Friday, June 16, 2006

oh my god, it's so long!

as you know, i work in government. working in government means that i am no stranger to acronyms. in fact, i think if it weren't for acronyms government wouldn't know what to do with itself. i am also used to acronyms in day to day life.

but today i came across the acronym LGBTTIQ2S. whatever happened to LGBT, and sometimes S?

so, i figure it's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgenered, T_____, I______, Q______(Queer?), 2_____, S______(Straight?).

anyone want to enlighten me?

i encountered it in a pride newsletter (i'm volunteering at pride this year and apparently that means i get newsletters several times a week) in a paragraph that is kind of cool, an effort to bring remind people that pride is a big party here, but an impossiblity elsewhere.

the paragraph is:

This year we want to not only have a parade but we want to march. This year, Pride Toronto has an International Grand Marshall, Bill Schriller, who actively advocates for our communities throughout the world facing state sanctioned violence, Neo-Nazis and fascism. Together with our Canadian Grand Marshals and Honoured Groups, Bill will be marching for those who can't at the head of the parade, by carrying the flags of six countries worldwide where our sister communities have experienced horrific state-sanctioned violence this year - including Jamaica, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Poland, and Zimbabwe. LGBTTIQ2S peoples in these and numerous other countries don'thave the freedom to claim their voice and march in a parade of their own. Let's use our loud voice to liberate theirs.

anyway, help on the acronym would be appreciated...


LGBTTIQ2S = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgenered, Transexual, Intersexed, Queer/Questioning, 2-Spirited.

So, clarification on the second T, and confirmation on the S are needed.

And here's my shot in the dark answer to the question from ink in the comments: "Gay / Lesbian and Queer? Also, what are "intersexed" and "two-spirited?"

Gay generally referes to a man who is attracted to men. Lesbian genearlly referes to a woman who is attracted to women. Both are homosexuals, but these lables add the element of gender (and sex, although I wonder it's often more gender-based than sex-based, if you were not a bio boy, but still identified as male, and you were attracted to men, one assumes you'd be called gay)

Some people find the lables Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual too static, and so prefer to be called Queer, since it can encompass more as a result of being less specific.

A dear librarian friend of mine (thanks noone!) helped me out with the difference between transgendered and transexual. "Transgendered is a term that refers to someone who has variations on the theme thatdiffer from the biological sex that they were born as. It usually refers to someoenwho is in the in-between stages of having sex reassignment surgery or treatments. A transexual is someone who has had reassignment surgery." Since I'm well versed in the differences between gender and sex (gender as a social construct, sex as a biological state - a degree in theatre, and probably any liberal arts program, is a wonderful thing) one would have thought I'd have been able to figure that out on my own, but apparently not...

I don't have the fainted clue what "intersexed" would be, perhaps someone who has both male and female biolgical traits? - yep, apparently that was the right guess, at least according to this website which says "Intersexuals are people born physically between the male and female genders with anatomy that is either ambiguous or comprised of varying degrees of both male and female anatomy."

2-sprited (courtesy of snooze and emily): 2-spirited is the aboriginal term for gays/lesbians. These individuals were respected in traditional societies; but that tradition was lost and is being reclaimed.

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