HOUSTON, TX - Many people know June as LGBT pride month. Today, the 4-letter acronym is widely known as standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, but quietly making its way into the line-up is another letter and as folks aren't quite sure what it means. It's the letter Q.
So we went on a quest to find out what the Q was all about, and found ourselves at the LGBTQ Resource Center at the University of Houston. Student Scott Nava says, "Q would mean queer or questioning. It means both. Questioning would mean questioning gender or questioning sexuality, or unsure about something." And speaking of being unsure, is the word "queer" even cool to say? Nava adds, "So the connotation of the word queer is changing. It's more positive now. People really identify with it openly and happily, where as before it could be a slur that non LGBT people would say to LGBT people."
University of Houston student William Chandler says, "It's an acronym that's really changed over time. As we've gotten more open as a community and more accepting, the T got added. Now within the last couple of years, the Q has been added." And it doesn't have to stop at five letters. After the Q some folks are adding an I (for intersex) and then an A (for asexual, or for allies).
All these initials might start looking like alphabet soup for some, but the lesson the LGBTQ community wants people to know is: it's not about the acronym, but rather your actions. Meghan Reyes says, "I think that we can keep adding letters if we want to, but i think the whole underlining point is the same. At the end of the day we're all human beings and we all need to treat each other with love and respect."
That last statement can also be described with a Q word: quality.