QUEER VOICES

Setting The Record 'Straight' Over Distinctions And Language Within The LGBTQ Community

03/08/2013 12:27 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

LGBTQ. The letters stand for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer. While many millenials are championing distinctions within the LGBT community, for many heterosexuals, these letters only spell "confusion."

HuffPost Live's Alicia Menendez asked LGBT members whether it was time to unify under a common term in hopes of a double-pronged solution that would rally power and clear up misconceptions.

"The labeling is strategic. It's not static. Yes, it may be overwhelming. And, yes, you may not understand it. But, you have to understand that this could be because you may be coming from a place of privilege. You may not have had to understand," University of New Hampire Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics Holly Cashman said.

HuffPost Live Producer Mitchell Williams agreed.

"I don't think we should oversimplfy the term. I think there is strength in idenifying as different groups," he said. "We need to ask: Does looping someone like Toni in help or hinder the cause? Is it easier to simplify now and then explain later."

Toni Newman, a transgender woman and Executive Producer of the comedy webisode "Douche Bros" claimed, "There is power in numbers. The 'T' is a part of the LGBT. It gives us more political power to stand with this group. If you take the 'T' out of the LGB, then we would be poorly received because there are fewer of us. We would have little political power."

Noah Michelson reminded the group that there are people whose gender identity and sexual orientation are not so clear-cut and even within parts of the community that may seem well-defined there are gray areas.

"There are some transgender people who do not feel like they were born in the wrong body," he said. "They just don't identify with either gender on the spectrum."

That's where the 'Q' comes in.

Cornell University Law School Student Ash McGovern identifies as 'gender queer' and explained that the word queer is a non-binary term with infinite possibilities for inclusion.

"Genderqueer is both outside and a combination of categories and queer is the same thing for sexual orientation."

Watch the discussion above and let us know what you think about terms used to identify the LGBTQ community in the comments section below.

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