originally posted 17 January 2012 on Reddit. Discussion comments are posted there.
I think it’s time we have this discussion.
We keep stumbling over the same exposed tree root in the ground, even though we try to remember it’s there. “LGBT doesn’t work; there should be LGB and T,” is repeated ad nauseam. It ignores the sexualities of non-cis people or, if they are permitted them at all, those sexualities become invalided by cis queer people. There’s a logical tree root tripping people up here, over and over again. I’m surprised there haven’t been more sprained wrists and ankles. :P
What some — not all, but some — cis queers disregard: trans people, identical to cis people as people, are an exact microcosm of our broader society. Likewise, queer people, identical to het people as people, are a microcosm of our broader society. Each is a different lens/intersection/angle to understanding us as people.
To that end, I have slowly and increasingly found myself addressing this “LGB v. T” tree root on Reddit. I’ve reached a conclusion: “LGB/T” is a broken model — as broken as “homosexual/normal” was once upon a day.
For most of the regulars on /r/LGBT, we probably share ground on one critical social and personal value: we are not heteronormative. Those who are comfortably heterosexual with their sexuality and in how this heteronormative (and cisnormative) world places them — and are redditors in supportive, good faith capacity here — are people we want to have in our lives.
What we are on /r/LGBT is not an LGBT hotchpotch. We are queer (even if insistent that that name is inapplicable). What we share is a departure from the old heteronormativity. We are LGBQ.
But that’s one intersection. We are at least two. Within our circles here, many LGBQ folks are cis (yes, non-trans people, you are cis, and that’s OK); some are, by statistical minority, though still a significant one, trans.
The het people who support us, likewise, are not all cis, either. Some of those het people are trans. Those trans people may not be LGBQ, and that’s valid. We look after each other because that’s the first expression of our own humanity. Without it, we’re savage.
You’re fine to dismiss this, but I will no longer refer to ourselves as LGBT. It isn’t valid. Likewise, playing an LGB/T wedge forces queer, lesbian, gay, and bi people whose bodies and/or (articulations of) gender are not cis onto a very troubling, unfair, and at times even cruel tightrope. Forcing people to pick sides on which they have placement in both is unsustainable, and ignoring will never, ever make it go away — just like no amount of heteronormativity made same-sex love go away.
I see you — and as a dyke (incidentally placed by my peers as cis, even though my body is transsexual), see myself — in a partnership of (LGBQ)CT, where some of us are cis, while others of us are trans. It isn’t going away. And when the (H)CT — heterosexual/straight-lace/etc. — people who come here to say, “We have your back,” I will welcome them to our partnership as our wingfolk as we all challenge the crap which denies our humanity, citizenship, and social participation both in the heteronormative and cisnormative world.
Let’s have a discussion. Thanks for your time.
tl;dr: To that end, we are
LGBT LGBTQ (LGBQ)CT. By this, we affirm what we already know: there are two intersections of our experiences which, if left untangled any longer, shall keep tripping us up every single time and leave a lot of our already-mending wrists, ankles, and pride hurt all over again.