The ‘LGBTIQ’ Community. What does it Really Mean To You?

It really does not make sense to pile up a bunch of people who does not fit in with the ‘norm’ and make them a community. Or Does It?

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WHAT GOT ME THINKING?

Adelaide just recently ended their two-week feast festival. Feast is a festival to celebrate the LGBTIQ Community. I haven’t participated in anything at the feast for at least 5 years now. Not because I don’t enjoy it, Just keep in mind; being 35 is 60 in gay years apparently. However this year, I saw they had an open discussion forum for any one of the public to come along and have a say. I thought this would be interesting so I decided to go along. They presented a few questions, and then the group discussed them. Some of the question were something like; Would you be comfortable seeking services from someone who is not apart of the LGBTIQ community? Would you feel more comfortable if an organisation announced they are happy to serve the LGBTIQ? They had quite a few other good questions, however, even though the answers seem to sound different, I was hearing the same.

As a gay man myself, I grew up in a country town and had to build up some great resilience, (some people would call it being naive) they could be right. I kept thinking to myself  that, I wouldn’t care what services were not LGBTIQ specific, all I could think of was; If I was starving that would be my first priority over what my sexual preference is. I was getting somewhat agitated when, majority of the room said they would rather starve, and not risk being bullied or physically hurt.

Maybe I had been quite naive, about it all. In this forum we had L’s, G’s, T’s and I assume BQI’s as well. Each person who represented a letter in the acronym, really had something different to say in terms of how they perceive things and how they think they are perceived by the society outside their community. After the forum I thought about it a lot, and after reading up on the community of LGBTIQ, its started making some sense to me. But before I get into what my thoughts are, lets break this down by giving some meaning to the term LGBTIQ and a little bit about some of the history behind it.

THE TERMS AND MEANINGS OF THE ACRONYM LGBTIQ

LGBTIQ stands for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Inter-sexual and Queer. It get’s even more interesting when you find what each of those words mean;

Lesbian: A female homosexual, or woman who is solely attracted to women.

Gay: A person sexually attracted to someone of the same-sex as themselves. (I assume this is for gay men)

Bisexual: A person who is attracted to both sexes, e.g. A man who is attracted to both men and women

Transgender: A person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from which that person’s sex was at birth.

Queer: A word that embrace many different sexual preferences, orientations and habits of those who do not comply with the heterosexual and cisgender majority. This term is commonly used in a hurtful way, However people who do not match the sexual ‘E.g.norms’ somehow use it to self identify in a positive way.

Inter-sexual: A term used to describe a variety of conditions, in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not fit the typical definitions of a male or female. E.g. A person could appear female on the outside, but having male anatomy on the inside.

Are you seeing what I am yet?

A LITTLE BACKGROUND HISTORY

There were very little words used to describe non-heterosexuals that weren’t hurtful before the sexual revolution in the sixties. Homosexual and Homophile were the first widely terms used, however, these terms carried out negative thoughts and backlash. The non-heterosexual community found that gay seemed to be appropriate, they all seemed to be happy with this description finally.

THIS IS WHERE IT BEGINS TO GET TRICKY

This is where it gets tricky. When a strong feminist group made up out of gay women formed, they decided that the word gay could not depict them from the men. They choose to be called Lesbians. Their hatred for men made them think they could not identify with being gay, and could not work, even with the gay men who were noted to be in the same community. So at this point we have LG. Lesbians and Gays.

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Stonewall Riots 1969

AMAZING TO BE RECOGNISED, BUT WRONG TO NOT BE UNDERSTOOD

After the Stonewall riots in 1969, people who started to identify as Bisexual or Transgender got quite a lot of hassle. This hassle itself came from the lesbians and gay men more so. They could not accept them in the already divided community stating that; Bisexuals were in fact gay themselves but were to afraid to fully identify themselves in that way. They also thought that transgender’s were just somehow acting out somewhat of a stereotype. So somehow, bisexuals and transgenders were put under a community that already didn’t see eye to eye. However for the bi and trans people, this meant they were finally getting recognised, even in the largest minority group they called a ‘community’. The conflicts between the LGBT community are still around in today’s world. Four completely separate groups in a community that don’t get along, or just wont take the time to understand each other.  So now we have LGBT. Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders. After reading up on this topic, it was proven that using the term LGBT, it was successful in the terms of inclusion, I like to wonder who it actually was successful for at the time. I mean to me its fantastic that we were all getting recognised, but at what cost within their own community? A bit of a thought-provoking question there for you all.

WHAT ABOUT THE REST?

I feel sorry for anybody to be generalised and not even understood and sadly I couldn’t find much on when Q and I were added, the most thing I found was Q was added at some point this year 2016. So now I guess we have LGBTIQ. Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Trangenders, Inter-sexual, Queer.

EVEN MORE BIZARRE

Not bizarre in the way everybody is getting recognised, just more in the fact divided communities are getting bigger with just being different. Its unreal that I did find that the full acronym is actually; LGBTTQQIAAP, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual.

