The label “LGBT” (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) has been around since the late 80s and early 90s. Some expand that label to LGBTQ to include “questioning” or even to LGBTIQQA to add on intersex, queer, questioning, and allies. Now London’s Pink Therapy is arguing that the label has simply become too limiting and needs to be changed to be more inclusive.
In a video posted to their Facebook page and on YouTube, director Dominic Davies and therapist Pamela Gawler-Wright of Pink Therapy discuss why they are beginning to move away from using LGBT as a label:
“LGBT became LGBTIQQA — adding Intersex, Queer, Questioning and their Allies — which was still very limiting,” Davies says. “It still excluded a lot of groups. People who might be asexual, members of the BDSM/kink community, people who were in non-traditional relationships that might be polyamorous or swingers. A whole batch of people who didn’t feel able to go to mainstream counseling organizations and also wouldn’t necessarily be welcome at LGBT counseling organizations.”
Instead of using LGBT, Davies and Gawler-Wright are proposing more widespread use of “GSD,” or Gender and Sexual Diversities, which is inherently more inclusive due to its lack of such specific labels.
“I think labels do matter,” says Davis, “but it would be nice if one day we could all be accepting of ourselves and each other with all those differences being celebrated.”
Perhaps Pink Therapy’s Facebook page puts it the most succinctly: “The point we’re trying to make is not that our community shouldn’t be called LGBT, it’s that actually our community is SO much BIGGER than simply LGBT, that there are many other identities, lifestyles, orientations, and relationship models which are between consenting adults and outside the heterosexual norm…”
But Pink Therapy has a long way to go before their ideas become mainstream. Many in the LGBT community do not feel as though it is appropriate to lump in lifestyle choices such as BDSM, kink, and polyamory. The LGBT community prides itself on being “born this way,” whereas many groups mentioned in Pink Therapy’s video have less to do with who someone is and more to do with how they choose to live their life.
It would certainly be ideal to reach a point in time when people are just people, no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, or lifestyle choices. But until that point in time, should we consider changing the community label from LGBT to GSD?