Friday, October 27, 2006


Once again I (pedantically) emplore everyone to stop abusing our language! Today's example is the bizarre Alphabet Soup style of gay activism.

When I was a kid, there was the "Gay Community".

Then, they became the "Gay and Lesbian Community". This was okay, although, in case you haven't noticed, lesbians are, in fact, gay.

Then, they tried: "Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay Community". To be honest, I never felt that bisexuals needed a community, since we already had the goth and new wave scenes. But, okay. Fine. One person suggested calling it the "Les-bi-gay Community", because that could be taken as a calling: "Let's be gay!" No, I'm not making that up. Nor did I get that from South Park.

Okay, then everyone started worrying about the rights of transgendered people, who probably could have gone in one of the above categories, and it became the "LBGT Community". Aside from your first impulse when you see this to ask: "What is a Labgit?", it's just aesthetically ugly. Yes, I find certain combinations of letters to be ugly. Asperger's dude.

Now, I get an email about a "LBGTQ Community Meeting". Of course, my first thought was that the Q stood for Queer; but, nope, it stands for "Questioning". Seriously. Questioning isn't a stage in sexual life anymore, it's a community. People can be life-long members of the "questioning community". Their slogan can be "Neither shitting, nor getting off the pot!" or "We're Here! We're Confused! Huh?!"
"What do we want? We don't know! When do we want it? Not sure!"

Please, stop the madness! These random combinations of letters are just ugly and confusing. The idea of a "community" based in sexual preferences is pretty goofy anyway; but, hell, it's a good excuse for social events! But, just call it "The Alternative Sexuality Community", or even the "A Bit Fruity Community". I'll buy the tee-shirt and wear it. But, as for the whole LGTBQTVM" (Lesbian-Gay-Transgendered-Questioning-Transexual-Virgin-Masochist) stuff, please STFU!


Anonymous said...

Is this all that "graduate students" can come up with? If so they should go back for a refresher course on Life 101.

The Pagan Temple said...

Well, Rufus, looks like you've been isited by a member in good standing of the "T" community-Troll.

Rufus said...

Yeah, I'll live. Does that insult even make any sense?

The Pagan Temple said...

Sounds like an overly sensitive gay activist to me, upset that you are criticizing their PR approach. Or maybe he's one of those "confused", or "Q" types you mentioned. Maybe he-or she-doesn't feel so good about it and you gave the person a chance to lash out.

Rufus said...

I think there are just people who log onto blogs, insult the writers, and leave. Probably not worth trying to figure out.

The Pagan Temple said...

You might be right. On the other hand-how many of your students know about your blog?

Rufus said...

None. I make sure of that.

Hiromi said...

The idea of a "community" based in sexual preferences is pretty goofy anyway

I don't get why it's goofy. Even if there weren't civil rights issues, I understand their desire to form a community.

The only parallel I can think of right now is being a Buddhist or Jew or whatever in a Christian country. You want an alternative, you want to discuss your own shit. And you want your own media; for example, movies or whatnot with LGBT characters (I know you dislike being acronymed -- sorry -- and I know verbing weirds words).

Rufus said...

Well, honestly, I think the issue here is that I don't believe in sexual identity. Actually, I don't believe in any fixed identities, and figure that what we call 'identities' are little more than theatricalized personas that we adopt in order to navigate our social relationships.

So, since I don't believe in identities, I don't really see why hanging around with a bunch of bisexuals talking about how we like sex with both genders would be much different from hanging out with other people who like cheesecake. It just isn't a big part of my life. Obviously, society responds differently to bisexuals, but that still doesn't make me think that we'd have much to talk about, or any deeper way to relate to each other.

I think there are people who are naturally joiners. And, if it's not the LBGTQ community that they're joining, it would be MENSA, or the Marines, or NOW, or AA, or the Catholic Church, or whatever other group offers them something to belong to. But, if I'm going to belong to a community, I'd rather it was based on something more meaningful than a sexual identity that I don't even believe exists in any objective sense.

I mean here I can understand religious groups much better, because they have a whole cosmology that shapes their view of the world. But, it's a lot more to discuss than: "Don't you find Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci both really hot?" and "Isn't it annoying when people want you to make up your mind and be gay or straight?" There's just so much more to my life than that.

On the other hand, I can totally understand wanting to socialize. I just want to socialize with everyone.

Hiromi said...

I don't know...just because it's out of the purview of your particular experience doesn't make it silly or inconsequential. And it goes a lot deeper than christina ricci vs. johnny depp. These people are made to feel like sick deviants at best, and murdered at worst. They have to hide very basic aspects of themselves.

A feeling of shared persecution actually *does* develop a sense of "deep" understanding. That's why I feel a sense of comaraderie with other minorities, particularly Asians, because they "get it." The fact that we have something in common, a connection that actually matters -- this is something we don't have to explain to each other. We don't have to justify ourselves. It's an immense relief, being amongst a community of people who understand you.

Rufus said...

Okay fair enough. You've got a good point there. And I see their point in having meetings. I still think they need a better name though. ;)