By Gerry Moran
I was in Dublin recently and what I always like to do when in the capital is pop into the National Art Gallery. Love to take in the latest exhibitions and always like to poke around the Portrait Gallery; always enjoy looking at the portraits of Ireland’s famous celebrities from the world of literature, entertainment and sport. And mentioning sport I always like nodding to our King Henry, decked out all in grey, looking calm, confident and assured with his hurl slung over his shoulder (and we won’t mention the war, the Leinster War!).
And when I’m in the National Art Gallery, after maybe a stiff cappuccino, I like nothing better than to pop into the gift shop. After a good browse I bought a book. Now one might hazard a guess that I purchased something about art, not least the latest exhibition. Indeed, nine times out of 10 my purchase would be art-related, or literary-related. But not this time. This time I purchased a book that, first of all, I did not expect to find in the National Art Gallery’s gift shop and, second, it’s a book that I reckoned would bring me up to date on the myriad changes in sexual behaviour, and sexuality, in this weird and wonderful world in which we live.
The book is called ‘200 Words to Help You Talk about Sexuality & Gender.’ As I said, not quite what one might expect to find in an art gallery book section. And do I need help in this area? You bet. I mean I was vaguely familiar with the acronym LBGT and what it meant but as for LBGTQ+ I had no idea. And there’s more, lots, lots, more, some of which, for your edumacation as they say, I shall now share with you.
Put the kettle, make a pot of tea, or a strong cup of coffee, sit back and, should you happen to be hovering in and around my age, brace yourself for some information that was most certainly an eye-opener for me.
First up there’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) which, as previously mentioned, I was vaguely aware of but then along comes LGBTQ+ an umbrella term that encompasses people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and more (hence the + symbol) including a number of other identities such as pansexual, asexual, intersex and two-spirit. Damn it, even the definitions, I realise, require definitions! QTPOC stands for queer and/or trans people of colour. MSM is straightforward (forgive the unintended pun) enough, it’s an umbrella term for all men who have sex with men. WLW is another umbrella term for all women who experience a romantic and/or sexual attraction towards other women. GNC is a wide ranging term for anyone who deviates from traditional expectations about how they should look or act based on the gender they were assigned at birth. T4T is short for ‘trans for trans’ and is a term used by trans people to describe their interest in dating and/or having sex with other trans people. Mx, pronounced ‘Mix’ or ‘Mixter’ is the gender-neutral equivalent of such titles as Mr, Ms or Mrs and is becoming an available title in more and more settings including passports, driving licenses, health documents and bank forms. FTM/MTF: trans men are sometimes referred to as female-to-male (FTM) because they were assigned female at birth while the inverse applies to trans women who were assigned male at birth (MTF).
And those, folks, are just the tip of the iceberg, I still haven’t explained: Gatekeeping, Gaydar, Gayby, Goldstar, Gender Binary, Cisgender, Vanilla, Swish, Binding, Tucking, Packing and Passing. And there are more … LLM (lots, lots more)
After all that, here are a few acronyms of my own which have nothing whatsoever to do with sex but sport, in particular hurling. You’re a genius if you can figure them out as I’ve just made them up off the top of my head! But sure have a go you’ve nothing to lose. LGBW. WDCB. WDDL. GPTK. HTAA. TTST. Here be the answers: LGBW – Late Goal Brilliant Win. WDCB – Well Done Cillian Buckley. CDL – Congratulations Derek Lyng. GPTK – Great Performance Team Kilkenny. HTAA – Here’s To Another All-Ireland. TTST! – Time to Source Tickets!