Lea DeLaria Sounds Off on the Problems Inherent in the LGBTQ Community’s ‘Alphabet Soup’
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Deciding it’s no longer suitable to represent the community, a committee in northeast England has decided it will no longer use the term “LGBT.” Instead it has opted for “LGB&T” as an effort to differentiate between sexual identity and gender identity, which are wholly separate concepts. Some feel the distinction is warranted, others consider it pointless, while others still feel it’s dangerous to a community that is already seemingly fractured. One person who likely doesn’t support the new term is Orange Is the New Black actor Lea DeLaria, who recently appeared on the podcast “Ways to Change the World” and railed against the inherent problems of the “alphabet soup” acronym most commonly referred to as “LGBTQ.”
“By the time you’re done saying it, the fucking parade’s over, you know what I mean?” Lea Delaria quips about the “alphabet soup” acronym most people recognize as “LGBTQ.”
But the actress-comedian-musician, who plays “Big Boo” on the hit Netflix series OITNB, makes a great point about her issue with any acronym at all:
We’ve got to come up with some better way in which to refer to ourselves. I use the word ‘queer’ because I think it’s all-encompassing, and I think the alphabet soup points out our differences instead of our shared oppression. And I think it’s part of the reason why we have become so disenfranchised. We’re like a factioned off community, factioned off individuals, that don’t trust each other, and we need to come together as a group.
Lea DeLaria also chats with “Ways to Change the World” host Krishnan Guru-Murthy about how this problem — segments of our queer community being at odds with other queer segments — is merely feeding into a tool of our oppressors, who have long used the tool of segmentation to secure their influence and power over us.
“They put this stuff out into the media, and in society, so that we start to believe these things about each other,” DeLaria says. “We find ourselves being racist and homophobic and sexist, because all these messages are sent our way, instead of using our own oppression to think about how other people might be oppressed, and then go, Wait a minute, why am I pointing my finger at you instead of the powers that be? Well, the powers that be have planned that all along, man!”