A reader writes:
One of your readers notes that they have encountered "LGTBQA" as an acronym. I used to work for a Diversity-focused office at UC Berkeley, where political correctness gets chewed up and turned into guidelines. The acronym we had to use? LGBTIQQAA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Ally). When I left my employment there, they were having meetings about tacking on a "P" for Pansexual, another "P" for Polyamory, and an "I" for something I can't even recall.
A quick Google search produces an "LGBTIQQAA 101" from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse's "Pride Center". The introduction reads like PC self-parody:
Each of these definitions has been carefully researched and closely analyzed from theoretical and practical perspectives for cultural sensitivity, common usage, and general appropriateness. We have done our best to represent the most popular uses of the terms listed; however there may be some variation in definitions depending on location. Please note that each person who uses any or all of these terms does so in a unique way (especially terms that are used in the context of an identity label). If you do not understand the context in which a person is using one of these terms, it is always appropriate to ask. This is especially recommended when using terms that we have noted that can have a derogatory connotation.
Accordingly, "potato queen" is a term that "should be used with caution." Another writes:
In Canada, it's usually LGBTTQ. Still no vowels: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, two spirited, and queer. I just moved here from America and felt bad that I didn't know what two-spirited meant.
Your reader rightly points out that the level of political correctness that causes people to use the über-acronym "LGBTQA" is annoying and unnecessary. But I would go a bit further and say it actively causes problems. There's no way we can try to look out for the interests of a gay couple trying to get married in California, a transsexual trying to find employment in Georgia, and a questioning teen just looking for some answers in New York with uniform policy initiatives. Sure, some collective work to support basic rights is a good idea, but I think it's a very bad thing that the public now thinks of "LGBTQA" issues all together.
Just imagine if we expected the NAACP to do all the lobbying on behalf of every racial minority in America. I doubt all the groups would be pleased with the result. And perhaps worse, we'd have have to rename it the "NAANAACHIPI...P, because it would now also be representing Native Americans, Asians, Cubans, Hispanics, Inuits, Pacific Islanders, and a whole host of others I've lumped into the ellipsis.
The gay movement started out as a celebration of diversity; it's dangerous that it's now using nomenclature which hides the diversity within itself.