Sunday, August 02, 2015

214.3 - Footnote: LGBT and LGBTQ

Footnote: LGBT and LGBTQ

The other quick Footnote is that you may have noticed that I have sometimes been referring to "LGBTQ" folks, which some people prefer to LGBT.

You may know that "LGBT" stands for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender." The "Q" stands for "queer" or "questioning," depending on who you ask and their own personal focus.

"Queer" is more of a political term, adopted by those who reject the whole idea of categorizing people by their sexuality or who just want to reclaim the word "queer" from an insult to a happy affirmation, in much the same way that folks in the '60s did with "freak."

"Questioning," on the other hand, refers to people, usually young, who are questioning their sexuality, who are questioning what they feel about themselves and others, who aren't yet sure of where they fit in the spectrum of definitions and categories, of desires and convictions. It's a process that is often emotionally stressful and even disorienting. It can be a troubling time and people who are "questioning" often need moral support and reassurance.

Anyway, the point here is that just as I do with "global warming" and "climate change," I'll probably be randomly flipping back and forth between LGBT and LGBTQ. So I want to make clear what the latter term, less common, term meant in case you were unfamiliar with it.

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