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6:17pm on Thursday, 27th April, 2017:

Safe Place


I spotted this sign on campus yesterday:

I'm pretty sure some of those letters overlap in meaning. I'm also pretty sure that some of the prospective students who'll see the sign won't know what all the letters mean anyway, even ones that apply to them. I'm less sure that the LGBTQIA acronym is up to date, as I've seen PK added to it on more than one occasion.

This is the problem with labelling. You start off trying to highlight a group with an issue, then you need to extend the label to another group with a similar issue, then you get people who are uncomfortable with an overarching label and you have to keep both labels as part of the umbrella term, then more groups with related issues come along, then you get a proliferation of groups each with a similar-but-not-identical issue, all reluctant to allow a single term to subsume their identity because of the fight they had to get recognised in the first place. Then some groups don't like being associated with other groups, and before you know it the point of making the label in the first place has been lost. It's the fragmentation of the left, but transferred to identity politics.

If that Q were an N, you could get TABLING with those letters in Scrabble.

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Copyright © 2017 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).