Drop The Letters And Just Say ‘Gay,’ Argues Dot-Com

Yes, the acronym for “queer” has expanded at least to LGBTQIAOP, and that’s long and annoying and I can’t even tell you what some of those letters represent, but is ditching all the individual orientations and identities in favor of simply “gay” really a wise decision? Leave it to, owned by The Advocate‘s Here Media, to make the case for gay men to secede. The only winner in this argument? The owner of the most obvious “gay brand”:

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  • VagrantMan

    Much respect and love to the trans community, but I don’t think being born in the wrong body is like being attracted to the same sex. I wish I understood their community needs and goals, but I don’t now and I don’t think I ever will. I’m about as familiar with trans as I am with a vagina. All I can do is offer support and acceptance, but I don’t think we’re fighting the same fight.

  • Devon

    I couldn’t agree with him more.

    Beyond the basic stuff that all human beings share, it’s difficult to see what a gay person, a transgendered person, and an asexual person would really have in common.

    Everyone deserves to live their life free from discrimination and enjoy the same rights and benefits as everyone else, but the alphabet soup approach of just lumping everyone, no matter how diverse we might be, into a single community has never made any sense to me.

  • Jake the libertarian

    @VagrantMan: Very well said… As a matter of fact I couldn’t even link my parents up with PFLAG because of their over use of the whole “gender identity” crap all over their website… It was hard enough to swallow for my father to hear that his son was gay without having to explain a bunch of crap about how some people were born boys when they should have been born girls.

    I also offer acceptance and support, but its definitely not the same thing.

  • Tessie Tura

    I like the word “gay” as an umbrella term – all encompassing. After all, we do say “gay bar”, “gay literature”, “gay newspaper”, and “gay pride”, we don’t say LGBYQWERTYUIOP bar, and so on.

    Remember, Ellen said “yep, I’m gay”.

    Every refrigerator is not a Frigidaire (but every Frigidaire IS a refrigerator.) And yes, I date myself with that remark.

    And I am not offended by the term “gay lifestyle”. There IS a gay lifestyle – people who frequent gay bars, go to gay bowling leagues, dine at gay restaurants, attend gay churches, watch LOGO, read gay magazines… and there are men who have sex with men (women likewise) who do not do these things – especially those of us who live in small towns.

  • Brutus

    @VagrantMan: We’re all fighting against gender norms. I know Jake the libertarian doesn’t want to hear that, but it’s true. So much of the scorn of gay men stems from the idea that a man is doing something that is a woman’s “role” in the most fundamental way possible. We don’t hate on lesbians as much because it’s obviously desirable to act more like a “man.” Some argue that lesbians don’t even have sex because there’s no penile penetration. (I am not making this up.)

    This all goes back to the writings of certain (not all) influential Christian philosopher-theologians who insisted on a dogma that shamed sex and held that it was acceptable only for the purpose of procreation, whether you take as the model of womanhood the “temptress” Eve who is the reason we got kicked out of the Garden of Eden, or the Virgin Mary, who is “chaste” and “pure” and “virtuous.” It’s all complete bollocks, but it has had a deep and profound impact on at least Western society for over a thousand years if not more. We’re finally peeling back the curtain, but it’s an incredibly difficult task to challenge peoples’ fundamental beliefs.

  • Whiz

    I couldn’t agree, this alphabet soup bullshit is more than taxing. Not to mention it has an A for Allies which should not be in there. Love the Allies but they are not gay.

  • Qjersey

    this uber PC thing has been running rampant since the early 90s.

    Can’t we just say non-hets?

  • peter

    Don’t most transsexuals want to be considered straight? How does that relate to being gay? Why did activists condemn Barney Frank when he tried to pass a separate gay ENDA, when they knew that the two groups have vastly different issues and agendas?

  • Aaron

    Gay should NOT be an umbrella term. It should only encompass 100% Homosexual women and 100% Homosexual Men, and even then, it’s still kind of obnoxious, because it implies that Lesbians share ALL the same problems as gay men (they don’t). By making Gay an umbrella term it’s just another way for gays (especially gay men) to tell Bisexual, Pansexual, and Omnisexual people (mostly men) “well, you’re really just gay”, and then disregard all the others (especially Asexual and Intersexed folk) as we already seem to.

    If you want an umbrella term, just look to your damn site’s name. Queer. They use that in the U.K. often, and Queer’s definition for an extremely long time has simply been “different” and “out of the norm”, which would describe all of those sexual identities, without saying that they all have the same needs and agendas and such. Just say Queer community, instead of Gay, Lesbians and Gays, LGBT, or LGBTQ, or LGBTQPOIAO (that last O being those with Object Sexuality, which I never see talked about, though that is understandable). If we just say Gays, or Gay Marriage, than it implies that truly gay folks are the only people who need rights right now and who are being discriminated against. And that’s simply not true.

