Sunday, November 13, 2016
Its Used to be a Four Letter Initial-Now its Five
Last week, was the first time I heard the five letter initial, LGBTQ from President-elect Trump. It used to be just a four letter initial but Q was just added recently. Do you know the reason why the Q was added? Do you know the full meaning for Q and what it stands for?
At first I was not sure but I was guessing it could stand for Queer. So I Googled it and I was right. However, another meaning for Q is Questioning. Questioning would make sense, because I know that the word queer is still offensive to some gay and lesbian friends and relatives of mine. Here's an excerpt from USA today on what LGBTQ stand for. The article was written by Lori Grisham of USA TODAY Network, last July 22, 2016
LGBT -- meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender -- is a widely accepted initialism. However, a fifth letter is increasingly making its way into the line-up: Q. Q can mean either 'questioning' or 'queer,' Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, an organization that lobbies for LGBT rights, told USA TODAY Network. Either interpretation is accepted, he said.
Queer means many things. People use the term queer because it's not specific to sexual orientation or to gender identity but is more of an umbrella term that can encompass a lot of people, according to Sainz.
Queer means that you are one of those letters (LGBT), but you could be all of those letters and not knowing is OK," she said.
Minorities seem to identify with the term in particular because it also can be used to convey the nuances of race and culture and how that intersects with an individual's gender identity and sexual orientation, she said, still, others identify with queer not because it's an umbrella term, but because of its connection to the rise of Queer Nation in the 1990s. Queer Nation is an activist group that first emerged in New York and used militant action to oppose discrimination to LGBT people and reject heteronomative ideals.
Those who use the Q to mean 'questioning' refer to people who are in the process of exploring their identity, Ross Murray, the director of programs at GLAAD, told USA TODAY Network.
"Questioning means someone who is figuring out their gender identity and figuring out how they want to identify their sexual orientation," he said.
Because queer is still considered offensive by some people in the LGBT community, it's generally recommended that people avoid using it other than in situations where a person self-identifies as queer.
"Use the same term to identify them that they would use to identify themselves," Murray said. "We want to focus on the person. If we're telling a story, it's not about just 'Jane is a queer.' It's 'Jane identifies as queer.'"
LGBTQ is just one set of initials being used. There are other letters and combinations -- so many that some call it "alphabet soup."
Here are some of the other letters used:
A -- Representing asexuals, or individuals who do not experience sexual attraction.
A -- Representing allies, or people who are straight but support those in the LGBT community.
I -- Representing individuals who are intersex, or people who are born with anatomy that does not necessarily fit the "typical definitions of female or male," according to the Intersex Society of North America. "For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside," according to the ISNA's definition.