70 Pages Posted: 4 May 2020 Last revised: 16 Jul 2020
Date Written: April 7, 2020
In many circles, “LGBT” is an antiquated acronym that excludes the very individuals the movement claims to represent. LGBTQ, LGBTQ+, LGBTQIA, and other variations have become ever more pervasive, particularly as younger generations increasingly identify as nonbinary. With nonbinary, asexual, intersex, and other identity categories increasingly demanding visibility, the LGBT initials that once signaled solidarity and intersection have come to seem limiting for highlighting only certain subgroups.
Although many movement organizations have adopted a more expansive formulation of LGBT, national legal rights organizations have limited their agendas to LGBT issues. Until recently, they devoted the bulk of their efforts to gay and lesbian concerns by focusing on securing marriage equality and sexual orientation-based anti-discrimination protections. Lately, their agenda has expanded to encompass transgender rights, but that work has centered on transgender individuals who are gender conforming.
This Article argues that including nonbinary, intersex, and asexual rights would require national LGBT organizations to reformulate their current goals and tactics in ways that will inure to the benefit of not just nonbinary, intersex, and asexual individuals, but also the current members of the LGBT community whose interests’ national groups do not represent. For that reason, what is at stake in expanding national LGBT rights groups’ agendas is as much the representation of existing members as it is that of new ones. However, movement expansion is not the only option for national rights groups to promote inclusion and equality. Given the complicated issues undergirding movement expansion, the Article presents alternatives that national organizations might consider.
Keywords: LGBT, LGBTQ, sexuality, intersex, asexual, transgender, social movements, family law, health law, civil rights
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