The Atlantic

The Conversation

Readers respond to our January/February 2019 cover story and more.

Don’t Call Me LGBTQ

In the January/February issue, Jonathan Rauch made the case for adopting one overarching designation for sexual minorities. He proposed using a single letter: Q.

What a relief to read something about the absurdity of the “alphabet soup” designation for gay people. I totally agree with Jonathan Rauch that it has become a symbol “for the excesses of identity politics,” which have fueled animosity and intolerance toward homosexuals. I’m amazed that anyone would add more letters to this train wreck.

You will never promote more tolerance and peace in the world by diminishing individuals into ever more exclusive and reductive parts. Large, broad categories are much more efficient and easy to understand.

Patricia McAnulty

No, a thousand times, no!

Jonathan Rauch makes a valid point about the awkwardness of as a term to represent sexual minorities, but to substitute simply would be a huge error. While Rauch mentions the baggage of the word (which would inevitably reference), he gives no sense of the fact that was the primary name assigned by society to homosexuals before came into was not descriptive in a positive way. It was ugly, hateful, pejorative, demeaning, and diminishing. It is the right word with which to be labeled, if one must be labeled.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
How Berlin Became an Unlikely Home for China’s Artists
The German capital not only offers freedom, but also invites people to provoke and challenge orthodoxy.
The Atlantic9 min read
When You’re in Command, Your Job Is to Know Better
In war, the temptation to take revenge is strong. Fighting that temptation is a commanding officer’s job.
The Atlantic7 min read
Uber’s Drivers and Riders Are Locked in a Pine-Scented Battle
Many passengers can’t stand air fresheners. Drivers say they’re just trying to provide a pleasant ride.