is the biggest "star" with the most importance and must therefore be listed first in the credits, sometimes a large cast is just listed in objective alphabetical order, to avoid conflicts. That's how I view GLBT, only with numbers being the determinant.

    4. I might argue that gay men have a greater "history of oppression" in our society than lesbians have. Lesbians are beaten senseless and even to death far less often than gay men, even adjusting for differences in numbers. And men lose their jobs and suffer other discrimination for being gay with much greater frequency than women do.

    There's not a lot can be done if some women feel they are "oppressed" simply because their visible numbers are less than gay men. That's the consequence of being in the minority, just as all gays are the minority in the general population. Arbitrarily listing lesbians first does nothing tangible to change their minority status, but does lead to the illogic and disadvantages I noted above.

    But knowing the actual history and dynamics of the attempts to convert to LGBT, I say again the prime motivator is selfish interest, not broader gay community interests.