The Sexist

LGBT Vs. GLBT Redux

The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), a leading resource on journalistic style, chimes in on the LGBT vs. GLBT debate: "The NLGJA stylebook supplement does not give explicit guidance, but only lists 'LGBT' as an option, perhaps revealing a preference." A commenter chimes in: "Our college campus’ group . . . technically referred to themselves as LGBTQQIA—the last part was queer (as in studies?), questioning, intersexed and (straight) allies. Most people were confused, even some gays. They ended up changing their name to 'prism.'"

Photo via brainchildvn, Creative Commons License 2.0

  • kza

    How about just calling them H. Homosexual. That's easier.

  • Katie

    Really kza?

  • Native JD in DC

    Meanwhile, the National Gay and Lesbian Reporter's Association released a study which found that using BLTG made people think of bacon.

  • Flutterby

    I want to flag kza for being a trollish asshole, but I can't seem to find the 'flag comment' button.

  • Katie

    @Flutterby: I see the buttons, so I helped a lady out.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    'Flutterby', as a gay man I see nothing wrong with the word HOMOSEXUAL used by 'kza'. The trouble with this column is that it allows Nazi's like you to censer other people's comments because YOU DON'T LIKE IT!

  • kza

    WTF Gay and lesbisns aren't homosexual?

  • K

    Gays and Lesbians are, but plenty of trans people are attracted to the opposite gender from their chosen gender expression, and thus wouldn't consider themselves homosexual, and the term doesn't accurately describe bi-sexual people.

    I suppose part of the problem with labels is lumping together all non-cis-heteronormative people in one group, when there are actually a wide variety of gender & sexual identities within that group.

  • kza

    The G and the L in LGBT both homosexual. Why the fuck would changing that to HBT be a big deal?

  • Katie

    You said it should just be "H." I, and probably a lot of other people, assumed you meant the letter H alone, which eliminates a lot of other people who consider themselves a part of the queer umbrella.

  • kza

    No I meant it as a way to just get rid of the L or G first issue.

  • chris

    The thing is, 'homosexual' is kind of a clinical-sounding term, and that's partially the reason that a lot of right-wingers use it when describing tha gayz, because it's a little more dehumanizing. It's a minor difference, I suppose, but it still has some not-so-great connotations.

    I like the term 'queer' myself, seems like the most inclusive one to me and you don't have to get bogged down in letters. Plus it's just a fun word. Honestly I can't believe that debate over what order the letters should be in exists. I mean, inclusiveness is one thing, but seriously? People are upset because they're not first on the list? Are they twelve?

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    'chris' the word queer to me is like the word fagot, it's demeaning no matter how you cut it!

  • kza

    I think queer and homosexual are about the same in terms of stigma. And transexual and bisexual are already on that list. Q or H whatever this is such a nonissue.

  • Liz

    I like LGBT better because it rolls off the tongue easier. I've always heard it like that, and GLBT is kind of awkward to say. I think people are getting a little technical about something that isn't a huge deal, imo.

  • Susan

    This does seem like a nonissue to me, especially since the two letters that define me, B and T, are at the end no matter what. :)

  • PD

    Why not just alphabetize it? Alphabetizing is my solution to everything. "BGLT" does kind of sound like a fancy sandwich, though.

  • Hilary

    "Queer" is not a stigmatizing word depending on context - Queer is in fact a word embraced by many as an alternative to mainstream ideology, pedagogy, what-have-you. Queer theory is an accepted term in academia.

    "Homosexual" however began its life as a diagnosis - for the mental disorder of being gay. It precedes "heterosexual" in origin. "Gay" was taken up as an identity to combat this label, and generated from within the gay community rather than applied from the outside. I believe it is a more desirable word for this reason. Not only is homosexual intrinsically linked to its clinical and debasing history, but it necessarily sets up a systes of bipolar opposition - you are either homo- or heterosexual - that excludes the many other possibilities of identity such as the trans & genderqueer communities.

  • kza

    "Not only is homosexual intrinsically linked to its clinical and debasing history, but it necessarily sets up a systes of bipolar opposition – you are either homo- or heterosexual"

    I think that's a great point but we live in a world of black/white cis/tran hetero/homo etc. These aren't good labels.

  • Melissa

    I like the umbrella term "Sexual minorities" because it includes the intersex and ace without adding more letters. But I doubt it would ever catch on.

  • conrad davis

    how about: non-standard fuckers

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