I hope the university marketing department is paying attention

The first issue of our student paper, the Morris University Register, has come out, and it includes a full page guide for first year LGBTQIA2S+ students. I have a favorite part.

Don’t hide. Morris is a super gay school, so no one will treat you differently.

Hear that, everyone? UMM is super gay. That’s an excellent reason to come here.

Second favorite comment is “The College Republicans have a history of being purposely inflammatory, especially towards our community. Just ignore them.” That tells you how relevant conservatives are here.

We also have a Queer Devil Worshippers for a Better Future club on campus.

Morris does have some short uplifting slogan on billboards advertising the school, but I have to say…I can never remember what it is. It’s so airy and inoffensive and positive that it’s also utterly forgettable. Now ads that cheerily declared that “Morris is a super gay school!” — those would stand out, and draw in applications from the kind of student we want to encourage, and scare away those we’d rather not see.


  1. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says

    I think that “Rainbow Warriors” is already taken as a college mascot.

  2. cartomancer says

    Only super gay? Pffft, what isn’t these days?

    Call me when you achieve hyper gayness. Which is broadly the same but more Greek.

  3. says

    Those who remember Anne Jones, she of brief Thunderdome fame, felt the ultimate queer evil to be super-duper gay. Some of us had a lot of fun with that one, and Ms. Jones never did respond to my repeated requests to define that term.

  4. F.O. says

    “LGBTQIA2S+” the acronym is becoming unwieldy.
    Are “non-binary” or “sexual non-comforming” bad because they are negatively defined?

  5. says

    The day after the 2016 election, the President of the University of Washington, Ana Mari Cauce, issued a statement reaffirming the University’s defense of the rights of immigrants, LGBTQ people, etc. There aren’t too many universities whose Presidents could write, as she did, that “As an immigrant Latina lesbian, I can understand why some in our community may be feeling marginalized, threatened or afraid.”.

  6. says


    “LGBTQIA2S+” the acronym is becoming unwieldy.

    Oh, what, nothing of substance to whine about? The inclusion of two spirit is rather important when it comes to UMM, given its high population of Indigenous students.

  7. The Mellow Monkey says

    F.O. @ 9

    Are “non-binary” or “sexual non-comforming” bad because they are negatively defined?


    Non-binary and non-conforming are their own specific, unique things that cannot replace the rest of the acronym. Many of us non-binary people sit under the trans umbrella, but not all of us and most trans people have binary identities.

  8. Mark Dowd says


    Pretty sure I know everything in there except the 2S+ at the end. What’s that? Caine’s post seems to imply it has to do with Indians, but it’s not clear what it expands to.

  9. kaleberg says

    Watch out. A slogan like that might just bring back “gay” in its old meaning as light hearted and happy.

  10. chrislawson says

    Well it beats my university which has put up billboards with the slogan “SET FIRE TO YOUR IDEAS!” I wish I were joking.

  11. F.O. says


    Oh, what, nothing of substance to whine about?

    Alas, no. =P

    I’m interested in language, and social justice causes, while important in their own right, are very interesting from the POV, because they force people to rethink the way they use language.

    There are a few drawbacks associated with using long acronyms: for example, they are unwieldy and they tend to be seen as ridiculous and are often used as parodies, which makes it harder to adopt them, or, more importantly, that no matter how long you make the acronym, you are leaving someone out.
    A “+” at the end helps only so much, which is why people use “LGBTQIA2S+” rather than, say, just “LGBT+”.
    Being inclusive is very important, but I understand that there are several debates ongoing about labels and since I have little connections within LGBTQIA2S+ communities, I was wondering where the debates are at.

  12. rietpluim says

    “LGBTQIA2S+” the acronym is becoming unwieldy.
    Even more characters are necessary if we want to include everybody who is not a cis, straight, white, able-bodied, protestant, Republican, married, middle-aged, male, US citizen with an average income and an affordable mortgage.

  13. blf says

    There’s a rule-of-thumb known as KISS, or “Keep It Simple…”, meaning the more complex or complicated something is or becomes, the more likely it’s confusing, broken, or could benefit from rethinking. The addition of yet more abbreviations to the LGBQT acronym is perhaps an example. That is not saying there isn’t a valid reason for the additional abbreviations, but instead that that method of acknowledging greater inclusiveness might benefit from a rethink. Earlier this morning whilst still lying in bed, I started considering this, and perhaps have a tentative suggestion.

    First off, I thought, why not just use people? That’s certainly fully-inclusive. Yet there are some reasons it’s not ideal for the situation. These include, but are not necessarily limited to the following, listed in no particular order: (1) “LGBQT+” is explicitly acknowledging those identities are human; (2) “People” is too-inclusive as it includes, as examples, pedophilia, necrophilia, and bestiality; and (3) “People” can be construed as an attempt to “put LGBQT+ back in the closet” (or perhaps worse).

    So, looking a word(-family?) as meaningful and similar in concept & purpose to the “LGBQT+” word-family (point 1), avoids problems 2 and 3, is easy(er)-to-remember, and ideally, is “pronounceable” (at least in English) and can be sensibly translated or understood in other languages.

    Dithering for awhile, I came up with HPCI — Historically Persecuted Consensual Identities. I may be overlooking or misunderstanding something — and welcome corrections accompanied by explanations — but that seems to “tick all the boxes”, so to speak, except perhaps (English-)pronounceability. It (tries to) acknowledge the humanness whilst (trying to) avoid the traps the too-inclusive “people” falls into, seems easy-to-remember, and (should be) easy to explain.

    This is only a starting suggestion. I’m sure there are others, and suppose there are sensible objections (and look forwarding to see coherent explanations). “HPCI” is also used an an acronym for other things; of those known to me, none seem objectionable, and in most cases, it’s difficult to imagine situations where there could be any confusion.

  14. cartomancer says

    When the time came about a decade ago for the Oxford University LGB Society to debate whether it ought to rebrand itself as the Oxford University LGBT Society, this very point was brought up. I tend to agree that an overly long acronym is rather unwieldy and inelegant, and can exclude as well as include. Even if you put a “+” on the end, that’s still saying “these groups of people, and people like these groups of people”, which is explicitly defining the “+” in terms of the letters you did bother to include.

    My favourite suggestion at the time was that we just called it the Oxford University “fuck your gender” society. Which works on two levels.

  15. joehoffman says

    I wonder if eventually that acronym will end up converging with the old Usenet “Geek Code”.

  16. Reginald Selkirk says

    I sometimes abbreviate to LGBTQXYZ. I have no desire to offend anyone, but I just can’t keep up.

  17. mykroft says

    My daughter had an excellent bumper sticker for supporting this community, “Straight but not narrow”. Not an acronym, but I’ll take it as a label.

  18. says

    It is utterly repugnant and reckless to encourage people to come out in these times. But to do it for cheap marketing of thousands of debt and a piece of paper disgust me to no end.

    Shame on UMM

  19. Joey Maloney says

    I like QUILTBAG. It has the advantage that it’s pronounceable. It has the disadvantage that I always forget what a couple of the letters are supposed to stand for and have to re-Google it.

  20. octopod says

    There’s also the rather clinical but convenient “GSM” for “gender and sexual minorities”.

    On topic: I would love to work at a university that was super gay!

  21. Chakat Firepaw says

    @Joey Maloney #32:

    QUILTBAG also has the advantage of being able to say something like “the ones not mentioned are inside, there’s a lot of space in the bag.”