If there is one thing I’ll always care about it’s the LGBTQ+ community. A community on the rise without a doubt but one that is still far too under represented in almost all aspects of our daily lives. Our hetero-normative world is often guilty of overlooking such a vibrant part of our society and even some of those who do pay attention don’t fully understand what they are paying attention to.
- Queer, Questioning
This acronym is constantly changing to be as inclusive as possible and it’s not there yet. These letters don’t even begin to cover all the possibilities but that is why we have the ‘+’. I can’t even begin to explain how I feel when people only use the first four letters; I know it’s a mouthful to say, and the ‘+’ seems unnatural, but in not saying it you exclude whole groups of people.
There are many debates over this acronym to do with the order of the letters and what letters are in it but the one used above is the most common. For many it’s the word as a whole, LGBTQ+, that matters. It gives a name to a community that for such a long amount of time, wasn’t allowed to be spoken of.
The issue many people have with ‘LGBTQ+’ is the definitions. It’s constantly retaliated with “What does it actually mean?” and “Doesn’t that mean ______ is the same as ______?”. The only advice I can give you is to stop getting so hung up on the little things. Many people will have a different definition that resonates with them. Two people might identify as queer but mean it in totally different ways and that is just something you have to accept. LGBTQ+ is an umbrella term for anyone who is not heterosexual/cisgender. It’s not a swear word. We are allowed to say it in front of children. It needn’t be a cause for embarrassment.
LGBT is four letters meaning four things but by adding the ‘Q+’ you open it up to be so much more. It is now more inclusive and one letter doesn’t necessarily only stand for one thing. Take Trans for example; an umbrella term in itself. Transgender can be someone who has transitioned to another gender or someone who identifies as another gender but feels no need to physically transition. Some who display characteristics that are stereotypical of a gender other than what they were assigned at birth may also identify as trans. This isn’t textbook learning. There is no one answer and we have to be okay with that.
We need to use the whole word, ‘+’ and all. Let’s be more progressive, let’s be more inclusive, let’s be more open minded.