Gay.com, which still exists, has an unsigned column that's.... sigh:
Do you understand what that means? This acronym that once unified people who are drawn to those of the same gender now represents people who are drawn to both genders, people who are drawn to everything, and people who aren't sure who they're drawn to, as well as people who self-identify as the opposite sex, have atypical or no sex organs, people who associate everything they do with sex, and people who don't have sex at all.
It reads like a bunch of dissimilar misfits grouped together. And if that's the case, should we throw in battered women and the Amish? They probably have sex, too. And what about WWII-era Japanese Americans? Then it could be LGBTQIAOPBAAWW2JA. Talk about a mouthful.
Usually I wonder what's up with people who complain about how long the letters could get, in the future, in ways that no one's suggesting. Are LGBT people so short on problems that we have to make up new ones?
And my normal answer is "Fine. You don't like letters. Let's all just be queer." This column at least responded to that:
Now there's LGBTQIAOP, which is just ridiculous. Especially when you break down the meaning. For the longest time I thought the "Q" stood for "queer"--a word I never use in relation to things homosexual because according to the dictionary it means "strange," "odd," "of a questionable nature," or "mentally unbalanced." Which is not how I wish to identify myself. Labeling yourself abnormal does not invite acceptance. We might as well call ourselves "outcasts." But I have since learned that the "Q" actually stands for "questioning," which means you can be a part of the Gay BLT simply by wondering if you're gay. Evidently you can also be intersexed, omnisexual, pansexual, or even asexual.
I think when the author wrote "now," he meant "in 1990," because that's where this controversy was taken from (maybe tomorrow's gay.com column will about who's cooler, Michael Jackson or Prince).
Anyway, at least the author is honest about his motivation:
In the beginning it was simple enough: LGB or GLB, depending on the gender of the person using it. (As with a tennis score, you tend to put yourself first.) Then along came the transgenders and suddenly we had LGBT--or as I've heard it called, the "Gay BLT." But once it became a multi-layered sandwich, there was no stopping it. And the more it grew, the harder it became to swallow. And identify with. The more groups it represented, the further away from my experience it drifted.
And in the poll at the bottom:
LGB is just fine; LGBT is too long. Is there a big difference between three and four letters? Or is it just something about that fourth letter....
There isn't really much of a debate here as I think most people have gotten over the letters and understand that saying them all together means one thing but saying one individually means another thing, so I often wonder why (gay) people like to pretend that there is. At least gay.com is honest enough to explain: people who don't like "LGBT" just don't want to be associated with transgender people.
And even they admit that size doesn't matter:
My concern isn't about the enormity of the sandwich. It's about the plain and simple fact that a gaggle of marginalized groups don't automatically form a cohesive community.
Gay men are "a cohesive community"? What planet are these people from? I'm not about to be BFF with most of the gay men I meet in real life or meet or have much in common with the vast majority, let alone feel like a "community" with them.
At least we know where the unknown author is coming from.