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Therapists Argue To Replace “LGBT” With More Inclusive “GSD”

Wikipedia-LGBTLondon’s Pink Therapy finds “LGBT” to be an ineffective label and suggested “GSD” — Gender and Sexual Diversities — as a more inclusive term.

Pink Therapy director Dominic Davies and fellow therapist Pamela Gawler-Wright posted a video (see below) Wednesday on their Facebook page, in which they discussed their decision to move away from the LGBT label.

“LGBT became LGBTIQQA — adding Intersex, Queer, Questioning and their Allies — which was still very limiting,” Davies says in the video. “It still excluded a lot of groups. People who might be asexual, members of the BDSM/kink commnity, people who were in  non-traditional relationships that might be polyamorous or swingers. A whole batch of people who didn’t feel able to go to mainstream counseling organizations and also wouldn’t necessarily be welcome at LGBT counseling organizations.”

Gawler-Wright notes that “this listing has a kind of innate hierarchy to it,” before concluding: “A lot of people say to me ‘why this attention to labels, do they matter? Are they useful or are they in some way confining?’ We need to name ourselves in order to say that we exist, but then once that label has taken hold that kind of puts a static container over our identity and who we are. So I think language will constantly evolve around this.’”

“I think the labels do matter,” Davis adds, “but it would be nice if one day we could all be accepting of ourselves and each other with all those differences being celebrated.”

Pink Therapy’s Facebook page further elucidates on the matter:

The point we’re trying to make is not that our community shouldn’t be called LGBT, it’s that actually our community is SO much BIGGER than simply LGBT, that there many other identities, lifestyles, orientations, and relationship models which are between consenting adults and outside the heterosexual norm of monogamy for life, sex in the missionary position once or twice per week and church on Sunday!

Our recent research shows many of these other groups/identities have very poor experiences of approaching generalist counselling agencies especially those who are publicly funded in the public sector either as charities or funded by grants from the State.

You can check out the video of Davis and Gawler-Wright’s discusson below:

Urban Dictionary defines GSD as commonly-used shorthand for “Gettin’ Shit Done” or German Shepard dog. So take that knowledge and use it as you will.

(h/t: Gay Star News)

Photo: Wikipedia

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Feb 23, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

  • 44 Comments
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      I understand where they are coming from, but I still think it is a bad idea. Why do we have to accept everyone and their mother into this community? I mean, what the hell does polyamory and BDSM/kink have to do with being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer? Nothing, that’s what. Those are chosen lifestyles, while being LGBT is anything but that. In fact, we’ve built much of our equality revolution on being born this way. It is a terrible idea to lump us into those other categories. Further, let them start their own movement instead of co opting ours.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 8:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      @Shannon1981: Hear hear.

      I do NOT understand what all those extra letters are doing there.

      The BDSM kink thing is completely stupid. I have nothing against them, but those people are either L, G, B or T. It’s not like they are some OTHER form of sexual attraction.

      And polyamorous? that ALSO has nothing to do with sexual identity.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 8:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ncman
      ncman

      @MikeE: actually, they are talking about expanding the community beyond LGBT to even include straight people. read this portion very carefully:

      ” that there many other identities, lifestyles, orientations, and relationship models which are between consenting adults and outside the heterosexual norm of monogamy for life, sex in the missionary position once or twice per week and church on Sunday!”

      So, when they are talking about BDSM/kink, they are talking about this as gay and straight. they would include straight “furries” and even polygamous straights.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 9:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Maxwell
      Maxwell

      I guess everyone is kind of GSD?

      Feb 23, 2013 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      How about just using gay for gays, bisexual for bisexuals, transgendered for transgendered and questioning for questioning? This GLBTQQIAXYZ nonsense is just foolishness.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Who listens to the.rapists? They’re nuts.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 10:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jawsch
      Jawsch

      I have to agree that I don’t understand how or why Polyamory and BDSM / Kink fall into such categories. It’s not a Sexual Orientation or Identity, it’s a type of relationship and what you link to do during sex. BDSM/Kink doesn’t apply because at the root, you’re still either Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Straight or Asexual (etc).

