Remember when the term “LGB” was the acronym to identify the gay community? The name was well-meaning as to represent “lesbian, gay and bisexual” people inclusively and it became globally accepted as such. As society evolved over the years, however, additional new alphabetical representations were added: (T) for ‘transsexual,’ (Q) for ‘queer’ or ‘questioning,’ and (+) for ‘plus,” which kept the list open-ended.
With the modern-day gay community identifying as “LGBTQ+,” there are still even more modifications being made to the term. Today, it is not unheard of to see pro-gay-rights content featuring the acronym, “LGBTQIA.” The new additions: ‘intersex’ and ‘asexual.’
But wait! Still, there’s more! An even newer acronym started recently utilizing the letters, “LGBTQIAPD,” which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer (or questioning, intersex, asexual, pansexual and demisexual. That is quite a mouthful, and honestly, I needed a Google search to sort them all out.
In light of this growing acronym I have to admit, I’m trying to keep up, but it’s not easy. For example, initially, I thought ‘pansexual’ was some bizarre new fetish in which people were getting jiggy with their cookware. Nope. It turns out that pansexuality means that a person does not limit their sexual opportunities concerning biological sex, gender, or gender identity. Not to be confused with bisexuality, being pansexual is entirely its own thing.
Then there is ‘demisexuality’ which represents people who do not engage in casual sex with anonymous partners. The demisexual cannot feel a sexual attraction with anyone with whom they have not first formed a strong emotional bond. So yea, that group now has its own label too.
Is the world just going a bit overboard with all this labeling?
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand the many varying degrees of sexual attraction and identity. Just when I thought I had it mostly figured out, gorgeous Grammy-winning producer, Mark Ronson, threw a monkey wrench in my sex-acronym matrix by declaring last week on Good Morning Britain that he is sapiosexual! What in the world is THAT?
Ronson was on the show to promote his new album, ‘Late Night Feelings,’ which features guest appearances from Miley Cyrus and Camila Cabello and other big names. He had gotten involved in a backstage debate over an earlier segment on the show in which French equality minister Marlene Schiappa was mocked for declaring her sapiosexuality. Merriam Webster identifies the term sapiosexual as meaning sexual attraction to highly-intelligent people.” However, many people have clarified this explanation further to mean sexual attraction to highly-smart people – independent of gender. So does that men Mark Ronson is attracted to other guys?
GMB host Kate Garraway asked Ronson to clear things up. She asked him to clarify if he was identifying as a man who primarily likes intellect?” to which he responded,
“Yeah, I didn’t know that there was a word for it,” he replied. “We were all arguing backstage in the dressing room with a couple of your producers. And yes, I feel like I am identifying as sapiosexual.”
Ben Shephard said: “So you are coming out as sapiosexual. Out and proud on Good Morning Britain.”
Despite all this banter that made for sexy ambiguous headlines, Ronson’s answer did not clarify if he is sexually attracted to men or not. One can be a sapiosexual it would seem, and yet attracted only to highly-intelligent people of the opposite sex. Otherwise, he would be a bisexual-sapiosexual, which of course becomes another terminology to add to our growing list of acronyms.
Sexuality can be a challenging thing to make sense of, and it is deeply personal. For famous people, living in a fishbowl, it can be a delicate dance as they try to maintain privacy. I respect that, but when I read stories such as these, they feel a bit disingenuous. It’s as if people feel a need to create new, clever-sounding terminologies like “gender fluid” and “sapio” because, at the end of the day, these terms are in some way easier for society to accept than hearing someone say “I am gay or bisexual.”