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"There’s a reason for every one of those letters in the LGBTQI acronym. Each group fought tirelessly to be recognised as vital members of a community that is expanding."
Yes! It's about time someone with access to an international forum such as The Economist said this.
Anyone who knows me has heard me saying the same thing for a couple of years. I am a gay man in my early 60s. Substituting the hegemonic term "queer" for the inclusive initials "LGBTQI" effectively erases my gay identity. I was gay in the 1970s, gay in the 1980s, gay in the 1990s, and still gay in the oughts. I'll be damned if I'm going to change my identity now.
Do I object to the term "queer" because homophobes once used it to insult us? Of course not.
I object to "queer" because it is not a sexual orientation but a socially-acquired cluster of behaviors and attitudes that escaped the hothouse of academia and became a fad primarily among college-educated young people in urban centers.
While I have not done the field work to prove it, I would wager that while one would find same-sex preferences among senior citizens in isolated communities far from our major cities, it's doubtful that any older people in rural America have been grappling for decades with the problem of coming out as genderqueer. People are gay or lesbian, but they learn to be queer.
"Queer" is having its noninclusive way with journalists and other writers whose beat is American society. Today, I can count on reading pieces in which the author breezily refers to all of us in the LGBTQI family as "queer," as if we'd somehow taken a vote and decided that, yes, we did want to be rebranded even if it wasn't our idea. I'm inclined to think that some writers believe that using the term "queer" shows they're with it. They're not - they're insultingly noninclusive. That's why Pippa's dissenting voice is so important.
So hegemonic is queer that it's not content with queering all the living. No, I've also seen it applied retroactively and anachronistically to the dead, such as the esteemed chef and cookbook writer James Beard. He must be rolling in his grave.
In closing, I am pursuing a second B.A. at a local university. Not long ago, the LGBT center was renamed the "Queer Center." While that's fine for the trendsetters on campus, I worry about the effect it will have on young gay men who are still in the closet. Will the task of assuming the correct queer posture be so daunting that just they'll give up on coming out?
"....A queer identity embraces sexual and intimate relationships with males, females, and intersex people who identify as transgender, gender-queer, trans masculine or gay, just to name a few. "
Why just a few and not all? A bill submitted to the Bundestag mentioned sixty. Sadly that bill was crushed under the weight of ridicule - but since black lesbians were not separately enumerated it can't have been sufficiently comprehensive.
It is impossible to find a comprehensive list anywhere. Ms Pippa Fleming (if "Ms" is correct prefix) would render the world a great service if she (ze?) could come up with one.
It was not my intention to list all of the various identities nor do I know all of them. They vary by country, region, etc. This is why it is so hard to find such a comprehensive list. It would be a great project to research and create a global listing. Know of any funders?
Hello. Are you Pippa, author of the article?
If so, I have an idea for you: contact Dr James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA and Nobel prize winner, ask for his advice on chromosomal abnormalities correlated to homosexuality, trans-genderism, etc. To my knowledge he has done enormous research on genetic roots of schizophrenia (he has a severely afflicted son) but not on other mental disorders.
Since it doesn't sounds to me like you can pay his usual consulting fee, make sure to mention you are black, and if he is willing to help you, you will do your best to re-habilitate his reputation, which has taken something of a hit after the politically correct decided he's a racist (obviously only promise that if you intend to go ahead with the effort!)
Come back and post here, I'm curious to find out what he'll tell you.
Hey Pippa! I didn't think you were serious in identifying black lesbians as a distinct category, but since it now appears you were, I also see no other solution than the one already suggested to you, start with DNA.
Race is not a social construct - it's amply documented in genes - so maybe some such classification will become apparent on further examination of purely biological data. Going after cultural constructs is, as you observe, a chimera.
Thank you, Pippa, for writing this.
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