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  • Cynthia Fortlage

The "D" in LGBT2SQQIA+

As part of our June 2020 recognition of Pride Month, we explore the Diversity in the LGBT2SQQIA+ community.



If you are totally up on your language and rainbow alphabet (my personal term) you may think that I am referring to the rarely spoken Demisexual, a sexual orientation focused on people you have an emotional connection with first.


Demisexuality is a sexual orientation where people only experience sexual attraction to folks that they have close emotional connections with. In other words, demisexual people only experience sexual attraction after an emotional bond has formed.
Google Search definition

The only occurrence I could find that allows for it in the rainbow alphabet (my personal term) is a rather long LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP.


What do those letters mean? They represent; Lesbian, Gay, Genderqueer, Bisexual, Demisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Twospirit, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Allies, Pansexual and Polyamorous.


The term Two-Spirit is respectfully represented as 2S in most contexts that I am aware of. There is a cultural debate as the Indigenous people were here before us should we culturally and from a timeline perspective recognize them first in the rainbow alphabet. Meaning that LGBT+ would be 2SLGBT+ and so on with every version of the rainbow alphabet.


For clarity the definition of Two-Spirit is;


Two-Spirit is a modern, pan-Indian, umbrella term used by some Indigenous North Americans to describe Native people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender ceremonial and social role in their cultures
Source Wikipedia

I still haven't spoken to the D as I was referring to at the beginning of this article.


The D for me is Diversity.


As you can see there is a large diverse community of terms, sometimes called labels, that are used to identify the aspects of the community. A community that as a whole is also struggling with new acronyms to describe the community as other communities struggle with the right version of the rainbow alphabet to use let alone even knowing what the correct letters to include or not. One version I have seen a lot of is Gender and Sexually Diverse Community, or GSD for short. There is not a consensus in the community yet as to which broad term is acceptable so if you want to use one of those terms, it is best to ask first rather than being considered disrespectful to community members.


One of the longest rainbow alphabets used that does not have the D is LGBTIQCAPGNGFNBA. The letters represent the terms Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Curious, Asexual, Pansexual, Gender-non-conforming, Gender-Fluid, Non-binary, and Androgynous.


This diverse community finds the beginning of their journey in the letters, I use a handful of them personally. The secret is to not live there but move forward with your identity intact and understood by you.


One last tip, if you are not part of the LGBT+ community there is most likely an official term that is used and best practise is to adopt that. Here are 3 quick examples of demonstrating that principle.


Canadian Federal Government - LGBTQ2

Use if you speaking to a Federal government group or sponsored event.


Manitoba Provincial Government - LGBTTQ*

Use if you in Manitoba and speaking to a Provincial government group or sponsored event.


Rainbow Resource Centre - 2SLGBTQ+

Used by a non-governmental organization I used to be the board chair for. We recognize the Two-Spirit community first for their historical significance. The Q stands for Queer & Questioning in this case. The plus sign is very intentional and considered to be more inclusive than the asterisk. In computer searches an asterisk is a wild card search meaning anything, the plus is more inclusive.


When your not sure, please ask!


In Solidarity and with Pride,

Cynthia



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