A Few Random Questions About the LGBTQ Community

Beard and moustache?

The LGBTQ abbreviation has grown over the years. The Q seems redundant, already covered by L and G. Is is there to proudly reclaim the word queer from all those years as an insult? Or is there some other meaning I don’t know about?

Not everybody identifies as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Some people are attracted to others beyond the gay/straight or man/woman binary.

“Queer” encompasses more than just Lesbian or Gay. It also means not neatly fitting into any sexual categories. The “Q” can also stand for “questioning.” Some people are just not sure what category they fit into.

I’m rather partial to the acronym QUILTBAG, which can be stretched to cover just about any* sort of not-conventionally-heterosexual-spouse+2.4-children category.

*There may of course be others my imagination doesn’t stretch to

Ooh, that’s nice to know.

That’s not what I am familiar with. Jenny is wearing a frock.

Interestingly (to me) Green, who is English, says that’s an Americanism - I always assumed it was English.

No idea about the remaining two gaps.


ETA - yeah, as someone said upthread, it is rather outdated. Though I’ve heard an old gay friend of ours use the word beard from time to time.

I’m a straight woman married to a man and have two kids. But I consider myself part of the extended LGBTQ community, based on active (until covid) membership in some gay-targeted groups. Those are the groups I’m still meeting with regularly over zoom to discuss the future of our activity, for instance.

In general, most “gay spaces” welcome straight people so long as you are “safe” for gays. Yeah, that means you shouldn’t be surprised if a same-sex person hits on you. And you should be there to interact with the other people as your social peers and (potential) friends, not as a tourist.

But yes, there are some spaces which only welcome gay men, or lesbians, or non-binary people, or… Those are usually fairly obviously marked as such, but if someone pushes back when you are looking for an invitation, you may have just found one.

(A gay friend took me to a men’s-only part of second-life, once. Since my “skin” was a gender-neutral robot, no one questioned my presence there.)

Most drag shows are open to the public, and I expect you’d be welcome.

Just to clarify, I’ve heard the term plenty. It’s the practice that I think/hope is fairly outdated, in my part of the world, at least.

I’ve never heard “frock” here for that meaning, and it’s a distinctly non-American term.

In a gay context, I’ve only ever heard it as a campy reference to clothing - as in the story of sending up a High Church service (complete with all the Roman trappings) by whispering to the censer-bearer “Love the frock, dear, but did you know your handbag’s on fire?”

True, I have heard it that way.

Both, really - as the practice has died out the words have become less familiar. I know the words, but I don’t think many twenty-year-olds would.

I’m rather pleased that you (like me) don’t recognize “frock” as an Americanism - I’m wondering if Green is wrong on that one.


Considering how much media parody is a part of Drag culture, it might have originated with American drag queens trying to emulate British divas, not as a direct quote of anything, but something you could say to sound “British” as part of your act.

I think there are enough straight people who have empathy to the “others” that they should just call it “LGBTS” and be done with all the bullshit.

There are groups called “gay straight alliance”.

But the LGBTQ folks have a “minority burden” that we straight folks don’t have. Heck, I’ve used my “conventional privilege” to get a gay friend into the hotel room his partner booked, when his name wasn’t on the reservation. He told me he was shocked that i succeeded, because his experience is that he doesn’t. But i leaned heavily into “I’m normal, this is normal, they’re like a married couple” and it worked. It’s different being marginalized, and if think they are right to have a name that’s inclusive, but not quite that inclusive.

Yeah, it’s bullshit to be treated differently, but given that the bullshit exists, we get to have a name that identifies us as the receivers of said bullshit. It doesn’t mean everyone else is necessarily a giver of the bullshit.

When allies are expressly included, that’s usually the term used: LGBTQ & Allies. Sometimes longer initialisms are used. LGBTQQ (queer and questioning) and LGBTQIA (intersex and asexual).

I’ve heard “skirt” for the man who’s pretending to be the partner of a gay woman, but going on the other responses that’s not widespread. I’m in London (UK) FWIW, and I’m a lesbian so might have come across the term more than others.