I'm on a quest. A quest to find two words: one to describe gender, sexual and romantic minorities, and one to describe the rest.
I know, the title gives away the result, but please bear with me while I explain how I got there 😉
Why not LGBTQ+?
Because we can't seem to agree which letters to include there.
Yes, we can say “LGBTTQQIAAP”, but it's hard to remember, hard to pronounce, and despite listing so many letters we still leave some people out. Some people add “U”, “C”, “TS”/“2S”/“2”, “P”, “SA”, “D”, “H”, “O” – do you know what all of them stand for without checking the source? We can hide “others” under a plus, but then we might ask, for instance, why do gays deserve a letter, but demisexuals don't? Transphobes are fighting to “drop the T”. “A” stands for many groups (asexual, aromantic, agender) and some even include allocishet allies there 🙄
It's a mess, isn't it?
The search for an LGBT-like acronym is focused on listing all the possible subgroubs. What if instead we found something that describes who we are?
What instead of LGBTQ+?
But who are we? What makes us distinct?
We are gender, sexual and romantic minorities. That description includes everyone that is minoritised because of those reasons. Simple. Doesn't matter if you're discriminated because of your own gender, or the gender of people you love or sleep with, or the way you show that affection… You're in.
And, luckily, it's already an acronym: GSRM
Sadly, it's barely known. And not too easy to pronounce eitheer. And it's anothor acronym, not a word. For me, it feels strange put in sentences. And it will look totally different when translated into other languages. For instance in Polish it would be “MPSR” – hard to see resemblance, right? I still can't get used to the Dutch translating “LGBT” as “LHBT”.
Do we have a word that would convey a similar meaning as GSRM, while being friendlier?
Yup! It's queer. We reclaimed that slur for a reason – so let's use it more! Even “gay” was used as a slur by a lot of people.
It describes us well. We're the “strange ones”, but in a good way. We're the ones that don't fit in in the patriarchal, cishetnormative society and its rules.
How to call non-queers?
Many people simply say “straight” when they mean non-queer people – but that obviously excludes straight trans people from the queer community.
That's why many people say “cishet” to account for both orientation and gender – except that excludes asexuals & aromantics.
That's why many people say “allocishet” – do you see where we're going with that?
It's the same story as with LGBTQ+ acronym, except with opposites and with greek morphemes instead of letters. It's bound to grow very long and cause tensions… I once saw someone use “<something>allocishet” where <something> referred to non-intersex people. It's such an obscure usage, that when trying to find that word now, I couldn't.
So, since “queer” literally means “strange”, “different”, the opposite of that would be something that means “normal”, “regular”.
So I was looking for synonyms of “normal” that wouldn't be suggesting that normal = better, but wouldn't be derogatory either. Not too obscure, so that everyone can grasp the meaning, but also not too commonly used, so that the new meaning would shine brighter.
And, apparently, “typic” is a word! (I'm not a native speaker, please don't mock me for not having known it 😅). It's close enough to “typical” that everyone will make a connection, but also distinct from it.
In my humble opinion, “queer” and “typic” would be perfect words to quickly describe a person's relationship to allo-cis-*-het-normativity.
What do you think?