A is for Acronym

Not long ago, I got into an argument on the internet.

Revolutionary, I know. But for me, it’s fairly unusual these days. As much as I love to use my words, and as much as my debate team history would imply I love arguing, I’ve never been good at comment wars. Maybe it’s something about the unending nature of arguing on the internet – the constant “ping” to let you know it’s still happening, and may continue in perpetuity. Or maybe it’s the stories from this election cycle of women being harassed for their political opinions on Twitter. Whatever the reason, when I start replying to a “hot topic,” I usually stop myself and backspace the hell out.

So when I found myself engaging in this particular debate, I surprised myself – especially given that the issue was one I’d never considered one of my “pet” topics.

The discourse centered around the LGBTQIA acronym, and whether it should be expanded. The discussion had been started by some straight allies who were genuinely concerned that they were using it incorrectly, that they hadn’t added enough letters, and that they’d be called out on it. Their concern was genuine, and palpable. They had the best of intentions, and were debating with one another what the current consensus might be among the gay community – and whether they were being bad allies if they weren’t sure what all the letters stood for.

Then, someone (who happened to be a straight man) popped into the conversation and said “Hey! I just heard about this great new version of the acronym! QUILTBAG! Isn’t it amazing! I like it a lot because the ‘quilt’ image evokes things like the AIDS quilt, and also it’s easy to remember. I think we should all start using it!” Continue reading “A is for Acronym”