LGBT is an acronym most people have heard of. LGBTQ is less well-known, but still pretty recognisable. LGBTQI is not so well-known. LGBTQIA even less so. But despite the fact that the more letters there are in the acronym, the more people don’t know what it means, letters still keep getting added, in order to be inclusive of as many identities as possible. And although it’s a slow process, they are becoming more and more recognisable.
But problems arise when people don’t know what the letters mean. The biggest culprit of this is the letter A. There is an incredible number of allies who claim that the A is their letter. What’s even more astounding is the number of LGBT+ groups that seem to agree with them. Now this is problematic for a number of reasons:
1. Ally is not a minority identity. It’s not really an identity at all as far as the actual LGBT+ identities are concerned. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual… They relate to sexual orientation. Trans, intersex… They relate to sex and gender. But being an ally is nothing like that. Allies have just made the decision to be decent human beings.
2. When allies claim the A as their own, it contributes to the erasure of several already fairly unknown identities, the most prominent being asexual. Allies are there to support the LGBT+ community. Pulling out the rug from under asexual, agender, and aromantic people and stepping on their faces is not very supportive.
3. It’s a goddamn paradox! Including allies in the LGBT+ acronym means that they are a part of that community. But ally by definition is a supportive third party. How can people be allies of the LGBT+ community if they’re already a part of it? Exactly, they can’t. It goes against the entire definition of the word ally. But if adding allies to the acronym removes their allyness and they disappear from the acronym in a puff of logic, then they’d just become allies again! Do people not learn this from theories of time travel? Paradoxes are bad. Stop. Making. Them.