Updated: Mar 16, 2021
The ABC’s of Diversity? Be Sure to Include the LMNOP’s!
First there was LGB - Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual
Then came LGBT - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
Then there was LGBTQ - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer
And at last count, that I know of, it’s LGBTQQIP2SAA - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer, Intersex, Pansexual, 2 Spirit*, Androgynous and Asexual.
(*Two Spirit is a term used by some Indigenous North Americans to describe those who fulfill a traditional third-gender ceremonial role.)
I love it!
As cumbersome as it might seem to anyone who is not a member of one of these groups, to the constituents themselves, it means they are being seen, acknowledged and recognized.
Of course, each group has its own set of social and discriminatory issues. But in uniting they can be allies for one another in a “there’s greater strength in numbers” sorta way to affect SPLEC. (Social, Political, Legal and Economic Change)
So, it is in that spirit…
First came POC - People Of Color…designating non-white tethnic groups.
Then came BIPOC - Black, Indigenous, People Of Color…to specifically include Black & Indigenous Americans and address the fact that these groups have separate and specific issues and that people of color are not a monolith.
But I don’t feel that has gone for enough. I would like to propose…
(wait for it)
BIPOCOD!!! - Black, Indigenous, People Of Color, Old and Disabled.
It’s ironic that old and disabled folk can be found in ALL the other groups (including Caucasian) but still, paraphrasing the immortal words of the late, legendary, standup comic Rodney Dangerfield: “We don’t get no respect!”
And that’s tragic.
In the rainbow coalition that has been marching and protesting for greater diversity and inclusion, GRAY is often overlooked when it comes to getting a seat at the table. What’s worse, is that the disabled hardly even get an onramp into the building!
So, I say: “Let’s add some more letters to that vegetable soup!” That rich and hearty broth that’s been simmering in the American “melting pot” for a couple hundred years. There’s strength in the numbers and those letters have a lot to contribute to the pot.