On LGTBQIA+, aka the “alphabet soup”


I probably missed a few letters. This unwielding intialism stands for Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual, Queer, Intersex, and Acesexual. The plus indicates the ongoing problem of pushing for an umbrella term for all kinds of uncommon or non-conforming bodies or identities.

When any of us engage in a discussion about our placements within the kyriarchy, the techniques espoused by intersectionality are often critically useful. If we happen to be a minority in more than one way, our placement often changes based on the interactions between those demographics and the majority, i.e. we have to consider the sum of their parts, and not just them individually. So, please understand as I move on to explain my opinion, that I still support the use of specific identifiers such as the ones found in the Alphabet Soup, because they contextualize the non-consensual power dynamics one is subjected to from multiple angles–including angles from within the Soup (i.e. transphobic cis gay people).

I identify as capital-Q Queer.

On my dating profiles, I’ll often troll people who aren’t woke by refusing to specify what labels from the Alphabet Soup I fit in to. That’s because, depending on who you ask, I fit into nearly all of them.

Sometimes I’m a lesbian to the homophobe on the street, because he (correctly) sees a woman holding hands with another woman.

Sometimes I’m bi to the local community, because I’ve had relationships with men as well.

Sometimes I’m gay to the local transphobes who deny my identity and use said relationships with men to reduce me to that.

Sometimes I’m gay because I prefer “gay woman” over “lesbian.”

Sometimes I’m questioning because I assess my attractions through the assumption that my attractions have been politically informed.

Sometimes I’m intersex because someone buys into weird pseudoscientific brain sex theory and they use that to justify my transition [thanks, I guess?]

Sometimes I’m “just trans” and my sexual preferences get hushed because transgender sexuality makes people react oddly.

Sometimes I’m genderqueer because, although my identity is binary, I express it androgynously, and the “are you a boy or a girl” dilemma gets waived altogether.

I think the only association that’s never been thrust upon me is ace.

Although I’ve written a lot in the past couple weeks about issues that specifically pertain to trans issues (once again affirming that these individual labels have a purpose), I don’t conduct myself on my personal time like that. I’m me. I know people are trying to get an idea of what “me” means when they look for those short hand labels, but I think that’s the reason you just ask a person out on a date. But my existence is so political, so up for debate, in so many ways, because all of the labels within LGBTQIIA+ are also modified by my practices within polyamory and kink. This blag is called Against the Grain because nearly every facet of my life is lived contrary to what is assumed of civilized folk.

At some point, I just kind of shrug, and my sexual orientation becomes “supine, sometimes prone, preferably on a frequent basis, with affirmative consent and rope bondage.” It is impossible to disentangle the various intersections on which my rights are debated.

So: Queer.





  1. says

    I rarely bother to explain that I’m bisexual anymore. It’s tiresome. I just go with Queerfluid. Let people scratch their heads over that one.

  2. chigau (違う) says

    My current sexual orientation is:
    dead set against the whole sticky mess and can’t you kids all just keep it to yourselves and get off my lawn after you mow it.
    (I’m actually dead set against most bodily functions and the sooner I can upload, the better. (except pepperoni pizza, I’d miss that)(and mint chocolate chip ice cream))
    I especially include in the ‘keep it to yourselves’, all the panty sniffers whose physical and emotional and intellectual lives are so impoverished that they are compelled to protect other people’s unborn children from being in the same room with other people peeing.