And here I thought GLBT was too inclusive a term (no offense to my tranny brothers, sisters and undecideds, but I think our battles should be waged separately).
Now comes word the University of Michigan Office of Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Affairs is changing its name because some people felt left out:
*The letters LGBT, as representative of the identities lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, are no longer inclusive of the diversity of the community. Changing trends in identification tell us that the community of LGBT people go by any number of terms, including Queer. The complexity of these labels is also a product of a younger generation of LGBT youth abandoning “traditional” labeling in favor of more fluid identities.
*The term “Transgender” is problematic in itself, as many consider transgender to mean transsexual when the term is intended to be an “umbrella term” for anyone who transgresses the boundaries of the gender binary.
*The current Office name does not reflect the work that we do for and with Allies.
What about closet cases? Don’t the Ryan Seacrests of the world deserve representation? And what about us self-loathing homos?
Most grating, as Dan Savage points out, is the amount of time invested into the name-changing process. Two years of dithering and still no decision; one isn’t expected until December. In the meantime:
- Summer, 2007-Fall 2007 – we will meet with stakeholders on campus including, Women’s Studies, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, School of Social Work, Office of Institutional Equity
- Fall, 2007 – 3 forums will be held for ideas and feedback about and for name change with U of M community members
- Fall, 2007 – we meet specifically with the LGBT Caucus of the Students of Color of Rackham
- Fall, 2007 – Will identify budget and infrastructure implications
And there’s more. Next Spring they’ll hold a contest for a new logo.
Further proof that it’s best to go it alone, independent of groups that claim to represent your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Organizations that promote group identity — like the Michigan LBGTQSCCetc. — accomplish little, save for occasional indignation rallys.
Look at the NAACP — once a relevant organization, the civil rights coaliton is so desperate for attention that it’s come to the defense of Michael Vick. And this helps African-Americans how?