      Questioning, I never understood. Wouldn’t that, in a sense, be Bi/Pan/Polysexual (until you finally come to understanding yourself better) and then it would either fall into one of the other categories. You can’t be “Questioning” your entire life…you eventually come to a decision / understanding about yourself.

      I personally never understood what Queer meant either. What sexual identity is that? o_O

      As for Allies, why are they lumped in with our community? Yes, we love them and appreciate them for without them, we would likely get nowhere fast. But being an “Ally” is not a sexual identity. It’s simply a political / social stance or opinion.

      I think it’s cherry picking honestly. LGBT, we all know encompasses everyone but I guess it’s not good enough because everyone wants their own letter but at what point do we stop? Most people don’t even know what all the letters stand for, sort of making it pointless and ridiculous.
      GSD would likely confuse everyone, even those within the LGBT community let alone outside of it. Sounds more “scientific” and makes me feel like it would more support the idea that there is a genetic “defect” or mental disorder involved, since that argument is used a lot.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tsbio
      tsbio

      What about Gender Or Diversities Sexual (G.O.D.S.)and
      Fundamentalist Against Gays (F.A.G.)

      Feb 23, 2013 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport
      jwrappaport

      This shouldn’t be about inclusion or exclusion, but rather classifying particular sexual minorities who face similar prejudices and whose social movements have similar goals. I’ll be honest, the “T” in LGBT rankled me for some time, and I’m still doubtful as to the extent to which our legal goals overlap, but I’ve come to terms with it. Adding straight furries, Veronica Moser, and BDSM fans is insulting: What rights are they denied? What political or legal goals are they fighting for? I love being tied up, but that’s not really germane to my or anyone else’s struggle for legal equality or social acceptance as a gay man.

      Again, this whole enterprise of classification is to unite different groups with similar experiences as well as common social, political, and legal goals. GSD has a different objective, and I’m not sure what it is except to try and make everyone feel good.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport
      jwrappaport

      @tsbio: I think they have both those groups at the Central University of North Texas.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 11:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      Well I guess that means that “sexual minorities” has lost favor.

      NHIP: Non heterosexually inclined people/person

      Feb 23, 2013 at 11:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      Yes, what exactly is “queer”?

      You are either gay/homosexual (you are attracted to someone of your own gender… sadly, women had to have their OWN word for it: “lesbian”), or you are bisexual (attracted to members of both genders).

      What is “questioning”? You don’t know what your sexual identity is? And that counts as a “sexual identity” why? So a closeted guy isn’t a gay closeted guy, he’s a “questioning”?

      And I COMPLETELY agree that including “and their Allies” is probably the STUPIDEST thing that could be done. Allies are allies, they aren’t a sexual identity/orientation.

      While we’re at it, why not add LCR? I mean come on, gay AND republican? that is definitely a sexual minority.

      We shouldn’t be looking to “expand” the wording. We should be looking to focus it, and make it clear.

      You either sleep with someone of the opposite gender, or someone of the same gender, or are equally attracted to both genders. That’s pretty much all there is to it.

      I don’t even agree with adding transexual to the list. That’s a gender identity in the sense that the person does not feel like they match the physical attributes of their body. I’m gay. I feel like a man. I don’t want to be anything other than a man. That’s very very different from thinking I was born into a body of the wrong gender.

      Adding queer and questioning and polyamorous (again, NOT a sexual identity. a proclivity, maybe, but not an identity), and polymorphous, and anacrusis, and libelous, and ridiculous, and anything else that ends in “us” is stupid.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • erikwm
      erikwm

      It’s really not that complicated. There are only 2 genders and thus, only 3 sexual orientations.