  • Aaron

    But I wanted to say as well, that yes, every group should identify separately, and we do, BUT, through unity is the only way we can achieve acceptance; hence why would she have an umbrella term. And he says that Queer means abnormal…. and? It does. And we are abnormal. What’s wrong with that?

  • mario

    I’m a gay man.

    I’m not bisexual.
    I’m not transgendered.
    I’m not queer.
    I’m not intersexed.
    I’m not asexual.
    I don’t want to marry the Eiffel tower.

    I have nothing in common with the BTQIAOs of the world and I’m sick and tired of being grouped together with them because some ultra-PC types decided we’re all one big community.

  • Michael

    I know this is very controversial, but I feel like the T has a dependent relationship with the LGB. They need us, we don’t need them.

  • declanto

    @Aaron: The term “Queer” has tons of negative baggage attached to it. I’ve spent years of my life getting over it. You need to get the living shit beat out of you accompanied by grunting queer-bashing “f*ckin’-queer-f*ck” sound-track to really appreciate how this can make a simple word into a pavlovian torture device. I go to this site daily and shudder a little when I hit the “Queerty”. Every f*cking time. I am gay. I am NOT queer.

  • declanto

    @mario: I’ll second and third that, and add “I am NOT lesbian”, too. As far as the Eifel tower is concerned, I could think about dating maybe.

  • Dan

    How about terms that easily roll off the tongue. If we aren’t going to use gay, then let’s band together as gay guys with the straight women and call ourselves c*ck-suckers and the lesbians can group with the straight men and call themselves c*nt-slurpers. And all the bi folks can be called c&ck-sucker c*nt-slurpers. Or not… :P

  • weebiloobil

    I am gay. I am not bisexual.
    My boyfriend is bisexual. He is not gay.
    If we were to use the term ‘gay’, then he would feel excluded – ‘gay’ already means ‘has romantic feelings only for members of the same gender’, with usually male connotations, but that doesn’t apply to him. Also, there would be no particular denomination for me – if gay means all sexualities, then what am I?
    Personally, I would keep with the term ‘LGBT’, although it doesn’t have to stand for anything. It’s also unpronounceable as a word, stopping homophobic thugs yelling things like ‘Oi, you’re f***ing LGBT’ in the street when I’m holding hands with my boyfriend, so we have a term for ourselves that can’t be ‘reclaimed’ by right-wingers.
    Plus, aren’t we supposed to be about diversity? Isn’t calling ourselves ‘gay’ just setting up another ‘normal’ sexual practice, and bisexual, intersex, transgender people etc. become ostracised again?

  • declanto

    @Dan: I can hear how easily these terms “roll off ” your tongue, You c*cksucker.

  • Fitz

    “Queer” works a lot better for me than “Gay”. When I think of “Gay” I think only of… well, guys a lot like me.
    And I agree that most of T issues really aren’t ours– though we should be strong allies and advocates for each other. I think it would be (and here come the flames) in the Trans communities best interest, really, to bond to communities that are focused on ensuring legal rights and adequate medical treatment for people born with birth defects. Cuz, that’s what we are talking right? People can “get” or “Not get” the gays, but everyone understands that once in a while a baby gets born that needs a little help.

  • Fitz

    @declanto: but that is EXACTLY WHY “Queer” can become a powerful term in your life. Take it out of your bully’s mouth, and own the word with pride. And BTW, “Gay” had the same thing for me.. and ALL THE TIME you hear “That’s gay” in pop culture. I’m sorry for your past… own the word though. That you are here means that you are one tough little Queer. :)

  • Patty Simcox

    I like the gay as an umbrella term

    Gay man
    Gay woman
    For bi people it could be Gay bi

    I don’t mind queer either.

    I do understand what people are saying about trans issues being different but I also understand that a relationship has been established. I’m torn. I know it might be harder to pass something like trans-inclusive ENDA and that non-trans-inclusive ENDA might be a stepping stone to trans inclusive law. On the other hand I would hate to cast them aside and say good luck with all that.

    Regarding gay lifestyle, I still object to the term. I think most gay people have nothing to do with gay bars, restaurants etc. I’m a gay man living in Cheslea and have lived in SF and know plenty of people whose day to day life has little to do with gay establishments/activities. Plus, it’s pigeon holing, conjures up pictures of non-stop orgies in some people’s minds (not that’s there’s anything wrong with orgies) and doesn’t represent the diversity of gay men.

  • pete

    Just call me a cab…..

  • Tori

    I could care less.Trans people aren’t really represented at the same levels as gays so I don’t think much would change if you just dropped T.

  • Jeff

    Wise up – the correct phrase is “I couldn’t care less” – If you COULD care less, that means you care some, like a 2 on a scale of 0 to 10 and there is room to go lower. If you care 0, you CAN’T care less.

  • Dan

    The point being that straight people love to call us names but they wouldn’t like it if we included them in the names we are all collectively called. There is nothing gay and bi people do in bed that straight people haven’t also done for eons.

