LGBT. LGBTQ. LGBTQQ. LGBTQIA. LGBTQIA+. LGBTQQIP2SAA.
When do we say enough is enough?
According to writer Alex Myers over at Slate, the answer is: Never. He says the LGBTQ acronym can’t have enough letters, numbers, and symbols, and here’s why:
“Adding more labels to the acronym isn’t about making sure all the snowflakes know they are special,” Myers writes. “These labels save lives.”
Myers argues that labels provide people who may often feel like outcasts a sense of belonging, not to mention a deeper understanding of who they are and where they come from.
“These labels create a powerful sense of understanding and self-acceptance,” he writes. “The fact that the acronym has become a target for mockery only indicates the amount of work that still needs to be done around LGBTQIA+ civil rights.”
Myers goes on to say that he understands not everyone agrees with him. More and more people, particularly younger generations, aren’t comfortable labeling themselves or putting themselves in specific categories. But language, he says, “grants us the ability to explain ourselves, to put words to what we feel and think and experience.”
Having terminology also creates community: If a word exists to describe something, the implication is that the concept is important enough to merit a term, that there’s a critical mass in need of this word. If the feeling an individual has “dares not speak its name,” then how is one to find others who share that feeling? These labels—all of them, not just the original one or two or three—play a necessary role in generating solidarity.
What do you think? How do you feel about the LGBTQ acronym? Share your thoughts in the comments section…