Unity

Christina Engela's picture

Leave No-one Behind

We often refer to our diverse community of sexual minorities as "GLBT", including main groupings such as Gay, Lesbian (also gay), Bisexual and Transgender. Sometimes, when we feel generous we add on the I for Intersex. Perhaps when we run into groups that confuse us, or defy classification into the other main groups, we tack on the "Q" for Queer or Questioning - although I have to wonder who it is that is doing the actual questioning? Us? Or the folks on the outside of the community? I often wonder Why is it that we as a community are struggling so much with our own diversity?

A little while ago I saw the following:

LGBTTIQQ2SA That's right, Someone was using this unwieldy acronym to refer to the broader "Gay" community. In case you need a translation (as I did), "LGBTTIQQ2SA" refers to "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited and Allies."

Hahaha. Wow.
Christina Engela's picture

Rainbow Unity

Last week I noticed for the first time that people refer to the rainbow flag as "the gay flag". I have often heard it referred to as such, but for the first time I really thought about it. Is it really?

We have quite a diverse community, consisting of gay men, gay women (or lesbians), bisexual people, transgender people (including transsexuals, drag queens, transvestites, she-males) and intersex people. There are also other sub-groups such as pansexuals, panromantics, the gender-queer and asexuals. And if you think that's all there is to us, you're mistaken. There are also some lesser-known sub-cultures within our community, such as the bear and leather groups.

And yes, while we may be gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, we can also be part of more than one of these groups at the same time. I for example, am a transsexual woman who generally dates other transsexual women. I am also panromantic and asexual - and to add to the flavor, I am also an honorary member of the PE Bears - and yes, all of these things at the same time. Considering this, I could find individual flags for the Transgender Community, bisexual (but not pansexual or panromantic) community, and the Bear flag. I did manage to find one flag to represent all of these things - the Rainbow Flag - which represents all these aspects to my nature, my personality and my existence, even though I am not technically gay, but don't mind being called as such. This would be the Rainbow Flag, which is too often called the "Gay" flag.
Christina Engela's picture

Rainbow Flag = Cohesion


It is a simple fact that if members of a community stop socializing together, we soon stop co-operating and standing together as well. Pretty soon we stop thinking of ourselves as being part of the same community - and not long after that, we start acting like rivals - or worse yet, enemies.

The word appropriate to this discussion is "cohesion" which is defined by Wikipedia as: "Community cohesion refers to the aspect of togetherness and bonding exhibited by members of a community, the "glue" that holds a community together. This might include features such as a sense of common belonging or cultural similarity." I also like the following definition, but that may be because I spent some time in the military - "Cohesion (military): the bonding together of members of an organization/unit in such a way as to sustain their will and commitment to each other, their unit, and the mission (Cohesion the Human Element in Combat, William Henderson, 1985)."
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