Just ran across a new initialism. “GSM”. Not the cell phone network type- “Gender and Sexual Minorities”. Roughly equivalent to LGBT, it seems.

I think I like it more. While less specific, it also seems to be more inclusive. I’ve seen extensions of “LGBT” that attempt to improve inclusivity, but these quickly spiral out of control- an initialism that needs to be spelled out every time it’s used has little to no linguistic utility. Inclusive, maybe, but some of the ones I’ve seen get into “this hurts rather than helps communication” territory.

GSM, though, if you are trying to refer to the entire “not cisgender straight” world, is general enough to acutally include everyone without breaking language by being far too long. And it can even include people who are cisgender and straight, but do not perfectly conform to expected gender roles.

To be fair, this broadness, while useful as an umbrella term, might compromise its utility in specific discussions.  But- those sorts of discussions shouldn’t be using an umbrella term anyways.


One Response to GSM vs LGBT

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