      You’d think a therapist, of all people, would know better than to lump sexual fetish in with sexual orientation. They are

      Why not LGBT for us and SDF for them? (Sexual Diversities and Fetishes)

      Feb 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Red Meat
      Red Meat

      and while we are at it, why can’t we just drop the word lesbian. Why can’t we just be gay male and gay female.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      Queer is an umbrella term for LGBT.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mediocrates
      Mediocrates

      I thought the whole point of “queer” was to act as a sort of catch-all for various alternative sexualities.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      Actually, you are right. I have seen Queer used also for, for example, cross-dressing straights, etc.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad Hunt
      Chad Hunt

      i cant stand the use of the word queer. i think it is the worst definition to label us as.

      queer [kweer] Show IPA adjective, queer·er, queer·est, verb, noun
      adjective
      1.
      strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different; singular: a queer notion of justice.
      2.
      of a questionable nature or character; suspicious; shady: Something queer about the language of the prospectus kept investors away.
      3.
      not feeling physically right or well; giddy, faint, or qualmish: to feel queer.
      4.
      mentally unbalanced or deranged.
      5.
      Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
      a.
      homosexual.
      b.
      effeminate; unmanly.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yaoming
      yaoming

      GLB
      That’s all you need.
      Trans isn’t gay, so just drop the T.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      Let’s keep the transgender element out of our movement. Also, why is there an L? We guys don’t get a gender-specific term so why should women? Buzz off, girls.

      As for gender and sexual diversity, this is what happens when you allow the gender-confused and sexual fetishes crowd to take over the gay rights organizations.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DesmondRavenstone
      DesmondRavenstone

      @jwrappaport: @jwrappaport: There is a reason for groups like the Spanner Trust in the UK, and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom here in the US. Kinky people frequently lose jobs, housing, child custody, et cetera for engaging in private consensual sexual expression. Some have even been arrested, including the so-called “victims” for refusing to assist prosecutors; research the Spanner case as a classic example. Oh, and there’s an increasing number of professionals and activists who see (1) sexual/affectional orientation is not just gender-based attraction, and (2) the experience of kinky people in terms of self-awareness and sense of identity parallels that of GLBT folks — so it can in fact be argued that kink is an aspect of one’s orientation.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      @Chad, well, “gay” has other meanings too, so if you are going to object to a word based on the fact that it has other uses, you might as well object to “gay” too. Actually many men who have sex with men don’t identify with the word “gay” in the same way you don’t like the word “queer”, which is why many health and community outreach programs use the term MSM instead. I don’t really see what is wrong with simply using “homosexual” – maybe people thought it would be too scary to market our liberation using a term explicitly referring to “sex”, preferring “gay” because it sounds innocuous and hides what is really going on to straight people who don’t want to think about it.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad Hunt
      Chad Hunt

      @viveutvivas: I object to Queer because all of the alternative meanings have a negative connotation. To many already subject homosexuality in a negative light without us doing it to ourselves.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      I understand, but if you go down that route, then the alternative meaning of “gay” makes us sound like bubblehead partyboys not to be taken seriously, which is not much better.

      Feb 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fidelio
      Fidelio

      This is all becoming all so farcical. It seriously undermines the Gay and Lesbian plight. I understand there is a need to be more inclusive, but the broader issue of human sexuality is not, necessarily, the plight of the LGBT community. LGBT is part of human sexuality, but human sexuality, and all that it encompasses, is not strictly LGBT.

      Feb 24, 2013 at 1:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • niles
      niles

      Maybe “professional” should stop pointing out gay people as “different” and accept them as part of human sexuality, the same as they do heterosexuals. All people are diverse in some way from the “norm”.

      Feb 24, 2013 at 6:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      Ugh – GSD sounds like a new disease.

      Well I get the impression that QUEERty thinks the word queer is okay, and I’ve never seen anyone in comments complain about Queerty’s name. Which is surprising, come to think of it.

