The Obama Administration and LGBTQI Rights

A websearch turned up this link to our report on Jeff and Justin’s research. It’s great to see this stuff out there, but, really, “LGBTQI”? The way things are going, we’ll be going through the whole alphabet soon! There’s gotta be another way. Once you have “Q” in there, doesn’t that pretty much cover all the contingencies?

12 thoughts on “The Obama Administration and LGBTQI Rights

  1. This blog post just came 3rd in a Google search for LGBTQI. That shows that (a) google indexes this pretty quickly, and (b) Google doesn't always know the best sites (the first two are definitions). It might also say something about what Google things of this blog.

  2. At Wesleyan, we called it the "endless acronym." LGBTTQQFAGIPBDSM . . .

    To take the issue a bit more seriously than I think was intended, there are plenty of people who deviate from the U.S. norm on gender/sex/sexuality and prefer not to be identified with the word "queer." Reclaiming a derogatory word is often controversial, and identifying as queer can associate you with certain forms of radical gender politics that not all gender/sex/sexuality deviant folks are into. Therefore, many intersex people, for example, might not identify with the "Q" part of the acronym.

    That being said, it obviously becomes a joke at a certain point.

  3. I think using a whole bunch of buckets to identify these groups is part of the point. In other words, people are trying to convey that there are a lot more "types of people" than the 2 types, male & female, most people think of.

    Of course, another approach would be to invent a new word meaning sort of all of the above, and I'm sure people do that, but I guess no such word has caught on very well.

  4. I don't think that google artificially inflates anything in particular. It has a page ranking system and set of formulas that are quite proprietary, and entirely artificial.

    Google, apparently, has found that blogs are what people are looking for. They spend a lot of money on their research, and so the decision can't be too crazy.

  5. Ceolaf: When I way "artificially," I don't mean to imply that Google is making a bad business decision. What I had heard was that Google's normal ranking system ranked blog links lower, and that they altered the formula so that blogs are listed higher up. I'm sure they have good reasons for doing this.

  6. I think the "I" (intersex) is important, as people who are born intersex are neither transgender/transsexual nor necessarily gay/bisexual/lesbians. If the acronym is going to be inclusive of both gender and sexual orientations, then it's important to include the "I".

    The "Q", I do actually take issue with, mostly because I've seen people take it to mean Questioning and elsewhere as Queer. If there isn't yet consensus on what the letters mean, what good is it to extend the already complicated acronym.

    That said, we're never going to get some national consensus of what this series of letters (let alone a community) should be comprised, so we have to accept that people are going to use it differently based on their needs, preferences, and purposes.

  7. It is puzzling that people who (to me very understandably) want to be positive and inclusive about recognising differences nevertheless imply — as in two if not three posts above — that this is a issue specific to the United States, or whatever country ssmith implies by "national".

    Why such extraordinary chauvinism?

  8. Nick:

    I apologize that my comment came off as chauvinistic. Thank you for the helpful reminder that sex, gender, and sexuality issues do not just exist in the U.S. and that framing them in this way is very exlusionary.

    That being said, the post was referring to a study on LGBTQI rights and Obama. Moreover, queerness is socially constructed in different ways in different countries, so the extent to which "queer" is inclusive of people with all sorts of deviant genders/sexualities/sexes might differ across countries. Since I know very little about queerness outside of the US, it would also feel chauvinistic to frame my comment as a statement on queerness more generally.

  9. Look, this is ridiculous. Adding the T was one thing (and most of us just sighed and said "okay" in the spirit of our broader goal of inclusiveness). But Q is stupid (neither queer nor questioning are at all helpful in defining this group- can't questioning people just be thinking about whether they are LGBT and not some separate component?) And the I… I don't even know what intersex is, but I know it's not enough people to redefine the meaning of what I otherwise find to be a useful group of like-minded people. We are primarily LGB, and unique from S(triaght), which is all I am interested in putting my energy toward as this point. Like it or not, the straight world is just now dealing with sexual orientation, and I don't need bible thumpers telling me I can't marry my partner because they think of "the group" as including every random permutation under the sun. Create a separate group called TI for fighting for gender rights (a good cause in its own right) and QQ for whatever the hell those are for.

    Flame away, I'm just saying what the vast majority of us think.

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