And people wonder why "politically correct" is a dirty word.
At my college, the crew was called The LGBTQIA Collective. Everybody just called it "The Collective." So much easier. Why do they need all the initials?
I am so sick of PC that I could just puke. I think we should just call ourselves collectively Fag, but wait that is apparently a hate term or some damn thing. We could call ourselves People but you know, we want a label so that will not work out too well either.....
Definitely a case of political correctness taken to a ridiculous extreme.
Whatever they change their name to, someone will find it offensive or exclusive. You just can't win that game.
Wouldn't just be easier to just reverse it? NCS = Not conventionally straight.
This will be perfect training for when they all move to Seattle and run for City Council.
"Our movement" makes me wanna wretch uncontrollably. I didn't come out in committee, and neither does anybody else. The essential lesson of being different--gay or lesbian or trans anything--is that you realize your singularity early on. For good or for bad, you are essentially on your own.
That's funny. At UW, it took one summer from being the GBLC to the GBLTC, which people happily referred to as "giblets," and there was no controversy. It's just so damn weird when Seattle has less process than anyplace else.
Sorry, Boomer. Should've put "movement" in scare quotes too...
Holy crap. If I read that in some satirical novel about PC culture gone awry, I would dismiss it as being over the top and implausible. Truth is truly more ludicrous than fiction.
I've always felt uncomfortable because I'm gay and left handed. Where do I fit in? Where's my community center? My contingent in the parade? I'm so tired of being decriminated against, I think I'll write my congressman, er, women...congressperson. Congressional designee? Gosh, which is it? Please, somone tell me how to think!
This "transition" they're scheduling ... will it require hormone treatments? Surgery?
I'm with elswinger on this one, but if I were to throw any ideas on the table...hmmm....maybe ABOI? That works.
Holy shiat [sic] I'm fucking hungry.
How about just change the name to "non-phobes"
My brother suggested FANAUM--Fruits and Nuts at U of M.
This sort of thing drives me nutty.
How to not be PC:
accept the fact that eerything is a generalization and some people will be "left out" (in the name, not in the substance) and they just have to deal with it.
Call it the Gay Equality office or something.
Accept the fact that this is not fully descriptive ---and that it does nothave to be.
People wll get it.
"African-Americans" does not include Arab Africans who move to the USA. Even though they are technically Afro-American, right? So what????
It is used to describe biracial people though they are technically sometimes Afro-Euro-American, right?
Same with The United States Steel Company. If they do a little bronze and nickel and orangeaide production on the side, they don't rename themselves the US SteelBronzeNickelOrangeAide co. do they?
And the United States really includes 50 States plus DC plus overseas territories (VI) and Puerto Rico right? Does that make Unites "States" wrong?
Oh, and do I have stories about being on the speakers' bureau! Lordy lord lord. As a screaming queen, I was one of the few speakers who would come out and say that I was just a plain old gay and I liked being in my big gay box. There was none of this gender queer boundary-free polyamorous stuff for me. Come to think of it, as a gay guy I guess I felt kind of oppressed!
For three years, the faculty advisor doesn't have to "steer and guide", er plan, another damn thing for the group. If they are so lucky, that July 1 2008 date, the only date, can easily slide into second semester of the 2009 school year.
Look at them go, varoooom.
They CLEARLY don't have enough to do out there in Michigan... How many people actually give a shit about the name?
The office that dare not speak its name for fear of offense is an interesting office. It's one of the oldest college LGBT offices in the nation, and what they've done in the past should be recognized and appreciated. I know they do lots of good things currently and are one of the places LGBT students can go for assistance. The current state of LGBT stuff here in MI isn't too great.
That said, I have some interesting anecdotes about my interactions with that office over the past 7 years--some positive and others not so. My perception is they've been infiltrated by too many grad students from the School of Social Work.
As for the name? My guess is not many people care one way or the other.
This is the kind of story that is usually broadcast to mock Californians, specifically residents of Berkeley.
I think its great that anyone gives enough of a crap to consider better ways to serve and represent a minority group that most people either loathe or are ambivalent toward.
Let them work it out. Michigan already amended their state constitution against non-hetero citizens. What else is there to do for the queers in the state besides play fiddle stix?
They could just call themselves "invisible."
#12 You're not a red-headed stepchild too are you?