      @1EqualityUSA: “Who listens to the.rapists? They’re nuts.” Hey, that’s psycho.the.rapists to you, pal!

      Feb 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jar
      jar

      I am saddened that mental health professionals would endorse a binary notion of heterosexual as repressed, sexually vanilla, and normative and all sexual orientations and practices as other. These categories are problematic on so many levels, the most obvious being this narrow-minded notion that this Victorian notion of heterosexuality is a legitimate category. However, given the serious issues Brits have with sex, including their proclivities to “le vice anglais,” as Napoleon noted, it is not surprising that they still believe in their repressed, Victorian notions of normalcy.

      Feb 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queerles
      queerles

      This is all so muddled. I agree that mental health professionals endorsing a binary notion of sexuality is difficult… sexuality exists on a spectrum as does gender… and as someone who identifies as queer, that is my gender expression, not my sexual orientation. There are not two genders and three sexual orientations even if you are determined to believe it.

      I stand firm that folks so be allowed to define their gender and orientation as they see fit and that we can choose to support them in that, or not. I hope we can be supportive… one day perhaps we will see all of these become normalized but that will take a united show of strength, that hetero-tower of privilege is a fortress.

      Until then I will continue to address people as they would so like me to and voice my concern for such a shift as to GSD.

      Feb 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wilberforce
      Wilberforce

      I wanted to use gay for us all. But lesbians had to have their own term, as part of a common lesbian distaste for males. Then bisexuals had to have one. Then transgenders. Thankfully, Ellen and other gay celebs use gay for us all, and maybe that will catch on.
      I also think transgenders should be thrown out of the movement until they learn to treat gay men with some respect. We’re not the cause of their problems, and they need to stop blaming us for everything.

      Feb 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Greg
      Greg

      @Kieran: I agree. I feel no connection to Ls, Bs, or Ts. I don’t feel like I’m part of that group. GSD is even worse.

      @the other Greg: The other Greg? Is that like “The other white meat”? I don’t find “queer” offensive. It is what it is.

      @yaoming: I agree. Gays have nothing to do with transgendered people. Don’t group me in with them.

      Feb 24, 2013 at 10:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      Amazing how many of you fail to see and appreciate the diversity of sexualities and genders which are all oppressed by the dominate culture which continues to be heteronormative. And fyi the leather, kink, bdsm, etc. communities have been a core part of sexual liberation, gay liberation, and our movement for years. Just look at the millions of dollars the Folsom Street Fair has generated for the queer community.

      Feb 25, 2013 at 2:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport
      jwrappaport

      @Mark: I don’t really think a failure to appreciate diversity is what’s behind the frustration. The issue, at least for me, is that subsuming LGB into a comically oversized umbrella term ignores our movement’s unique experiences and our distinct social, legal, and political goals. I think it’s justified to call such an attempt to forcibly assimilate into one giant category a form of cultural violence. Can you imagine the outrage if someone suggested that all racial minorities should stop using their respective identifiers and instead should use a single term for them all in the spirit of inclusiveness?

      In other words, the change is basically shorthand for, “Well, your uniqueness stems from sex; thus, your identities are functionally equivalent.” This is nonsense. I have great empathy for the trans movement just as I would like to see more acceptance of different forms of sexual expression, but I do not consider myself a meaningful part of either struggle simply because we share some vaguely similar element of sexual subversion.

      @Greg: That’s very strange that you feel no connection to the Bs or Ls, as we have essentially similar, if not identical, social, legal, and political goals. I don’t understand that part of your position.

      Feb 25, 2013 at 3:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad Hunt
      Chad Hunt

      @Mark: The homosexual or gay civil rights movement is not a sexual movement in regards to sexual preferences. I don’t prefer to be a bisexual, I just am. People into Kink, BDSM, etc are not born with that proclivity they learn it. People don’t prefer to be black, mulatto, asian, women, etc. they are born that way. If we start allowing sexual preferences as part of our movement then we may as well allow pedophiles and beastiality also.

