LGBTQIA+: Issues and Discussion Thread

I listened to this episode the Allusionist postcast recently which helped me understand the perspectives a bit better.

Re: “I don’t see color” movement, I believe recent research shows that this is actually a harmful stance to take because it’s hard to detect unconscious biases at play and you can end up with biased outcomes in many “color-blind” scenarios. Best practice now seems to be more along the lines of 'acknowledge and ensure equity", which is a pretty fine line to walk.

Lesbian: Homosexual female
Gay: Homosexual male
Bisexual: Attracted to males and females
Transsexual: Birth genitalia don’t match identity
Questioning: Still working things out
Intersexual: Ambiguous genitalia
Asexual: Not interested in sex

It’s a lot of categories, but none of them are vague.

Why is this group included with the above?

If you are a male and are not attracted to anyone, are you straight or gay?

Who cares? I don’t mean that to be cruel or harsh or anything but really, who cares?

I get the person has questions, but what do they want from others, an acknowledgment of some type. I don’t get the problem. There are people of all persuasions out there who live out their lives without ever finding anyone. Should they have a label as well?

One thing that makes this harder to “sell” so to speak, at least to my mind, is that increasingly the people who identity with these alternate identities tend to also believe that these identities are constantly changing; a huge reason the word “queer” has become du jour rather than “LGBT” is because it “contains myriads” on every sliding scale.

So it’s not to much that one can be disrespectful or dismissive because of this but, otoh, outsiders should probably take it all pretty lightly and not be concerned about making things fixed or try to find some line in the sand.

Acknowledgement is irrelevant.

Imagine a form that asks you where you live. The only options are “East coast” or “West coast”. Are you comfortable with that? If so, then you can safely ignore LGBTQIA.

This is a categorization system devised by diagnosticians, programmers, or their ilk. So it’s naturally focused on edge cases and eliminating the possibility of “None of the above”. Spoiler: I like it, and the hypothetical form described above would ruin my day!

There are a few things on that list I am not fond of, but he presented the entire thing as negative… didn’t even goo point by point?

Apparently I’ve been missing the I. Intersex?

But here’s the thing… other than being gay or trans… none of that shit matters.

If you are gay or trans, then societal discrimination against you means you are either discriminated against, or you have to alter your behavior in public to hide your nature. It has an actual impact on your life.

For “Questioning” or “intersexual” or “asexual”? Yeah, no one gives a shit. It doesn’t matter. No one gives a crap if you are questioning your sexuality, or don’t like sex. No one’s gonna beat you up in public for… what… not having sex with people?

It’s not the same thing as being gay or black, because it’s not an issue unless you MAKE it an issue.

All words started out that way. Current languages and vocabularies weren’t born complete, out of nothing. When something new appears, a new device, a new idea, new words are created to describe them. That’s a thing that exist, as it were.

Yeah, but that argument is a bit over the top, since most new terms for new ideas and things tend to be made up of similar patterns to existing words, and/or combining existing words and roots in new ways. That way, they hint at what they mean even if you’ve not heard the exact term before.

And I still wonder who should be the gatekeeper of what terms we may use to define ourselves?

You can call yourself whatever you want, and it’s generally not going to matter to anyone.

Now, if you start demanding that things like government form have special shit for your made up word? Ya, no, not really worth the trouble. If you demand that I use your made up pronoun? Ya, probably not gonna happen.

There’s one other issue here: IMO that’s too many letters for most people to easily remember. I understand the issue with recognition and not treating people as disposable or ignorable but there is an issue of communication here: a label that is used by the mass of people needs to be something that people can remember easily.

Part of the problem might be that the terminology has changed a lot in a short span of time. If one single acronym became commonly used for years, that would probably make it easier to remember. Although I can’t really think of any commonly used acronyms with that many distinct elements (7) off the top of my head.

You mean not being discriminated against except for people on forums saying that their thing isn’t a thing that actually exists?

Ya man, that’s not real discrimination. Sorry.

This isn’t actually true. Sexuality and sex is still a big part of our society, especially for young people.

Oops. Looks like I missed this earlier. Apparently I need to change what I thought Q was and add I. The rest I already had in my noggin.

No, of course not. Having your identity questioned and/or dismissed is something that happens to the norm all the time.

I don’t see the questioning or asexual being asked about it very often. Maybe I just run in different circles though.

Sure, it’s a normal part of human existence. But you don’t get beat up for not actively having sex with people in public. How would people even KNOW? It’s absurd. You don’t need to do anything to hide the fact that you don’t like sex.

Sorry, it’s just not real discrimination. It’s not getting thrown out of a restaurant. It’s not someone refusing to do business with you. It’s not someone beating you up. It’s not refusing to let you see your partner in the hospital.

It has no impact on your life in any real and tangible way.

It’s not just about advancing a political agenda.

To take your example: Suppose someone from corporate HR called to ask you about your race / ethnic background. You replied, “Well, I’m half Italian and half …”. And they interrupted, “Look, I don’t care about that, snowflake. Just tell me if you are black or not.”

I would find that… off-putting. You ask a question like that, you better be prepared for a range of responses.

This is a debate that we have in my house. My daughter currently identifies as pan-sexual. This may change but for now that’s where she’s at and my wife and I support her regardless of where she ends up on the spectrum of sexuality and identity.

Sexuality is a broad spectrum and her friends and classmates identify all over it. My wife is in the Timex camp of questioning why we need so many labels. I’m in the Armando camp of believing that there is power in naming and claiming. Part of it is empowering individuals and helping them better come to terms with their identities. Part of it is raising awareness and helping folks coming from a differing experience to understand the issues, challenges and differing hardships that come along with specific identities.

The question has been asked, “Who gives s shit?” The answer is the folks who face the biases, discrimination and challenges that come along with their particular identity. Sure it gets confusing to us on the outside looking in (I don’t even officially know the name for my boring, straight, normally gendered self) but the goal of better understanding in the name of striving towards greater equality should be universally supported.

I also think it’s very cool that the generation coming of age now feels so much more free to embrace their sexuality regardless of where it falls on the spectrum and that they are much less likely to judge their peers.