Acronym loses meaning in effort to be all-inclusive

Opinions Columnists | Journalism junior

The term LGBTQIA has become out of hand because it attempts to include seemingly every sexual identity possible, and should be replaced by a more practical acronym—GSM.

LGBTQIA is a mouthful, and it seems like every time I turn around a new letter has been added on the end. When the acronym was first coined it stood for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. I consider that the good old days. It was a broad umbrella term that encompassed a majority of the community.

However, because people have become hypersensitive these days, letters were added to make the term increasingly inclusive, bringing the new acronym from LGBT to LGBTQIA—Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning or Queer, Intersex and Asexual or Ally.

Personally, I find it to be too much to keep up with. It has become too easy to step on people’s toes by forgetting the newest politically correct term. For this reason, the lesser-known acronym of GSM, standing for Gay and Sexual Minority, is overall easier to remember while remaining inoffensive and inclusive.

I do not understand the point of adding all these letters to a term that was already universally recognized as representing a large group. People automatically knew who was represented when someone said LGBT. Sure, everyone deserves to be recognized and shown equal respect. However, there are better ways of showing it instead of adding yet another letter to an already lengthy acronym and getting offended when people do not keep up with the latest additions. In my opinion, GSM is a perfect umbrella term and a good alternative to the increasingly long and confusing acronyms.

Furthermore, some of what LGBTQIA stands for is not agreed upon. Ally, for example, is a member of the dominant straight community who supports equality for sexual minorities. I do not understand why anyone would think allies should be included in an acronym used to define a community comprised of sexual minorities. An ally is just a person who supports and defends the lifestyle of the core GSM community. They may receive backlash because they support the community, but that does not make them a part of it.

While it is great we are trying to be as inclusive as possible, not every aspect of life needs to be politically correct. Extending the LGBT term to be more inclusive is thoughtful and is a step in the right direction. However, it is impractical. We do not need to blow issues to epic proportions because someone might feel left out. Instead, we should move on to more practical terminology such as GSM.

By extending the dominant umbrella term for the gay community to LGBTQIA, the once legitimate term has become almost laughable in its length. I think it is time to move on to the next term, and in the future try and resist the urge to accommodate hypersensitive persons by adding more and more letters as time goes on.