USA Today is jumping on the social justice bandwagon with a list of LGBTQ-related terms and definitions “every good ally should know.”
The guide includes basics like “sex” and “gender” to more outlandish, Tumblr-driven concepts like “non-binary,” “genderqueer,” “gender-expansive,” “gender non-confirming” and “genderfluid.”
But the list of terms is prefaced with several confusing statements about how the terms being defined “mean slightly different things to different people,” and suggests that allies should ask someone in the LGBTQ community to “help you make sense of it.” Then, in another contradiction, the guide suggests readers don’t “put the burden of your education on people when there’s a whole wide world of resources out there.”
Even if you follow the guide and you’re unsure about how someone you’re speaking to might interpret what you’re saying, what can you do? The guide provides no solution.
Amusingly, the very first term on the guide, “LGBTQ,” suggests that the “A” in the “LGBTQIA” variant can sometimes refer to “ally”—as if straight, heterosexual social justice warriors are every bit as marginalized as the people they claim to fight for.
The guide says that “intersex” individuals make up as much as 1.7% of the population, based on the broad definition provided by Anne Fausto-Sterling, and cited by the United Nations. It includes people with a variety of medical conditions that most clinicians would not recognize as intersex. A more precise definition narrows down the prevalence of intersex to as little as 0.018%, according to the Journal of Sex Research.
This guide does a disservice to the marginalized, whose very real struggles for acceptance are neither shared nor empathized with by special snowflakes who claim to be “genderqueer” or “genderfluid” to score oppression points on the Internet and on college campuses.