We’re here! We’re LGBTTIQQ2SAA ! Get used to it!
Just rolls right off the tongue doesn’t it? NOT!
Recently I spent the day with over 150 other LGBTTIQQ2SAA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited, Asexuals and Allies) advocates, activist, bloggers, and journalist in a one day Pre-conference at Netroots Nation 12.
And I SWEAR as Tallulah Bankhead is my witness, that in those 8 hours I had more acronymns thrown at me then there are in the science of Chemistry (Thats 128 pages worth to be exact)
And LGBTTIQQ2SAA are not all of them yet by any means. They are just the beginning in this bizarre collection of Scrabble tiles. Expect CG for cis-gender and P for polyamorous to be added soon because they are on the short list.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Look I understand that everyone wants to self identify. Seriously self identification is great! It really is. Its a beautiful thing to know who you are and be proud of it. But it is to “self” which sometimes turns into “selfish”
Over the years our constant need for self identification has had a major downside. That of splintering our community up and putting every different group into neat little boxes. And this in turn has made everyone very myopic and then they tend to focus ONLY on the groups personal issues because to them they are the most important and the only issues. So in the end all lose track of the greater goal which is FULL EQUALITY for everyone.
As I sat at the Netroot’s Nation Pre-Con I heard so many people from so many groups talk about issues that were so near and dear to them. But NOT ONCE did I hear anyone speak about our goal of how to get Full Equality for all by by everyone working together.
So I say that its time that we reclaim our history and heritage and take back the term QUEER. Thats right QUEER. And once again use it as an umbrella term instead of hiding it in the middle of a 12 letter acronym like its something to be ashamed of it. .
(I can almost hear the gasping and clutching of pearls as I type this.)
Now I’m not saying that anyone should lose their personal self-identity by any means. But remember personal is what it .
Now QUEER on the other hand is what we are. We are different. Like it or not. And different doesn’t make us any less than anyone else. Just different. And we should be proud of that fact and take back the word QUEER that was only taken away from us from to be turned into an anti-gay epithet two decades ago.
To reclaim QUEER now is to neutralize its use as hate speech and render it ineffective and reclaim our heritage when people were proud to be QUEER. And it will also break down the boundaries that have been built within our own community that have been separating us for over the past 30 years also.
The best thing about the “queer” is that it simultaneously builds up and tears down boundaries of identity. The non-specificity of the term is liberating. (And easy to say) And using the umbrella term QUEER becomes a way to make a political move against heteronormativity while including everyone and it also refuses to engage in the traditional identity politics which splinters and separates everyone.
SO BE QUEER! BE PROUD TO BE QUEER!
Stand side by side and embrace your brothers and sisters once again instead of sitting inside neatly lettered identity boxes thinking that your groups equality problems are the only equality problems and more important than anyone else’s. Because they are not. They are equally important.
And that’s whats this is about after all. Equality.
Only when these lettered walls fall will be able to work together and only at that time will we be able to get what we have been fighting for so long and so hard.
C’mon everyone in unison!
“I’m here! I’m QUEER! Get used to it!”
Now that wasn’t so hard was it?