Should We Stop Using LGBTQIA+ To Describe Ourselves?
The most inclusive name for our community thus far is LGBTQIA+ Growing up in the 90's, this was simply LGBT. Later, the Q was added, to become LGBTQ. Then it became LGBTQIA. Then a plus was added. Then LGBT+ and LGBTQ+ started seeing use. Literally all of these are still in widespread use today,
with no consensus on the name. As more labels get added — most obviously N
onbinary, which falls under the optional plus — more labels have the potential to be excluded. Although it is true that some letters represent multiple labels -- such as gay and genderfluid -- this presents a problem: prioritizing inclusion in the name. Why should nonbinary take a backseat to aro/ace? Is queer really used enough to be included? It wouldn't be bad if the name stayed consistent, but the changes from one person to the next just feels trendy. Even Wikipedia has a unusually long article
for what you would expect to be a rather simple answer. And many of us, myself included, are old enough to remember when "queer" was a slur, and refuse to use it for this very reason. In many respects, it still is a slur. So what else do you call it?
Years ago, even before I knew I was a part of it, I started calling it the "Rainbow Community." We all have the rainbow flags (okay, well, most
of the labels do), but perhaps most importantly, solidarity with the entire community is represented by rainbows in some shape or fashion. It also happens to be in the list of that Wikipedia article's alternate terms
, which I only learned about at time of writing. It's easy to remember, represents the entire community without missing any, and won't become outdated with time.
Unfortunately, even within the rainbow community, it isn't immediately obvious what the term "rainbow community" refers to. But that won't stop me from using the term. Can't win every battle!