Actually, this raises what seems to me like an interesting question. Most people -- other than outright bigots -- probably agree that words do have power and that people and groups shouldn't get offensive names foisted on them. Most people probably also agree that the Michigan thing is absurd. So, we can all agree on the two poles, but where does one draw the line in the middle, declaring everything to one side appropriately polite, and everything to the other side ridiculously PC? It's a tough line to draw, because the essence of language "sensitivity" is calling people what they want to be called, but there really isn't much of a "people" -- just billions of individual persons, and they generally don't hold desires, priorities, or sense in common. And therefore they generally want to be called lots of different things.
Um... why not just the Alliance of Not-Straight People?
"Not-Straight" seems inarticulate. How about Bent or Curvy?
So sick of everything needing to be inclusive.
Anyone think there would be protesters at a straight married parade?
"is that you realize your singularity early on. "
Hmmm...I'm straight, and I figured out that I was responsible for my own happiness and fulfillment when I was 19. What was the problem again?
/cue Life of Brian:
"We're all individuals!"
I see a bright future working in government for these people.
As a member of the club, I've always preferred "pickle smoochers."
How about the quaint, Victorian era term, "Uranians?"
The issue seems to be worry that straight people who like LGTB people are not included in the name. Are the PFLAG'S feeling unappreciated? Have they received doleful notes from Fag Hags? I bet they ulitametely add an "s" or equivalent for "supporters".
Seems to me someone was worried the agenda was a litle skimpy, look at all those action items! They're getting things done, dammit.
Friends of Harry Hay?
Same with The United States Steel Company. If they do a little bronze and nickel and orangeaide production on the side, they don't rename themselves the US SteelBronzeNickelOrangeAide co. do they?
No, they just rename it some meaningless combination of initials or some brand new meaningless invented name.
The LGBT office could try that, I suppose.
If we all could agree on the "two poles" then there wouldn't be all this confusion, would there?
I find this a commendable process: democratic, while still taking account of administrative necessities. My only concern is that the name-change proposal is being fast-tracked. One understands the enthusiasm and energy behind the cause, but all the same I recommend that appropriate appeals mechanisms be built-into the process. Nothing too rigorous: a three-tiered review procedure would suffice, with the last word given to an appropriately constituted University Council (elections could be held for this office). And of course petitioners would retain their rights in state and federal courts should matters warrant further review. Otherwise, I think the process mapped out above is timely and expeditious. Congratulations to all concerned.
Oh yeah oh yeah. Transpeople are terrible about labels. No one can agree who is transsexual or transgendered, or what those terms mean. Can you be "transsexual" if you don't need genital surgery to be happy? If you can live with "transgendered" as a label, are you to be despised because you're blending the lines between those filthy genderqueer people who aren't "real women" like post-surgery transsexuals are?
That's just the tip of the iceberg. I call it "label wars."
I agree, LGBT is too exclusionary.
What about us straights? We should be in there too. LGSBT.
Think about it. Um. UM. UMMMMMMM.
Just call them the Queer Group. That encompasses everybody, even the straight people who show up to be supportive (hell, what's could be more queer than that to a homophobe?).
What is it about forming a group that tends to turn us into process-people instead of results-people? I swear to God, a bunch of masturbating monkeys would be less irritating to me than this bunch.
(I'm queer and cranky and have had way too much personal experience with this horseshit so thanks for letting me vent.) Kisses.
Umm, not to be the lone voice of dissent here, but this "process" for changing the group's name is so terrible . . . why, exactly? Does it hurt anybody or anything? Does it damage something? You might say, "It's a waste of time," but will it consume more hours over the next three years than all of us commenting on this blog will spend playing video games or watching TV?
There are a lot worse things to complain about in this world than a bunch of people bending over backward NOT to offend someone.
Michigan Matt, et al.: do any of you know if Kathy Kozachenko is still around Ann Arbor? You probably know that she was the first out gay person in the US to be elected to office, the Ann Arbor City Council. In 1974. [No, kiddies, it wasn't Harvey Milk. He wasn't even second or third.]
As for labels, based on events the past few years, I suggest, "Reichenites" or "HRCs" as both clearly believe we were created in their godlike image.
"He's not a fairy, he's a fruit - no wait, wait, queer! That's what you like to be called, right?"
"That, or John."
I've lived here for less than a decade, and I'm not sure if Ms. K is still here or not. A quick whitepages.com search didn't turn up the name. . .
