LGBT+, Queer, and MOGAI — Why Does It Matter?

by mkellars

Throughout the course, many people have brought up the fact that LGBT is typically seen as an outdated term. For individuals of a marginalized sexual orientation, the trend has typically been towards calling our community “queer”. I think it’s interesting to note why these terms shift, and what is considered correct.

The term “queer” initially began as a slur or epithet. This was a word specifically designed to hurt people and put them down for experiencing different sexual and romantic attractions. Many people have reclaimed this term for plenty of different reasons — for political reasons, to give a unified umbrella term for marginalized orientations, or to avoid the messy “alphabet soup” of LGBTQIAPDG+. The LGBT term typically fetishizes the L, focuses on the G, and ignores the B and T entirely. Not to mention the fact that it fails to include pansexual, asexual, genderqueer/fluid, demisexual, and intersex people, as well as a multitude of other sexual orientations and gender identities. Additionally, people tend to think that A stands for ally, instead of asexual, which tends to give straight people access to queer communities.

Many people have elected to use the term MOGAI instead. This stands for Marginalized Orientation, Gender And Intersex. This allows everyone who identifies as queer to be united under a single term, without this term being a slur or focusing on one identity. This also includes intersex individuals, a group that receives a large amount of discrimination and a very small amount of public awareness.

I would like to see this class as a whole move towards discussions based not specifically on gay issues, but the issues of many sexual orientations and gender identities. It is important to note that queer readings of literature can include gender identity and expression as well, not simply a homosexual vs. heterosexual or male vs. female dichotomy.

-Mady Ellars