Comscore

LGBTQIA

artscallion Profile Photo
artscallion
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/07
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/16/14 at 04:32pm
darquegk's use of the word epicene in another thread made me think of an interesting discussion my coworkers and I had this morning. We came upon a call for artists to be sponsored by this particular group. The only requirement was that the artist be LGBTQAI. A straight coworker asked me what all the initials stood for. I told him that LGBTQ was as far as I'd ever seen. So we looked it up.

We found that it is a new and common letter grouping and that:

I = intersexual (a variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female) So, basically a physical manifestation of sexual ambiguity, ranging from having both sets of genitals to none to malformed genitals of either or both sexes.

A = asexual (a lack of attraction or interest in sexual activity)

The discussion turned to the question of what exactly does this cluster of letters represent now. It no longer identifies the range/type of gayness. Trans falls outside of preference as it is about gender identity, not preference. Now it delves into physicality. You could say the cluster of letter represents the range of sexual states of being. But why then is straight left out if you want the complete range.

None of us, gay or straight, were sure what this growing cluster even means anymore. Or why it would be used as a filter for art sponsorship.
thoughts?
Art has a double face, of expression and illusion.
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/16/14 at 04:59pm
Although people my age were greatly wounded by the word 40 years ago, I am happy to be called "queer" and lumped with all forms of sexual "otherness".

The anagram is really out of control.

artscallion Profile Photo
artscallion
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/07
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/16/14 at 05:33pm
My husband tells me he thinks it encompasses sexual minorities. And I just realized I posted this on the wrong board. I'll fix after dinner.
Art has a double face, of expression and illusion.
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/16/14 at 05:55pm
It does and what we have in common is our political and social marginalization, which is another reason I'd be happy with one word ("queer" suits me, but it could be something else) that would be all inclusive.

Do I have much in common psychologically with a transexual? Perhaps not, but we certainly share a very similar history of oppression. And that's about the only place these labels matter: in the political arena.

(To be perfectly honest, I did not always feel this way. I like to think I've grown up a little in my political views.)
HorseTears Profile Photo
HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/16/14 at 06:09pm
Gaveston said it perfectly!
artscallion Profile Photo
artscallion
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/07
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/16/14 at 06:19pm
I agree!
Art has a double face, of expression and illusion.
temms
Broadway Star
joined:7/21/04
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/16/14 at 07:36pm
You left out the second Q for "questioning", the second A for "allies"' and the second T for "two-spirited". Some folks also want to add a P for "polyamorous".
oasisjeff
Broadway Star
joined:11/15/07
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/16/14 at 10:45pm
There a ton of permutations of that alphabet soup.
Now t/d/b/a haterobics on here.
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/16/14 at 10:55pm
What Gaveston said.
FindingNamo Profile Photo
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/16/14 at 11:07pm
Looking at the history of coalition movements working on social change, you have to individually include everybody for a long time before an umbrella term can conceivably cover everybody. And even then it's questionable. Just ask the NAACP.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
darquegk Profile Photo
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/17/14 at 12:30am
Time for me to pull out the Women, Gender and Queer Studies master-level certification:

It's interesting that you noted the use of "epicene" in connection with my post about Edward Gorey. "Epicene" is an unpopular and archaic term that essentially means "sexually non-normative," a single word that covers the entirety of what academia calls "the queer umbrella."

Because there is no politically neutral word that means the same thing that "queer" does academically, people feel the need to provide lists or acronyms, and I think that either the eventual demilitarizing of "queer," so to speak, or the rise of a new word that serves the same purpose "epicene" originally did, will provide a new way of discourse on subjects of gender and sexuality.

Because, honestly, there is some debate that the term "queer" is either too vague or too all-inclusive. The queer umbrella covers everything from homosexuality to intersexuality to feminist politics to masturbation. Anything outside the "norm" of patriarchal-heteronmative sex with a man and a woman is queer, academically. Now I'm a heterosexual man, but when we went down the list of what is and isn't "queer," I was checking off multiple boxes because the term is so very all-inclusive. By the end, I was saying to myself, "Well, I guess everyone is queer except the Westboro Baptist Church, then." So if everyone and everything is queer, what does it mean anymore?

Mainstream gender and queer theory is a series of questions that everyone gets to answer for themselves. This is probably comforting on a personal, emotional level, but it is immensely perplexing in the academic world. Which is maybe as it should be.
FindingNamo Profile Photo
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/17/14 at 01:13am
No, the ONLY queers are the Westboro folks.

BOOM! Brains exploding.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/17/14 at 08:51am
I'm sure even the Westboro congregants jack off.
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/17/14 at 09:32am
I've seen a lot of younger gay men reluctant to embrace the term "queer." Can't say for sure why (I like it, for the reasons Gav described), but perhaps it seems more radical, amibiguous, or because it implies non-masculine behavior.
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/17/14 at 09:35am
Not sure the tradition of "turning a word around," so formidably fierce and potent decades ago, has sustained itself (at least outside the African American community).
Patash Profile Photo
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/17/14 at 01:27pm
In high school in the 1960's I hated the word "queer" as I worked hard not to be discovered as being so. Now as a 67 year old man who has had an amazing 42 year monogomous relationship with the love of my life who died with Alzheimers, who has taught school, created a successful business, given to my community in so many ways, and has now discovered a new love of my life who married me a year ago, I still hate the term. Sorry, but I don't think there is anything QUEER about my life or my personality, and I resent people trying to slap that label on me. I consider myself as normal as any straight person I know, and I object to be being told I'm not "normal" but "queer" which implies the opposite of normal.
FindingNamo Profile Photo
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/17/14 at 01:35pm
I don't like "queer" any more because it seems so STUCK in the early '90s. However, Patash, your story and your life are hardly NORMAL. I propose the new term: extraordinary.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
Patash Profile Photo
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/17/14 at 01:42pm
How sweet, Finding Namo. I'll accept that. My life has been extraordinary.
darquegk Profile Photo
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/17/14 at 02:03pm
One word alternative that comes up in queer theory, particularly black queer theory, is "quare." A play on both the southern pronunciation of queer and on "square," implying that an existence outside of the accepted norm is rounded and flexible, unlike the rigidity of squares.
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
LGBTQIA
Posted: 1/17/14 at 08:22pm
Congratulations, Patash, on your marriage. That's wonderful!

darquegk, "quare" also seems to be an Irish word meaning abnormal and strange. How is this an improvement?

Personally, I agree with Louisa in THE FANTASTICKS: "Please, God, please: don't let me be normal!"

ETA I do appreciate namo's point about some groups feeling they are marginalized even within the marginalization. Lesbians (despite getting the first letter) rightly complain that the public usually only things of gay men when the word "gay" is mentioned (and may even find lesbianism titillating until two women try to support themselves or raise their own children).

And so the acronym has its purpose.

But when even we in the queer community have to explain it to one another, a number of the "letters" are getting lost anyway, I fear.
Updated On: 1/17/14 at 08:22 PM

BROADWAYWORLD TV