The growing number of accepted gender non-conformities is growing each year, and the number of combinations of gender identity and sexual preference is multiplying to the point where we may need a better general term for such non-standard sexualities.
In this article, I first argue for the inclusion of what are still taboo gender relationships and identities. Second, I argue that the growing LGBTQ acronym is not only ungainly, it doesn’t make a nice word – you have to call out each letter individually.
No I’m Not Kidding
This is not satire. This is not comedy. This is a serious question based on my observation, from the outside, of the current sexual liberation and human rights approach to alternate sexual self-understandings.
In a recent debate, Dr. Daniel Kirk suggested a typical re-reading of Leviticus 18, which condemns many kinds of sexual acts, including adultery, hetero sex when a woman is having her period, homosexuality, and bestiality. Dr. Kirk suggested that, if we don’t make a big deal about sex during a woman’s period, perhaps we should also no longer stigmatize gay sex within a monogamous commitment.
Now, this was not his only argument, but let’s just accept his argument that alternate forms of sexual practice and identity are acceptable, unless you introduce some other limiting principle, like doing obvious harm or violating the free will of a person.
If those are our only limits, there seems no real meaningful objection to healthy polygamy, love between post-pubescent teens and adults, or bestiality.
Now, I am not trying to besmirch homosexuality by comparing it to bestiality. And I understand that crossing the species line is much farther than crossing the gender line within a species. If non-gays should suppress the disgust they experience when seeing gay romantic interaction, who says that those of us non-bestialists don’t also need to re-examine our disgust at this love?
Again, I am not being sarcastic. I am asking a question which will be asked, and needs a serious answer. What ethical principle could deny the validity of a love between man and animal? Many of us have experienced emotional bonds with our animals, and if you’ve ever had a dog or a donkey, you know they can be sexually amorous with about anything that moves. If we can kill animals for food humanely and ethically, what’s wrong with a romantic/sexual relationship with a willing partner?
Lowering the Age of Consent
The legal age of consent has long been a somewhat contentious argument. In most tribal societies, adulthood and consent begin for a woman as soon as her menstrual period starts, and boys become men when they develop pubic hair. I understand that the age of consent in modern societies is larger in part because we want to protect the emotional development of our children, whose bodies may be ready for parenthood, but whose emotional and maturity development lag behind such readiness.
As late as the 1880’s, many U.S. states had legal consent ages set to ages 10-12 [ref]Age of Consent (wikipedia)[/ref]. It needs to be asked, are we protecting our teenagers from sex, forcing them to abstain or use artificial and sometimes harmful birth control methods, when we should return their freedom to them? Isn’t the prohibition of their love as obsequious a demand as disallowing others of reproductive age from enjoying their liberty?
Perhaps we need a more inclusive acronym for all types of non-traditional love that, while currently carrying the weight of taboos, should not.
- Lesbian (female homosexuality)
- Gay (male homosexuality)
- Questioning (I know it’s Queer, but follow me)
- Familial (cousins, siblings)
There are so many non-traditional options, that the only one that really covers it all is Queer. The problem, however, is that queer is a derogatory term that has been re-appropriated by the non-confirming community. But it’s still negative.
A Better Moniker – GNC
I’m sure the LGBTQRST community itself will come up with its own accepted term, but I am personally tired of waiting for them. I suggest the term GNC – Gender Non-Conforming. With apologies to the nutrition chain store, this seems to be a shorter, more descriptive, if not clinical type of term.