LGBTTIQQ2SAA – aladousious – Can’t We All Just Go Back To Being “QUEER”?

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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5 Responses

  1. Sly says:

    I LOVE this article and you made some very valid points Will. And I vehemently agree with your ideology and this is a perfect reflection of the biggest problem in our community which is division. Having one word unite us in our fight for equality would foster more growth in productivity on our part.

  2. Peter Thomas says:

    I whole-heartedly agree with your sentiments, Will. I’ve been thinking for a long time about how ridiculous these different acronyms are – I have non-LGBT friends asking me what they all mean and I can’t answer them half of the time. However, I just cannot bring myself to use the word ‘queer’ to describe myself and my friends. If you look at these definitions, I can’t say I want any of them to refer to me, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/queer. Sure, you’re right, we ARE different. But for a long long time, all connotations of the word ‘queer’ (relating to homosexuality or not) have been negative. I would love to see an umbrella term for the LGBT community (because you’re right, we should all be working together for equality for all), but I just don’t believe that trying to “reclaim” a word with such negative connotations is the right way to go.

  3. Mary says:

    Will – amen sistah – you know, I’ve written elsewhere tongue in cheek about the whole GLBTQPIA…stuff…and durn, there was no two spirit on my list…

    I’m queer, queer as a goose!

    Mary X. Goose

  4. Eledon says:

    Have to agree with what Peter said – the word Queer already has a negative connotation, and may serve as an identifier for what “normal” people should be prejudiced against rather than help the community.

    But I definitely get the sentiment. A number of friends and I have been chocked full of alphabet soup since we can remember, and no matter how many letters are added they’ll never *all* be used and include *everyone*. You could fill a dictionary with what the acronyms are meant to stand for.

    This is why we made up our own alternative, GLOS (gender, lifestyle, orientation, sexuality). Short, sweet, and to the point, and even better it’s almost impossible to leave anybody out. It even distinguishes sexuality from other orientations (such as aesthetic or romantic), which is rarely seen.

  5. JERSEY GIRL says:

    i know I’m a day late and a dollar short on this discussion, but my husband (a Moby Dick big ol’ Straight White Male of a guy) texted me today, “when did Q get added to LGBT?”

    This is a man who has been to over 20 years of Pride celebrations, Who has spoken up and out for (acronym) rights since he was in high school. And so I wanted to find the latest “complete” acronym to let him know what he was missing, and I stumbled across this rant. Spot on, darling.

    When we all come together, as varied and colorful and full of pain and joy as the AIDS quilt, we should have a united front, an umbrella that we can raise. I remember when Lesbians had to fight to be recognized by the Gay community, and was part of the fight for Bis to be recognized as a real thing by both of those communities (and dispel all the negative stereotypes within the communities). So, yeah, I get why people want their acceptance to be hi-lighted, that validation that the letter gives to be able to say “yes, i DO exist, I’m NOT just trying to “get attention”, I don’t have to hide any more”.

    But yet…it’s getting out of hand.

    I sort of look at it like “ethnic” festivals in New York.

    There are umbrella group festivals – Hispanic Day Parade, Caribbean Cultural Heritage Festival – that include many different subgroups, and each of those subgroups have their own festivals – Cuban day, Columbian Independence Day, Dominican Day, Puerto Rican Day, etc. The umbrella groups don’t need to individually list every member country/ethnic group; it is tacitly agreed that all those subgroups are part of the whole, and together they are what make it whole.

    So it should be with our very varied community. Celebrating everyone together, and allowing each little segment to celebrate itself. But when we come together, we should unite under one single gigantic umbrella, sewn solid, rather than a ragtag patchwork tarp. We are stronger united; we can accomplish more united; we can stand up for each other united.

    We ARE here. We are the Mighty Queer. We’ve just gotta get used to it.

What do you think?