      That is exactly what the political right would love to see us do.

      Feb 25, 2013 at 5:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DesmondRavenstone
      DesmondRavenstone

      @Chad Hunt: My minister once said she was surprised how people who had “made it into the castle” seemed “quick to pull up the drawbridge.” May I remind you that, prior to the 1980′s, being gay/lesbian/bisexual was considered a “sexual preference”? And a large number of kinksters report similar experiences to that of having same-sex attractions — sexual fantasies at an early age, being more readily aroused by certain images and stimuli, and regarding kinky relationships as more natural and fulfilling to us.

      There is the infamous “Godwin’s Law” referring to when Internet discussions devolve into ad hominem comparisons with Hitler and Nazism. Perhaps I should propose “Ravenstone’s Rule” — as a discussion regarding sex grows longer, the probability of a slippery-slope argument involving pedophilia and/or bestiality being invoked approaches 1.

      Feb 25, 2013 at 7:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vero55
      Vero55

      Coming from a purely personal place the things some commenters label as proclivities and preferences are not for many of us who are them/have them/practice them/need them. I don’t think that GSD is useful at all and there are different needs and realities for everyone thrown under the amorphous and unwieldy LGBTIQQA umbrella, but I can say comfortably that I have little to no choice in my “kinks”…that is, I suppose maybe I could live without my specific sexual needs/desires, but I’d be very miserable.

      In other words, I don’t prefer my sexual desires; I just am them. I am not narcissistic enough to demand a letter in the acronym and I don’t think my precious identities have to be held up and supported by people with whom I share little in common. By all means, go forth and fight for marriage rights or whatever else, but please, don’t reinforce hegemony while doing so. Equating kink (for lack of a better word) with pedophilia/bestiality is patriarchal thinking and only proves why these perhaps well-meaning but ultimately silly psychologists are trying to find new ways to approach all this stuff.

      Feb 25, 2013 at 7:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      @Chad Hunt, we don’t know that all gay people are “born that way”. Not all of us are, as shown by the cases of identical twins whose sexuality are discordant. Our fight for rights should not be contingent on the idea that inborn qualities are better than learned preferences. Should a bisexual person’s relationships with persons of the opposite sex be legally privileged over her relationships with the same sex just because for her it /is/ actually a choice?

      Feb 25, 2013 at 9:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @Greg: I agree that “queer” seems to be increasingly common. I just meant that in 3 or so years of reading these comments I’ve never noticed anyone complain about Queerty’s name – which is interesting, because they bitch about everything here!

      I recently needed to get involved with a group calling itself the Queer [Such-&-Such] – when I guess they could have easily called themselves the Gay & Lesbian [Such-&-Such] – and I suppose the “Queer” struck me at first as slightly jarring or startling. But now I don’t even notice it and it seems totally mundane.

      Queer seems inclusive and non-controversial. The clumsy initials LGBT remind many of us of a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich.

      If there was an effort in the past to “reclaim the word from the homophobes” and so on, I think we’re there already, at least in the adult world. I haven’t heard a homophobe use the word queer in a seriously homophobic context since, um, the 5th grade. I doubt that kids nowadays use it at all, but hey, it would be better than “that’s so gay”!

      Feb 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vero55
      Vero55

      @Desmond Ravenstone. Thanks for that comment. You articulated very nicely what I was trying to say about this. And what a truth about the Godwin’s law comparison!

      Feb 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dieks
      Dieks

      THIS is SUCH a horrifically BAD idea that once anyone takes the time to scratch the surface of the originators of this concept are “therapists” – it suddenly becomes KRYSTAL WATERS clear why!!

