You’ve no doubt seen the letters LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender). Maybe you’ve also come across them arranged with the L and the G transposed: GLBT. Also frequently used nowadays is LGBTQ. Until last year, I wasn’t sure if the Q referred to Queer or Questioning, because I’d heard both. (Questioning, as in youth who are in the process of discovering where they are on the broad gender spectrum.)
But according to Harry, my 24-year-old son and best teacher about all things gender, the “endless acronym” continues to grow. In it’s long-form version of inclusiveness, the letters now read LGBTQQIAA, covering both Queer and Questioning, plus Intersex, Asexual and Ally. (That’s me at the end.) But I don’t see or hear that long acronym used very often. It’s a mouthful! A lot of people just say “gay” to include anyone who’s not straight. And then there’s the term “cisgender” which also describes me and refers to someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Harry self-identifies as queer. And I think for him, queer is a community that really defies the myriad of labels for gender, gender expression and sexual orientation. Jamie-Jin Lewis explains why she identifies as queer in the story she shares on YouTube and in the LGBTQ story archive I’m from Driftwood.
Her story reminded me of my belief that all kids grow up wanting to fit in. And I don’t think fitting in should mean you have to be the same as everyone else. This isn’t The Twilight Zone! To a child, fitting in means simply being accepted for who you are.
Being a child, teen or young adult should defy labeling. Truly we’re all individuals first, male or female second. And as for sexual orientation, that’s really nobody’s business but our own.
I think our children are born knowing their identity. And they’ll tell us who they are when they’re ready. In the meantime, let’s save our labels for canned goods. What do you think?
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