Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Doing The Alphabet Soup Monte in 09

Is it soup yet? It's the Alphabet Soup Monte where we deconstruct the LGBTQIA moniker in search of meaning. Sometimes I'm not sure exactly how we are mixing it up these days due to the fact that it seemst that more people are joining the fold as we try to find, define or refine who or how we address the broadness lavender culture.

Soup Mix-Mash:
What's in a Name?

At first I hadn't really noticed but the word "gay" has many more roses on the bloom in the form of additional elements that have expanded or perhaps exploded the term with a range of diverse inclusion. Traditionally, I've used the form, "GLBT," I've been so corrected with "LGBT," and I thought that this sufficiently encompassed everyone. I have further learned that the "G" word can be deemed offensive by some whom feel that it renders them invisible as the term has been fortified as describing "White" males. As I try to stay on the cutting edge, I had noticed that the term "SGL"( Same Gender Loving) has become the mark within the African American culture, which has had a mixed bag of identity concerns within gay culture. However, I've come to understand that the terminology goes further and deeper that I ever imagined. The letter "T" although delegated to Trans persons, now also has a dual Native American meaning of "Two Spirit." This term has been apart of the Native American culture for persons claiming to be of both sexes or genders. Among many tribes these people are teachers, healers or spiritual leaders seen in the highest esteem. To my surprise, I never heard this term used by a former love interest named, Indio, who was a Cherokee. Meanwhile, I've also discovered that the "Q" now has morphed into a A & B meaning as "Queer" and "Questioning" which embraces those with a more radical bent on their non binary existence, while subsequently, a questioning individual has not completely come to terms with their sexuality overall. Then there's "I" which denotes those of the "intersex" sect which I was totally intrigued by this condition in which the individual often has ambiguous genitalia or one whose sexual development doesn't match the sex assigned at birth. This is quite fascinating info and more can be understood at the Intersex Society of North America website. To round out the this soup lesson, we find the letter "A" which has a possible triple meaning. Are you ready? First up, Ally, a possible supportive heterosexual, secondly, Asexual, a person without sexual organs or in a non participative mode, and finally, Affectional Orientation, referring to variations of emotional and sexual attraction not limited to same sex relationships. Well, as you can see there's much more going on in the rainbow mix than you think. When we proclaim that diversity as a rallying call, we'd better really mean it.

Asian Study Takes Off: the research team conducting an empirical study examining attitudes, feelings, and experiences associated with being an Asian American who experiences attraction to members of the same sex has began seeking participants. Historically,researchers have neglected the lives of Asian American gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons, and very little research has looked specifically at attitudes, feelings, and experiences that sexual minority persons have based on their race and sexual orientation. We sincerely invite you to participate in this survey to help us learn more about the Asian American sexual minority persons in our communities! To be eligible for this study, you must be an Asian/Asian American who is at least 18 years old, has experienced same-sex attraction, and currently resides in the United States. The survey is anonymous, and takes about 30 minutes to complete. As an incentive to participate, all participants will be given the chance to entera raffle awarding $100 gift certificate to one randomly selected person.

For those interested in participating inthis study, click on the following hypertext link (or cut and paste it into your browser)

This will take you to the consent form and questionnaire. It's being presented by Dawn and Mi Ra Dawn M. Szymanski, Ph.D., University of Tennessee Mi Ra Sung, M. A, University of Tennessee.

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