Saturday, February 6, 2010

Open Forum: Create a Unifying Term for the Community

We have all seen the endless debate over how the community gets labeled. Are we the "gay community", the "gay/lesbian community", the "queer community", "sexual minorities" the list is endless. The acronmyns only get worse since there is contention over LGBT, LGBTQ, GLBTQIA, etc and the order of the acronyms itself is subject to debate. Do gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders alone get in or do we expand to be inclusive of asexuals, intersexuals, polyamorous, two-spirit, queer, questioning, pansexuals, androgynous, genderqueer people and allies?

One might get a headache after listing out all the multitudes of sexual and gender identities that can describe our community members. While some people find queer to be inclusive others hate the term and find it disparaging.

Todays task is to come up with a unifying term besides queer that can be used. We can likely all agree we need an alternative. I predict lots of tacky ideas but that is okay, lets hash it out, and brainstorm by listing several ideas and we can all debate and declare a new term for our community!

29 comments:

Kalamata said...

Anyone who suggests "rainbow" should be shot.

Kalamata said...

The out community.

teostra said...

I've never been a big fan of "reclaiming" words, so I'm not a bug supporter of "queer." I do wish there was something more inclusive, though.

Queers United said...

It needs to be something not tacky, can we just create a nice sounding word and use it or should we go with already established English jargon?

Chris Gurr said...

This will obviously take a lot of thought and time, but initially reading through the list, the community seems so broad and inclusive, that it is difficult to find a good reason for excluding heterosexuals; as to do so would be playing the same game that has made us a community, ie exclusion through difference.

Queers United said...

The loveboat community haha jk

Patricia said...

Evolved

Queers United said...

The Amour or Amorous Community?

Queers United said...

Mosaic?

Queers United said...

Maybe we need to lay this out differently. We want an inclusive word for sexual and gender minorities but what do we want it to say about us? Unified, brave, cheerful what sort of adjectives come to mind perhaps from there we can come up with stuff.

Nicholas Goldsmith said...

Spectrum Community? Pride Community?

I do think a unified word would be fantastic, because it would really help. The acronyms just confuse people, but there does need to be some level of common banner.

Anonymous said...

Being an aromantic asexual, words that mean "amorous," "love" wouldn't really include me. "Mosaic" seems nice and inclusive. Although I don't mind the word "queer." At least people know it and are used to it. I wonder why "rainbow" is so resented by the first poster. It seems good to me. It has the "mosaic" meaning and people are used to relate it to the LGBT community.

teostra said...

"Spectrum" is used by the autism community, so that wouldn't really work. I also agree with Anon there on love-based terms: it eliminates a community that gets eliminated far too often.
"Mosaic" is nice, and I'm okay with "rainbow." It seems like rainbow would be an easy one to transition to, but it also has connotations as a symbol representing more the flamboyant gay male community versus being wholly inclusive of the entire non-heteronormative crowd.

Lara said...

I like Kate Bornstein's suggestion of GASP, for gender-anarchy/sex-positivity.

Anonymous said...

Queer! One word, people know what it means, it is somewhat (these days only somewhat) anti-establishment, meaning that we have work to do to change society to be inclusive, and it excludes no one, it labels no one, it forces no one into any pigeonhole.

The queer community.

svollga said...

I use 'queer', both as self-identification and as an umbrella term for the community. Queer as 'anything that's not straight cis heteronormative monogamous vanilla'. Includes everything.

Anonymous said...

... can I ask what the paw flag is for????

Queers United said...

Anon 2:46 AM the paw flag is for the bear community which are more masculine, hairy, and larger in size men.

Brett said...

I have been inspired to write this on my blog - You gotta have pride - http://the-classic-eccentric.blogspot.com
- as I think its time we have the one name too . b

keith douglas warren said...

Whatever comes out of this I believe that we should all claim our Race in the upcoming census as Gay, or GLBT or Queer. what ever one feels an afinity with.

mewi said...

Here is one... LGBT... why change it?

Anonymous said...

To Mewi - it doesn't cover everybody: asexuals, pansexuals, non-binary genders (e.g. agender).

Moondragon007 said...

Because LGBT excludes aces (asexuals).

BLAGT might work cos it's almost prouncable - "blag-tee" Although that might be confused with "black tea"...

Sheridan said...

I'm not a fan of GASP. It's to close to WASP, which just sounds odd. I also don't like queer. It makes it sound like something is wrong with us. The top definitions are as follows.
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.
I don't want to associated with any of those.
We should have a word all our own. It doesn't have to have a current meaning. Just something that sounds positive and nice, like...Timok

mewi said...

@Anonymous, it covers everyone who is fighting for equal rights under the law.

Alone asexuality has no rights to be obtained ( in the US at the least, harsh reality but true ), aside from getting out the word about what it is... and honestly it is just celibacy in reality and are still covered by the "LGB" part in terms of fighting for relationship rights anyway.

@Moondragon007, It is completely unnecessary to include "asexuality" in the acronym, cause again they are covered in the LGB part.

Intersex people should be covered, because and I stress this greatly anyone who is identifying as "Intersexed" should be marked under the transgendered category and thus the transgendered category should be modified to include intersexed people. I have seen some disagree with this, and they sounded rather transphobic to me...

and pansexual? pansexual is far to broad a term and an unexplored term that it's meaning is highly obscure.

Diane J Standiford said...

My gay friends and I have given this much thought. I am 52 and it used to be, "She (he) is gay." "Yeah? What are they into?" But there is no doubt we need branding. I am not queer. I am not a rainbow. We need a NEW word for a NEW age. One that expresses what we all share in common: oppression/minority status/strength/permanecy---or we settle for a name for just now that will only be in history books and Trivial Pursuit games, like: Black Panthers. Mosaic. Rainbow. Queer I tell people I'm gay, or just introduce my partner of 30yrs and let them figure it out; they don't need all my sexual details anyway. But, yeah, we need branding.

Anonymous said...

The colorful community?
Or or, I know this is a stretch, but "Human"
But that excludes the furries.
This is hard.

Anonymous said...

How about Variant?
We are scattered across the whole female sexuality/gender/male sexuality spectrum and our different sexualities (including hetero) are now accepted as normal and natural variants of human sexuality. This includes transgender and intersex.
The word Variant is a positive version of deviant which moralists through the Twentieth Century chose to label, demean, dehumanise and demonise us.

Ed-M
http://ifpeakoilwerenoobject.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

"Out" or "Outs" or "Outsiders".
It expresses both visibility and minority status.

"The Family" or "The People".
Well, I guess the family is used by the mob, and I think gypsies use "the people", but those two terms are highly inclusive- and we can claim them away from the right wing, who say we are not family, and we are not part of "we the people".

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