And Karl--I agree that this probably doesn't hurt anyone. But it's emblematic of how some parts of the "LGBT cabal" are glacially slow. The fundies hate us and get constitutional amendments up in a jiffy. We can't even figure out what to call ourselves, and we have to figure out what to call ourselves before we have a petition drive to put a pro-gay (queer? third sex?) ballot initiative up for a vote. This dickering about slows things down.
As one of the "B's" in LGBT, I think that's absolutely ridiculous. Queer IS pretty popular, but really...what does it matter? Pick a name and start DOING something.
Attacking acronyms is immature. You should read Lisa Duggins article "Queering of the State" and then you can begin to understand the concept of queer
If ONLY we had used this process to determine whether to go to war in Iraq, eh?
I for one, think we as a nation make decisions without enough process. We tend to be kind of knee jerk. Patriot Act. Seniors Prescription Drugs Act. Tora Bora. The threat to overhaul the whole social security system almost happened over night, but for a national panic that stopped it. No Child Left Behind. Freedom Fries.
This LGBT name change schedule is an example of a glacial process, but I agree. Who cares? There is nothing urgent about it. As in the slow food movement, I think taking time, when you can, is admirable. Let's save our *!#@!?!!? for something important, like, well, like what? Let's name those things and go after them.
@38 I think straights have been included in a new Tacoma club. They bill themselves as LGBTS.
You're right. Thoughtfulness is a good thing in many respects. I guess for some of us in Michigan, however, this is emblematic of the anemic "leadership" we have. As far as I know, the U of M's lgbt office has not announced a program to train LGBTSAQ folks on how to work for equality and to defeat the crazy fundamentalists. They've announed a name change program, though.
When the appeals court in MI ruled earlier this year (regarding a 2004 proposal) that domestic partners (as we're known) cannot get benefits through our state-employed (including the universities) domestic partners, the reaction from the LGBT groups in Michigan was outraged email blasts. The lgbt offices of universities were clueless, and when asked about it in a meeting the director of the lgbt office at U of M made offensive comments about how individuals didnt' do enough. Meanwhile we're told that it'll be at least 10 years (10 YEARS!) before we can do anything about the 2004 ballot. 10 YEARS!
This is only 1 reason why my partner and I are in the process of leaving Michigan.
You're right! Domestic partnerships are urgent and important. But is lobbying part of the mandate of the college LGBT office? I could see them taking a position and announcing it, although they don't seem to have the sense to do that. But it seems to me that fighting the state government and courts is a role for the local Human Rights Campaign and groups organized on the state level, not a small campus organization with no budget and a tiny underfunded staff and office dependent perhaps on Republicans for funding. Let them BE social workers until someone or something moves them to action. They apparently serve a good purpose on campus from what I read in earlier posts. If they were all rowdy and "in your face,' people would be yelling about their lack of social services and support for suffering campus people. You can't be everything unless you have a lot of money.
I know it is the University of Michigan, praise god, and we expect its organizations to be exemplary, tough and outspoken. But UofM is facing the same fate as other big dude colleges---they have lost their political edge and their passion for justice. Stick with the State organizations for support, but move to Baltimore, our colleges are pretty namby-pamby, but our our homosexual community is grand. You'd like it here. Whatever, move.
Don't judge too quickly. Savage's post contains misrepresentations and fiction in an effort at parody. See my defense of the U of M group at:
My two cents: I've dealt with Michigan's LGBT office a bit (I used to edit the campus paper), and I always found them much more competent and effective than most university bureaucrats. I'm sure they're perfectly capable of carrying out this crazy process without getting distracted from actual work.
My only problem with this is that, to an outsider reading all of these high-minded Audre Lordeisms about this nitpicky, P.C. mess -- well, it makes gay-rights activists look ridiculous. It gives the impression that they're whiners who spend all their time looking for exclusion where none really exists. Which I think undermines them when they point out instances of actual exclusion.
Shut Up! We ARE moving to Baltimore!! Really and truly! We are so going to have to meet up. Sweet.
I understand what you're saying. I'm just disgruntled. There are no strong voices for Q folk in MI, and that's what's truly frustrating. The LGBT Office here has done wonderful things. And they can't be all things for all people. And they're taking steps to be more connected to other state university LGBT offices b/c they pretty much have to. That's fantastic and a welcome change. It's just too bad that we had to hit rock-freakin'-bottom to get to this point.
And I'm pretty sure they can't be overtly political. But at some point it becomes about survival. Serioulsy, we have gay folks here being quoted in the papers in more rural areas saying things like "we're just waiting for them to come with the boxcars to load us up." Fun times.
