Currently, LGBTIQCAPGNGFNBA is believed to be the world’s longest acronym used to describe human sexual orientations and gender identities. Chances are it’s already been surpassed by an even longer acronym with the self-discovery of yet another person, or group of persons, with a unique gender fixation. It’s probably pointless to try to memorize what all the letters stand for, because theoretically there’s no limit to the proliferation of sexual identities. But some of them come with unique pronouns, and you had better learn those. Otherwise you might run afoul of new federal and provincial human rights and hate crimes laws.
How on earth did we get here?
Well, in the beginning there was G. And it was good. I’m not talking about God but about Gays. Back in the early 1980s, I joined the fight for gay rights and marched in the Toronto Gay Pride parade. Before G, there was actually H, for Homophile, as in the Queen’s (University) Homophile Association, which I discovered in 1978. I have to admit I welcomed the change from H to G.
It didn’t take long before Lesbians decided they had to have their own letter. I always thought that G could have covered them. But they were insistent and Gay Pride morphed into Gay and Lesbian Pride. Before long we realized, with almost no debate, that we couldn’t leave out bisexuals, and so we became the LGB community.
LGB was no ordinary acronym. It had an electromagnetic charge and began attracting other letters. Soon it became LGBT, with the T standing for Transgender/Transsexual. LGBT then added a Q for queer. I still don’t understand the difference between a queer person and a gay person, but apparently some queers do. And one good Q obviously deserves another, so Q for questioning was added to make it LGBTQQ, or LGBTQ? for those who prefer punctuation over repetition.
At this point there was some serious momentum...