Benn Dorrington announced in the office the other day there’s a new acronym we all need to learn. SSAW, it stands for same sex attracted women, women who don’t indentify as gay or lesbian but do acknowledge their attraction to other women. Is it another box and another label? Maybe it is.
I’m not sure where we add this to our GLBTQ acronym, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and you can take this further with a QIOPPF for Questioning, Intersex, Omni-sexual, Pansexual, Poly-sexual and Fluid. Plus don’t forget the MSM’s, Men who have sex with men but don’t identify as being gay. Will it ever stop? Many people in the health promotion realm and increasingly in the media use the alternative acronym DSG, diverse sexuality and gender; it seems to cover all the possibilities in three letters.
The US Library of Congress has published an academic article highlighting the problem, our every changing alphabet soup creates for accurately recording important information, it seems some journal articles say LGBT while others may opt for GLBT – a nightmare apparently for a diligent librarian.
The more boxes we create the harder it also seems to work out who fits in each one, the boundaries become blurred. Earlier this month Libra tampons rolled out an advertisement that upset many people in the trans* community for its juxtaposition of a drag queen and a woman.
It’s understandable that the trans* community is upset about this depiction, it could lead to discrimination. Yet the drag queen in the advertisement has also defended her participation as she sees herself clearly as a drag queen, a man who dresses as a woman for entertainment, drag is one box, trans* is another.
In the office we were comparing a plethora of iPhone apps, Grindr, Bender, Blender, Scruff – there are so many now. Spotting recognisable faces on Blender – where it seems many previous 100% gay men has been reborn as a curious bisexual. ‘He’s never bi!’ it was proclaimed as one well known boy’s face appeared. Pure outrage it was at gay boys apparently putting themselves in the wrong boxes.
I remember a friend of mine was asked about his sexuality in the work place, he gave a great answer, he just said ‘Let’s not do labels.’ Surely that’ll be a good sign of equality, when we just plain don’t care.