      I couldn’t be HAPPIER to see gay men voice their same concern as MANY in the lesbian community who have been saying this for aprx a decade and half already. Sorry dudes but you are brand new to this problem compared to your sister dykes. Hey? We KNOW – gay and lesbians are different. Sure we have been able to work on shared issues like DADT/marriage/immigration/adoption/family rights AND health care!!!

      SHARED oppression. Done.

      But both L & G camps KNOW we each ALSO have our own individual issues that make us DIFFERENT and we are being shamed/silenced… OVER and OVER and OVER AGAIN by this “queer” kumbaya “we are alllll the same” bullshit.

      When a lesbian is told she can’t say NO to someone shoving a DICK in her face and told to suck it or your a BIGOT… no matter how dressed up in floral prints and A fucking tiara it is = where is a lesbians autonomy being protected by her own “community”??

      Feb 26, 2013 at 9:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebastian
      Sebastian

      A colleague of mine, Dr. Jennifer Bryan, has been using the term Gender & SexualITY Diversity for many years in her work with educators. Dr. Bryan uses it as a framework for addressing a wide range of issues, “from the dress-up corner to the senior prom,” to borrow from her book title. She explains the concept here: http://jenniferbryanphd.com/what-is-gender-and-sexuality-diversity-gsd/ This terminology allows us to address the many inter-related components of gender and sexuality while acknowledging that gender and sexuality are essential aspects of all people’s identities, and are inherently diverse and varied across the population.

      “Gender and Sexuality Diversity” leaves room for the woman who presents in a masculine way and doesn’t identify as trans, and the man who is solely attracted to very masculine women, etc. Very few people actually fit the cookie cutter image we are presented of a straight, cisgender person, and yet could never fit into the LGBTQIA acronym, regardless of how many letters you add. So GSD gives us space to have a conversation about how prejudices, stereotypes, and exclusive systems hurt and limit everyone.

      I don’t think GSD should replace an acronym of identities when we are talking about community or prejudice, harassment, and issues specific to certain identities. But I think more often than not a shift away from an LGBTQ-esque acronym would be helpful in expanding the dialogue and assisting all of us in being able to express and identify ourselves and our needs/desires.

      Feb 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Feisty Amazon
      Feisty Amazon

      It might make it easier for the therapists, especially that they are approving gender changing surgeries right and left and will have constant clients and making bucks off of gender dysphoria, along with the surgeons who perform the surgeries.

      As a Butch LeatherDyke Amazon, I’m PROUD to be Female, PROUD to be a Dyke, and proud to be Leather…..all of them are special to me. I’m more than that too, but at my base, being FEMALE, my needs as a female, as a woman, and as a Butch Dyke are different than those of gay men. We’ve been around since Sappho’s Isle of Lesbos, we aren’t ‘gay male diminutives’ in that we are the ‘women’s auxilary’ as ‘female homosexuals’ to the largely Gay white male movement, and the immense privilege over all the other letters most white Gay men wave about and promote as speaking for the rest of the letters, even in this documentary. Nor does the Lesbian speak to OUR needs AS LESBIANS, our unique identity as Females, and as Dykes. And I definitely do NOT ‘fit in’ as a Butch into sex role stereotypes. I get discriminated against all the time in trying to obtain work or keep work or get promoted in the work environment as a Butch and Lesbian. Many, many Butches face this. And those of us who are Female Identified Lesbian proud Butches DO NOT want to transition or have transition pushed upon us. Don’t speak for us, we WILL speak for ourselves.

      In fact this is what is so problematic. An obvious MTF conducts the interview but actually doesn’t get to share about their transgender/transsexual issues, a gay white man speaks to all the other unnecessary letters in the alphabet, and a Lesbian Female speaks NOTHING to the sex discrimination we face, from both straight men, gay men, and often the trans movement itself.

