I before E except after C.
L before G except Before B?
How to Spell Equality
(Oklahoma City) A few days ago I was in an email exchange with some gay guys and the thread was about the spelling of our orientational moniker/acronym commonly used as a short hand to describe us in the media.
Is it LGBT or GLBT? And there's even LGBTQi which resembles a row on the computer keyboard.
There was even the suggestion of SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) but say it out loud and it sounds like an adjective some of us could use to name the after effects of sexual exertion rather than sexual orientation.
And this year our 2007 Oklahoma City Parade was prefixed with GLBTI, which again, said out loud, sounds like a word for insincerity.
Why should any particular letter come before the other? In my mouth, with my tongue, GLBT comes out easier than LGBT with a more defined rhythm. But I'm just referring to ease of speech; being a musician I'm attuned to that anyway. We often hear the phrase "men and women" but we also hear "ladies and gentlemen."
Why do we say "salt and pepper" and not the other way round? Knife and fork, birds and bees, paper and pencil?
Well, I think our equality movement IS about exertion and certainly NOT about insincerity.
And why should we develop these sensitivities about spellings and acronyms?
In my dream world (not to be confused with my fantasy world) people with a yen for their own gender--emotionally, romantically, and erotically--are referred to as gay, period.
Am I going to get hate mail from the women because I would drop the "lesbian" term?
I could just as easily expand my dream world and drop the "gay" word altogether and let people have their sexual expression without hangups about words and the straight-world permission or opprobrium these red-flag words convey.
This is what we had, etymologically, before the prudo-pseudo-scientific "advances" of the Victorian era, when the word "homosexual" was invented. Before that time sex between men was plain sodomy, sex between women was just affection. And even farther back in some societies, sex between older and younger men was the transmission of the spirit and continuation of the life force which enabled young men to become leaders and progenitors in their tribes.
The female will ALWAYS be superior anyway, it's possible for them to conceive by parthenogenesis--no male required! But of course, the gay orientation is not about sexual reproduction as our enemies and two state supreme court decisions from 2006 would have us believe.
Gayness is about having the right to privacy to exercise our affectional and emotional bonds as we like with consenting adults. Gayness is about having the same rights as any other man or woman who has chosen opposite-gender marriage or co-habitation, with or without progeny.
Unless we exert with growing force our birth-right entitlement to equality, we're going to be seen by our enemies as insincere. I would like to spell my orientation like this: A M E R I C A N.
James Nimmo is active in progressive issues and believes no one should be denied their equality because of the accidents of birth and circumstances.