  • declanto

    @Fitz: I have taken this term, “queer” reluctantly. More for the sense of community than for my personal preference. The conglomeration of letters GBLTXYZEE always makes me think of a sandwich (BLT anyone?) Ever notice how the tastiest sandwiches are the messiest to eat? You’re right. I am one tough little queer, and I’ve grown ancient and proud.

  • roflmfao

    I’m both transgender and gay……so does that mean i get to be included in the “gay” “queer” world?

    Look people, yes it is a birth defect, one that is rarely treated before puberty, so many of us never “pass” well. We are also bullied, beaten and killed for being who we are. And how is that so much different from being LGB? At least no one has ever kept you from using a public bathroom!

    Having SRS isn’t done to make one not gay, its to make the outside match the inside. The same percentage of gay trans people is equal to the amount of cis gay people. By the reasoning i’m reading here, then only the gay trans people should be allowed to join this very exclusive club.

    Grow up! Including more people under the ever expanding umbrella of lgbtq……. only helps our cause, not hurts it. Why? Because the more members we have, the less it can be said that we are some fringe group, that its only a “lifestyle” a “choice”. If you ask me, and I know you didn’t, having us trans included only helps our cause, due to more and more people understanding that being trans is a birth defect, that we are built that way, its not a choice or a lifestyle. And following that thinking, then it must be that lesbians, and gays and bisexuals are also built that way as well.

  • Lefty


    Well said x

  • Hyhybt

    Perhaps a spelling change… “gay” for men who are solely attracted to men, and “gay*” for the ever-lengthening acronym?

  • Nil Street

    As an open minded individual who seeks for equality for everybody in our society, I don’t feel the need to be part of any of the groups I am defending. I am not a member of any group, I am a gay man, okay, but am I part of a community of gay people? Not anymore than I am a part of any equalitarists group(sorry, I don’t go for feminists as they don’t seek equality at all)even though I am an equalitarist from the bottom of my heart. And I am absolutely neither a lesbian, a transvestite, a transgender or somebody who identifies himself as a bisexual. I am no label even though some labels may apply to myself. This soup of letters can’t and will never apply to me. My sexual identity is being gay, and although I will support everybody’s equal rights, I won’t be viewed for my inexistent affiliation to any other sexual identity than the one which belongs to me. When it comes to my sexual identity, I am first a man, second, I am gay, and third I have my preferences. Nowhere does it appear that I am either a lesbia, a transgender or anything else.

  • kyals

    well I am trans, and I’ve seen plenty of discussions and polls about orientation in forums plus I know how my friends are personally.

    I can confidently say that 3 quarters of transsexuals ARE LGB, only about 1/4 are straight alone.

    A lot of you say you wish to cast aside the T but I don’t quite understand what you intend to do? Unless you want to not allow LGB trans people into gay spaces? The percentage of trans people to LGB people is minuscule. The fraction of STRAIGHT trans people is even less. Seriously, think about what you are saying >.>…

  • CCCole

    I would just like to say that as a B and a leader of a queer campus group, I appreciate the acronym. Usually we just go with LGBT because anything longer than that is usually taxing, but sometimes we go with LGBTQA. I use queer when the audience is appropriate… in my mind, that solves the problem of the alphabet soup for most people.

    The letters all represent a sexual or gender minority status. Are these two things the same? Of course they aren’t the *same,* but it is a grave mistake to say that gender and sexuality- and the way they are constructed and perceived- are not linked. This is why protections on the basis of gender identity & expression, for instance, protect ALL of us. People in homosexual relationships break down dominant gender norms. Period. On top of that, many of us have other personal qualities that are considered gender non-normative. So while our struggles are not the same, they are linked in important ways.

    Also it’s just so assimilationist to say that we should stop pretending we’re united by difference and just try to relate to the wider community. I participate in ‘the wider community’ every day, but I still relate to other queers in an important and different way. Is there unity in the Queer community? Obviously not. Could we accomplish more for our community if we were more united? I think so.

  • Lefty

    It’s just yet more conservative gays desperate to fit in to a social norm – get married, have kids, avoid camp behaviour, etc – casting aside and attacking anything that makes them stand out from that norm.
    The “I’m not a gay man, I’m a man who just happens to be gay” dreary sort.
    It’s tragic and dull.
    Sadly, I think we’ll see this sort of thing more and more.

  • Lukas P.

    LGBT? Yes, in my opinion, that works as an acronym, albeit, one which is difficult to pronounce.

    I still don’t see the need to include Questioning and/or Asexual into the mix. But I’m open to discussion. ‘Pansexual’ is to my mind somewhat vague, and the people attracted to inanimate objects?–I admit I don’t see any connection there with LGBT issues.

    The acceptance of the umbrella term ‘Queer’ has grown over time, particularly in Gen Xers and subsequent generations, yet I don’t hear many people outside urban areas who primarily use that word to self-identify. For many Baby Boomers –and older folks–it’s still not high on the list of favorite labels!

    Bottom line: this issue of naming ourselves as a GROUP is sure to be a hot button for a long time…

Comments are closed.