      The trans movement has so divided the Dyke communities, the Dyke Marches, our women born women spaces and Dyke identities, has attacked us for wanting to organize BY AND FOR our OWN needs as bio Female Lesbian WOMEN, and convinced so many of our young Butch/nonfeminine women that they want to be ‘some kind of male’ to go on the freight train of hormones and surgeries and male identification in a culture where feminism has largely died, and where our Lesbian and Feminist bookstores have closed right and left, often because of economic issues, and where gay men NEVER live up to the privileges they have and the power they hold over the rest of us, and the access they have to money to keep THEIR institutions going, in other words, their bio white male power.

      I posit, along with some gay brothers and many Lesbian sisters, that the T needs to go off on it’s own, and do it’s own questioning of ‘gender identities’ and all the rest of the hormones and surgery claptrap, we go back to either L/G or L/G/B, and drop all the other letters as well. WE ALL questioned. That’s what Gay community centers are for, to go through coming out groups to COME OUT. The hotlines, the literature, the internet, blogs, books and all the other research so many of us did when we had NOTHING. The information is there. And don’t let the closet door hit you on the way out. That’s what the therapists are THERE FOR. And like minded friends. It’s the internet age, you no longer need suffer in silence, so Questioning is meaningless. That will pass in time…And Queer, which USED to mean homosexual and is a term I’ve always detested, ever since my mother called me Queer with so much hate, it is a term I don’t care to reclaim, NOR does it speak to me as a Dyke. These days it’s a catchall term that means NOTHING(much like ‘Genderqueer’, according to whose definition of gender, the straight world, gay world, Dyke world???) nor do I like what it means when defined above. AT least GAy as a catchall term means ‘happy’.

      And the intersex have their own struggles…while we should understand their plight and their pain, it is different than sexual orientation. It is different than gender identity as well, but only 1 in 2000 humans have this condition. To attach that to the Lesbian/Gay movement dilutes even further homosexual rights, and for me personally, of greatest concern, Lesbian rights…which both homosexual and Lesbian rights are often tied to women’s rights….us Lesbians being women, MUST HAVE our rights recognized as women, and for women as a whole…that’s Feminism. And the movement has gotten so far away from that. In cultures where Women have power, and equal rights, homosexuals are treated better as well. In more patriarchal cultures where sex roles, and homosexuality and women’s rights are suppressed, all is suppressed, throughout the ENTIRE continuum, of the alphabet soup. We NEED to make these connections. To be free as a homosexual, gay man or Lesbian, as someone ‘queer’, or outside gender roles and boxes, women as a whole MUST BE FREE! So this means the struggle for choice and freedom for abortion and birth control as needed, as well as freedom to choose one’s partner(s), freedom to marry the one you love, freedom to express yourself outside of heterosexually proscribed gender ROLES. This is different than the male dominant/female on the bottom paradigm of sexism, which exists as much in the gay commmunity as in the outside world..all in a matter of degree. It all must be fought against.

      And as far as asexuals are concerned, I do not see their struggle having anything to do with the gay/Lesbian struggle for our self determination and freedom of expression. Gays and Lesbians in so many patriarchal religions have been pressured to either ‘convert’ to heterosexuality, which we KNOW doesn’t work and has been discredited, OR to remain asexual to exist within that religion(like for instance, in the Catholic Church). Though it may not be enforced, except in the more fundamentalist religions, I’ve seen so many Lesbians and Gay men SUFFER from the shaming they’ve endured from these religions, and their sad choices to either remain celibate or attempt heterosex to conform to those religious expectations, till they FINALLY came out..and struggled for many years with self acceptance. Let the asexuals start their OWN movement. Not everything has to be tied to us.

