WE were pleasantly surprised to see that the United Kingdom’s LGBT Liberal Democrats wing of the Liberal Democrat party is now calling itself the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats.
The Lib Dems went into coalition with the Conservatives in order to form government and appear to be a willing party to that government’s odd intersex-excluding “LGB&T” acronym. The coalition’s record on intersex human rights is, to date, just as intersex-excluding as that of former governing party Labour.
Let us hope that LGBT+ – another new acronym we have not seen in formal use until now – will soon further transform itself into LGBTQI or at the very least LGBTI+. Intersex people are some 4% of the human population and continue to have no human rights or protection against discrimination in almost every nation including the UK.
We note that the UK Greens now use LGBTIQ, Peter Tatchell has come over at least some of the time to LGBTI, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS) is fully intersex-inclusive with LGBTI and ILGA of course remains LGBTI as is common throughout most of the world outside of the UK, the USA and parts of continental Europe. It is only the latter regions that seem to have a problem with overt, full and equal intersex inclusion.
It should be noted that Australia’s federally governing Labor party has also been intersex inclusive through two national party policy conferences with the latest policy revisions being the most intersex-inclusive, LGBTI-oriented, yet.
Labor’s inclusion of intersex people in its platform changes via the LGBTI acronym signals the probability that Australia will be the very first nation to treat its intersex citizens as equal with non-intersex Australians.
Email from Holly Matthies of the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, January 18 2012:
We changed our name to LGBT+ to include all minorities of gender or sexual identity, including but not limited to intersex people. Many people do not feel included in “LGBT,” such as people who identify as queer, asexual, polygendered, pansexual, genderqueer, intersex, and many others.
No acronym will be able to fairly represent all these people — it would become far too cumbersome and still no doubt leave some people out — so we added the “+” to the familiar “LGBT” to represent our interest in ending discrimination and inequality for anyone who suffers it because of their gender or sexual identity.
If you’re aware of any specific way in which you think we could help improve the lives of intersex people, we’re interested in hearing about it.