As we celebrate Pride in order to protect our rights and promote acceptance, the LGBT community unites as one big family. In its daily reality, however, this group is not homogeneous, and a wide variety exists among its members. How does this alliance work out?
With the inclusion of the ‘T’ in the widespread abbreviation, the community expanded its reach from sexual identities to include gender identities. Since then, many additions have been suggested to make sure all the related minorities are included, such as Q for queer, A for asexual, I for intersex, P for pansexual, another G for genderqueer, and K for kink. Another approach has been to use the term GSM (Gender and/or Sexuality Minority) instead, because it is more universal and stable over time. Some use the word queer in a similar way, as meaning anything not cisgender and/or heterosexual.
The pooling of gender minorities and sexual minorities has become pretty normal, but when you think about it, it is actually quite peculiar. In their lives, members of these minorities are likely to face very different kinds of obstacles and might not identify with each other in many ways. Within the homosexual community there are plenty of differences; gay men and women often come together as separate groups. Sometimes the merging of these groups leads to tensions, because it feels like they have to discard their differences. In that sense, combining even more different groups into one community seems problematic.
The beauty of Pride is that all individuals are encouraged to celebrate who they are. This creates a great feeling of unification between all of these subgroups. You could say it is the shared oppression and discrimination that bind us, or even force us into the same cage we want to escape from. You could also emphasize the strength we most certainly find in joining forces and the great variety of people that we embody and empower together. In the end, we all want to be included, and that is what Pride is all about; we strive to become one.
Read more about the development of the LGBT abbreviation here.