      As a LeatherDyke whose on occasion polyamorous, but in my heart totally loyally and legally married to my Lesbian partner, and we are completely honest about it, as well as a LeatherDyke, I’d say, that my Leather is the TYPE of Lesbian sex I engage in, and yes, I’ve been through the Lesbian Sex Wars, and NEVER care to go through those again. And I identify hugely and came out with my Gay Male Leather Brothers(all in 1981) so yes, I’ve been around. The Gay/Lesbian LEATHER community is an entirely different thing, or was, than the pansexual/heterosexual/bisexual BDSM one. We may DO some of the same things in bed or in the dungeon, but we are NOT the same. Beyond the bedroom or dungeon or Folsom St. Fair(and yes, I’ve been there at least 20 times), I STILL am a Butch Dyke, still FEmale, still homosexual, still not conforming to hetero sex role stereotypes….and will be percieved as such everywhere I go in the outside world. I still don’t ‘fit in’. A heterosexual couple into kink are STILL heterosexual, and yes, should they be found out that they are into kinky sex they could lose jobs and possibly children, this has been done to Lesbian and Gay male couples for eons, and STILL HAPPENS just because we are Lesbian and Gay(and more so if we don’t conform to sex role stereotyping).

      A hetero or pan couple or triad or whatever who mostly live heterosexual lives with a little bit of bisexuality thrown in for spice, and strict heterosexual gender role stereotypes, are NOT gay, do NOT experience the discrimination on an everyday basis that Lesbians or Gay males do. They also have immense privilege in the outside world, by parading around their heterosexuality. We do NOT have that same privilege. There needs to be different organizations for different struggles and while I certainly understand we ALL suffer as sexual minorities to one degree or another, our struggles are often very different, as well as our pasts. I CONNECT with the Lesbian/Gay Leather community, as the pariahs we are and have been, but so much of that to this day has been pansexualized, to the point that many straight/bi/pan folks really don’t understand our strong and intense bonding around our DOUBLE discriminated against sexual orientations, as Dykes and Gay men, and as Leather…and Leather meaning community as well as kink. Not just kink alone like so many hetero BDSMers think of themselves.

      By confusing the language, you muddy all these communities together WITH VERY DIFFERENT NEEDS. I went to an event just last week and a Black Lesbian told me after going to a ‘people of color’ workshop: “I am NOT a ‘person of color’.” I said: ‘You’re a Black Woman!” and she said “YES!” I said, I felt the same way, after going to a ‘Queer’ workshop where the presenter went on and on about ‘gender issues’ and NOTHING about sexual orientation, it too was very unsatisfying, and I’ll leave you with this: I am NOT Queer, I’M A DYKE!!! -FeistyAmazon

      Feb 28, 2013 at 12:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DesmondRavenstone
      DesmondRavenstone

      @Feisty Amazon: You’re absolutely right that our different groups have different experiences. But, there is also overlap. Yes, we need different groups to address different needs, but also coming together to share, support and fight. Let us heed Martin Luther King’s warning: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

      That being said, regarding the main topic of this article … I can see the GSD acronym and phrase being used in some context, but not necessarily for describing people. I can see, for example, various institutions having an “Office on Gender and Sexuality Diversity,” but I can’t see folks saying “I’m a GSD.” And there are other ways of expanding the umbrella; here in the States, some add a “plus” sign to GLBTQ, hence “GLBTQ+”. The question remains, however, who those with relative privilege will allow in that “plus” category.

      Feb 28, 2013 at 8:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Temperance
      Temperance

      I’m asexual and like the term GSD. I see what Desmond is saying about the term not being used to describe people, but that is where you can say “I am a _____” and remain individual.

      I’m not sure the BDSM/kink people have a choice. Even if it is a learned thing, it can’t be unlearned. It’s a part of who they are and how they enjoy sexual experiences. It’s not my place to judge them based on what they do in their bedrooms, just like it’s not their place to judge me based on what I don’t do in mine. It’s important to remember that we are all people first, and everything else is second.

      There is strength in numbers. None of us fit neatly inside the box of ‘sexual normalcy,’ and we all face discrimination and judgement for who we are. If we want acceptance, we need to lead by example by accepting others. Treat others as you wish to be treated. ^__^

      Jul 4, 2013 at 2:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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