I don’t understand how people say, “Hey they need to feel included, where do we put them?” The answer will always be the same, “Put them with the other ‘mixed’ group that is not heterosexual.”

MY THOUGHTS ON THE WHOLE THING

I’m really not here to offend anyone, I am just stating how confused with this whole world I feel to be honest, and just how blind sighted we all are. Having read the meaning of each letter, completely tells us that this community is nowhere near the same, nor has common ground for the reason they are stated to be now in this community.. Some can argue that LGB can be similar in respects of attraction, but in that case where does it leave the TQI?

By having a LGBTIQ organisation, does not mean they know how to help with each different member of that communities issues. A transgender woman gave a great point. She tried accessing services for her mental health and found a place that states: ‘Serving the LGBTIQ community, all welcome”. The poor lady could not get anything resolved because in truth, the place where she seeked help, could not help her at all based on her being a Transgender. How embarrassing for everyone. I have spoken to many people too and it confuses them as well. Somehow along with society, the government must have thought that by putting everyone that is not heterosexual into a community, that cannot even identify with each other, would solve all problems. Yes, its nice to feel accepted, but do we all feel included?

My heart truly bleeds for the LGBTQI+ community being forced to look as the same community, when they all don’t 100% get along or even try to understand each other. It kind of makes you think why people outside this community cannot take us seriously. You really can’t blame them when our own community cant take it seriously ourselves. Every community that want equal rights should not label themselves such as, LGBTQI, feminist, politicians, refugees, migrants , etc. I thought there is a term that includes everyone, that term being Humans Beings having Human Rughts. We all have a right to feel safe, not judged, understood, heard, loved, and have the chance to be successful. At least instead of a whole heap of letters to single out people within their own community. should we be calling this community a Gender Diverse, one name, one meaning. Or if I could come up with an acronym term it would be something like: HTLRCAST, Humans, That, Love, Respect, Care, And, Succeed, Together.

Feel free to comment below and tell me your thoughts

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Couldn’t say it better myself.

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Written by Phil Paterson

I have been a Community Support Worker for the last four years. I worked in the Mental Health Sector and now currently working with people who have Aquired Brain Injuries in Disabilty. I studied to be a worker in the community, as I myself haven't had the best life. (Although now my life is much better). So I decided to attempt to write my real life story of trauma and abuse, drugs and alcohol, love and loss. All which led to depression and anxiety. Apart from my story I plan to write about everyday important issue that co-inside with my blog.

6 comments

  1. I think there is a lot of intersection between many of these groups (for example, transgender people may identify as homosexual, bisexual or pansexual). Involving/excluding non-cis gender identities can be further complicated when you consider that a non-binary person is neither hetero nor homosexual.

    There are many more examples of fluidity or overlaps.

    Overall, I personally find important that folk who fall under the queer umbrella come together as many of the issues they face and rights they fight for are the same. In particular, in countries where a heterosexual transgender person is not legally recognized as their gender unless they undergo surgery/jump through a million hoops gets married, they are “legally” entering into a gay marriage and therefore face the same legal issues and systematic discrimination. Relatively small subsets such as asexual people may not have much of a voice on their own, but can access better services and have a larger voice when lobbying as part of the LGBT+ community.

    We are stronger and more powerful standing together as a single united voice, than as smaller fractured groups.

    Although you argue that we don’t always get along or understand one another, that is true of ANY group (black people, christians, etc.) but the important part is that we work together toward a common goal and mutual understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fantastic comment, the words to describe individuals in the acronym can be quite offensive as you said. Like in the article, even queer had and is still a offensive to some. I’m all for us all coming together to fight for what’s right. But I feel one name to describe one community may fit better and could perhaps help being more understand as a community as a whole, rather then separation within the community itself. I love the passion you have on this topic.

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  2. We have many friends who have same sex marriages or partners. Just like we have friends who are married or live with their opposite partner. If we could get over having to think we need to introduce ourselves as heterosexual or gay or whatever the world would be a better place. We shouldn’t care who we are sleeping, living with. Are we happy, productive and making a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been an LGBT activist in the US for the last ten years. I’ve worked for three of the largest LGBT organizations, studied identity and LGBT urban youth behavior for a research institution, and have consulted for the federal government on LGBT issues. I also happen to write an LGBT-focused travel blog. I get that you’re confused. There’s a lot of new information about gender and sexuality being discovered. One of the reasons for that is because LGBT identity is starting to become more accepted in academia as a research focus. We’ve known identities are fluid and flexible for some time now but we as humans have a tendency to want to put ourselves in black and white states of understanding on complex issues. If you’d like to learn more considering using this free LGBT history course https://queerhistory.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Meg, just being at the forum that day, with genuinely upset transgenders stating they fill completely left out when service say they help the LGBT community, when in fact they only know how to help certain parts of the community. Here in Australia we are definitely behind the ball game in that respect. I will look into the blog, thanks again 🙂

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