Explaining the LGBT to the WSJ: Part II

Since it seems rude to accuse others of being pedantic while being pedantic myself, I will just acknowledge that the good people at the Wall Street Journal have a (pedantic) point about what a “bisexual couple” would look like–both in person and in a sentence. We could parse the phrases in the White House statement until the WSJ editorial page supports single-payer health care and I’m not sure we’d be anywhere closer to an agreement on whether the phrasing worked so it’s probably time for a truce.

To their final question, they’ve opened up another whole can of worms that probably can’t be pleasantly resolved in a blog exchange:

Here’s something else that puzzles us. Triplett’s organization is called the NLGJA. Notice anything missing? Are we given to understand that BJs and TJs are second-class LGBTJs?

Names, like acronyms, are sometimes imperfect. Why is it called the Wall Street Journal when it doesn’t just cover Wall Street, but also covers K Street, Fifth Avenue, and Silicon Valley? The answer, of course, is that the name is just a name and doesn’t necessarily have a larger meaning. The NLGBTJA would be a more inclusive name–and maybe it should be changed–but quite a mouthful to say and put on a letterhead.

The organization began as NLGJA when it was founded by Leroy Aarons in 1990, with the goal of not being “politically correct,” but encouraging “fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues.” If you want to find out more, you can attend our annual convention in Montreal from Sept. 10-13 and become a member.

4 Responses

  1. You’re having way too much fun with this.

  2. The subject of a name change to accommodate the “B” and the “T” has been brought up many times over the years. However, it’s never too late to change if our members want it done.

    An interesting suggestion that I heard at the Bi Summit that I attended earlier this year was to leave the acronym of “NLGJA” alone, since it has a history and is so recognizable to many people.

    Instead, we could consider changing the name we call the organization, to, perhaps: National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Journalists Association. Or something like that.

    Thoughts?

  3. If NLGBTJA is just too much of a mouthful, why not drop the word “National” from our name? We have several members who live outside the U.S., and after all, we’re having our “national” convention in Montreal this year. LGBTJA is not all that unwieldy, and is certainly more inclusive, not just of those of us who are bisexual or transgender, but of our international members as well.
    Another possibility that was discussed at the Bi Summit was to follow the example set by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. As they’ve grown more inclusive in their mission, they more frequently refer to themselves simply as “The Task Force”. Here in New York, the same holds true of “The Center”, which, technically speaking, is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. Both “The Task Force” and “The Center” are instantly recognizable names in the LGBT community – perhaps we could come up with something similar.

    Finally, while we’re on the subject of the Stylebook, as a bisexual, I’d like to take issue with how it currently defines that term. The supplement says that “gay” refers to men who ARE sexually and affectionally attracted to other men. “Lesbian” is used to describe women who ARE sexually and affectionally attracted to other women. But with “bisexual” we hedge, stating that it refers to an individual who MAY be attracted to both sexes. Why the distinction? It seems to play into the hands of those who want to question whether bisexuality is a valid sexual orientation. If you’re bisexual, by definition, you ARE attracted to both genders, there’s no “may be” about it. So please, let’s change it to: “…an individual who IS attracted to both sexes.” Thanks.

  4. […] speaking, an LGBT event. Neither is the White Party.  While there may be a same-sex marriage, there aren’t necessarily LGBT […]

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