Is it Time to Drop the LGBT Acronym?

“LGBT” is exclusive to many queer identities.

If we’re going to do activism then let’s do it well. Why push for equality but only for some groups? Is that not a contradiction?

LGBT politics has a long history of being dominated by internal politics. The movement is often hypocritical. The white cis, middle class and gay rise to the top on the backs of other queer activists. Bigger charities have been slow to acknowledge other queer identities and refused to engage in wider change which would help queer people – such as the decriminalisation of sex work.

“LGBT politics has a long history of being dominated by internal politics”

But there is more to being queer than being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The B and the T are so often forgotten that it’s a surprise they ever even make it into the acronym.

However, there are still those who get even less representation. There’s no separation between sexuality and romanticism, leaving many biromantics (who are not bisexual) out in the cold. Pan people are treated like unicorns. Intersex people are only ever talked about when it comes to debates about ‘biological sex’ which are often used to attack trans people. Asexuality is decades behind the visibility of gay identities, and aromanticism may as well not exist for all of the respect or recognition it ever gets.

Our concept of queer should not be confined to being LGBT, which is an inherently white Western idea. Many cultures describe gender, romanticism and sexuality in different ways, experience it in different ways. Take the waria in the East or two spirit people in Native American communities. Identities are infinite. By only recognising LGBT, we barely scratch the surface.

It’s time to drop the lazy acronym and start building an inclusive language framework to support all queer identities. ‘LGBT’ just isn’t enough.

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One thought on “Is it Time to Drop the LGBT Acronym?

  1. Hmmm…interesting thoughts. One of my best friends (who is gay) used to call me out in conversations when I said “LGBT” (for similar reasons you have).

    What sort of language framework do you think would be inclusive, though? I use LGBTQ+ as an acknowledgement that are many who fall outside of the L, G, B, T, or Q (pansexual, asexual, agender, etc.) but at the same time I have hesitation about grouping so many identities with just a +.

    Liked by 1 person

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