My impression is that the state-wide organizations are underfunded and, frankly, seem to be vanity projects for the men in charge of them. It's not that they haven't done good things, but they're limited in their reach. Of course, that could be because MI is in the crapper in a whole lot of other areas, and people are focused on the collapsing economy and the failing housing market.
"Michigan! The new Missisissippi only with worse weather and no sunshine!"
I'm serious about Baltimore, though. May 2008--look for me.
Hell, by the time they come up with an acceptable name it will already be obsolete.
By then “gay” and “lesbian” will be soooo 2007.
Excerpt from \"Say Yes To War\" by Dan Savage October 2002
\"In the meantime, invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists. The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we\'re going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves\"
Over 3600 American soldiers dead
Over 53,000 seriously wounded and maimed
Over 650,000 Iraqis dead
? seriously wounded and maimed
Over 2,000,000 Iraqis have fled their country
Estimated total cost (for USA) of Iraq war $2,000,000,000,000
Al Qaida is stronger than ever
The thing I find oppressive and exclusionary about LGBT groups is their attitude toward LGBT people who do not happen to be on the Far Left of the political spectrum. There is genuine exclusion there of a large swath of non-straight individuals, done by the same groups that ostensibly seek to include all, especially LGBT individuals. In reality, any person of any orientation or circumstance that does not tow the Far Left party line is joyously, vigorously, proudly shouted down and excluded with extreme prejudice. Fine, I can deal with life on my own. But when I hear this bullshit about how much they want to be inclusive, all I see is rank hypocrisy.
How about Bureau of Sodomy Affairs? (BSA)
So right on so many levels...
Most of the students are "Michiganders" anyway, why not call the people who are gay, lesbian, transgendered and allied straight people "Outlanders"? Make it the "Office of Outlanders" . It isn't queer. It isn't straight. It is just PC. It is also very appropriate for the state of Michigan, which is not the place you want to live if you are an Outlander.
I like GLOW (Gay, Lesbian Or Whatever) that my daughter's college uses. Relaxed, bright and inclusive without trying to define and categorize. Time to chill out and understand that young people at an age where they are trying to define and understand themselves need, and deserve, some friendly and helpful support.
Divide and Conquer -- the old strategies work best...
Jeff is partly right .. the strategy does seem to be Divide and Conquer. But I disagree that it is the best strategy for a group, which even in the aggregate is a minority, unless your goal is to maintain a sense of oppression in an era of ever-increasing acceptance. The fundamentalist contingent of the group seems to think that if it micro-slices itself into subcategories, it will be able to expose and eventually expell those micro-slices which do not meet ever-stringent purity tests. (Just straight-ahead, normal gay couples have already been coopted by the "establishment" .. along with anyone of any gender bender who agrees with Republicans or Libertarians on economic or national security issues.
Isabella is correct about baltimore being a decent place for bent, curved and otherwise non-straight identified individuals.
As the faculty adviser for the LGBTA student group at a school of social work I have enjoyed the comments and points of view. We just added "A" for allies last fall- we are sooo behind.
In the meantime our student group will do our part to educate, advocate and include students and faculty in dialog about all forms of diversity.
Once UM has a decided on a name we can just steal it and save ourselves all the work.
Welcome to academia. You're blaming the wrong culprit for that timeline, Dan. Three years is about average for this sort of thing in an academic environment, especially at a large state school like Michigan. Oddly enough, it’s actually necessary as well.
While I have no personal problem with the office's current name, I respect their decision to change it. If their goal is to provide a more welcoming space through their name, it will take feedback and research, and that does take time. Ont op of that, the office doesn't stand alone. Few things in large universities happen in a snap of one's fingers.
Anyone who believes that the LGBTA is wasting their resources and time on "flippant name changes" doesn't know what they're talking about.
Given the recent legal climate here in Michigan, the LGBTA has been astoundingly proactive and efficient and continues to be. Changing their name isn't the only program on their plate, just like breathing isn't the only activity the rest of you focus on during the day.
Learn about what the office has on its plate in addition to this, and then make your snide remarks.
No doubt I'll come across as a dualistic thinker, and while I can respect being mindful and thoughtful in selecting an appropriate name, MAKE A DECISION with some alacrity. This is not that complex. Kudos for furthering the notion that colleges and universities move at a glacial pace.
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