Revisiting 26: LGBT etc. etc.

A mailing today about the March-April 2019 issue of G&LR (The Gay & Lesbian Review):

The proposal is LGBT+. Just LGBT+.

A question I took up at some length back in 2011, first in a 1/23/11 posting on this blog, “The alphabet soup of sexuality and gender”, then in a 3/11/11 paper at the Stanford SemFest: see the handout for this talk, “Categories and Labels: LGBPPTQQQEIOAAAF2/SGL …”, on labels in the SIP domain — of sexuality / sexual orientation, gender / sexual identity, and sexual practices —  as used to construct an initialism for the entire domain.

The proliferation of letters in the name of this domain results from a well-meaning attempt to be inclusive, but there’s virtually no end there, and the whole enterprise is based on a misapprehension about the nature of names. As I hammer out relentlessly on this blog every few months (there is in fact a Page for this):

Labels Are Not Definitions

and they cannot be expected to be. A good name is short enough to be memorable, but a good definition is often expansive and complex, and always refers to an intricate web of concepts and their labels.

So the G&LR‘s naming instincts are good, and their current decision reflects the fact that LGBT now has very wide currency in talk about the SIP domain, so it makes sense to build on existing practice.

2 Responses to “Revisiting 26: LGBT etc. etc.”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    My husband is co-chair of what was created a while back as the Cambridge (MA) LGBT Commission, which recently changed its name to the LGBTQ+ Commission (I won’t swear that I have the order of the letters right). Apparently that + caused some issues with city bureaucrats who weren’t sure if it could be handled properly by their software, or something.

  2. [BLOG] Some Saturday links | A Bit More Detail Says:

    […] Zwicky considers, after the Gay & Lesbian Review, the representation of different communities in the LGBT+ […]

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