What to call myself and the people not squarely on that first het point of the Kinsey diagraph -- everything but that last little point -- comes up again and again. It's an infinity of points, so it shouldn't surprise that the possible labels are many -- although not nearly enough to describe that infinity. Think about what that says about how well we've thought about human sexual orientation in general when, as a verbal bunch, we're supposed to have a word for every concept...but I digress!
I use queer because it's easier -- sorta like Ms. when you don't know for sure a Miss or a Mrs., because it's powerful to take back a word from the forces of evil, and because sometimes I just like its shock value.
I use lesbian because it's such a luscious word -- completely singable (no aspirants in the mix), and steeped in the history of the language of love.
I use gay also when it's convenient -- sometimes the last thing I want is for the shock value of a word to get in the way of me getting my point across. I don't like its generic use, though -- as a lesbian, it tends to make me disappear and we're invisible enough as it is -- and avoid it when I can.
I use acronyms a lot -- LGBTQQA is a fav. I use it when I'm into educating about how varied we are and when I want to poke holes in the notion of us as anything but a bunch of unherdable cats.
But I say each word in the acronyms when I testify at legislative hearings and such -- again, the power of the words being said in places of power, again and again and again, until they are just ordinary, is inestimable.
I use numbers, too -- mapping sexuality into parallel universes of desire and experience, each with multiple dimensions extending beyond the tangible three. It brings us full circle back to the Kinsey diagraph -- and beyond and I suppose I should write about it in detail in a post sometime. The folks at UC-Santa Barbara who are big on that sort of thing caught on to it some decades later than I began looking at it but haven't taken it dimensionally very far but you can get the elements of my drift by looking at their stuff. It's hard to think in dimensions beyond those you can see and touch, much less communicate it all, so I don't blame them for not going there. I just get peeved when some short-sighted orthodox academic tries to tell me, just because some guru professor there didn't include more dimensions in his treatise, that they don't exist. But, again, I digress. It's more important that you contemplate that, along with the beyond third dimensions describing parts of human sexual orientation, you can also involve the dimension of time in snapshotting these figures versus accumulating them. For some of us, the two produce quite different results.