LGBTQ and That’s It For Now

I thought everyone by now had heard of the initials LGBTQ but in case you don’t know it means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning.

If you don’t know, there are longer more complicated shorthands available. All of them start with LGBT. Like LGBTTQQIAAP. But there are others and these others rarely agree. That’s why I am sticking to my original LGBTQ.

Isn’t Questioning just a catch all so that we can include everybody? Isn’t questioning always viable to mean different? I think it is both these things. But mostly it allows me to be a bit lazy. Perhaps when I find out enough I’ll change to a longer shorthand. But even still I might stick to LGBTQ just to clue in others that will not learn the ridiculously long and complicated LGBTTQQIAAP. Besides, what if there are more ways of being that are not covered? Who gets to decide what rates a letter?

Some might think I am slighting people by not giving them their letter. But sometimes things are so statistically small that the whole culture doesn’t have to know.

Asking people to memorize this huge list is like telling people they have to know all the mental illnesses. Sure a lot of older adults know the main ones like depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder and autism spectrum disorder.

But this is obviously an incomplete list of all mental illnesses. There is Aperger’s, narcolepsy, brain trauma, epilepsy and all sorts of personality disorders – the list can be quite long.

All of these are quite important because real individuals in your community have these illnesses. But is it expected for you to know the complete list? Why no. I haven’t even heard of someone trying to force this list on people (except on psychiatrists).

People who are likely to use LGBTTQQIAAP almost all don’t know the complete list of mental illness. Until you all do, I suggest you also don’t force memorization on the rest of us.

So, for the time being, I am just going to use LGBTQ and be open to various forms of Questioning.

Rainbow Folk

There’s LGBT. There’s LGBTQ. There’s LGBTQ2. Then there’s LGBTTIQQ2S. They stand for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender[, Questioning](, 2 Spirited). The extras in the longest acronym are transexual, intersexual, and queer.

can’t we have one all inclusive name that isn’t the memorization difficult LGBTTIQQ2S

Clearly we have a problem with dealing with other sexualities and genders. But can’t we have one all inclusive name that isn’t the memorization difficult LGBTTIQQ2S. Yes we can. For that, all we have to do is look to the flag. The LGBTTIQQ2S flag. A few weeks ago a person who identifies as LGBTTIQQ2S came up with the answer for me in my local Kitchener Post newspaper. Simply he referred to these types of people as rainbow folk. There’s no capitalizations just like you would do in general use and it isn’t a memorization quagmire.

I like it. So when the use of LGBTQ, for instance, might be called for, I am going to use the term rainbow folk. Now you can whine and cry and rage about this but the fact is most people know almost immediately what I am talking about. And it makes reading easier.

rainbow folk are worried about coming out and there are no reliable statistics to say what frequency these people have in our society

In another area of concern, rainbow folk are worried about coming out and there are no reliable statistics to say what frequency these people have in our society. This is largely because rainbow folk stay in the closet for fear of being targeted or other reasons. So might I suggest that deathbed and only-to-be-released-after-death admissions be used to find out how many rainbow folk and of what variety exist in our society.

Then a rainbow person might know, “I’m gay but so is one in ten of the males I know.” This might be comforting or even empowering. I think accurate but anonymous stats are important. When the true numbers are unknown the mystery can be used to the detriment of rainbow folk. Indeed, here in Canada, I wonder if the Conservative Party under Stephen Harper, canceled the mandatory questions of the long form census, precisely so no future census could find the true numbers of rainbow folk.