Sean Bennett, you have nailed exactly the reason why I never say “LGBTQ community.” That phrase is an oversimplification that obscures reality.

Instead, I say “LGBTQ people" (which emphasizes our humanity) or carefully use the word “communities,” in the plural.

But, you know, there’s a reason why we fight collectively for our interests. The general public doesn’t much distinguish between different kinds of queer people. Members of gender and sexual minorities fight many of the same fights based on many of the same prejudices.

Just because we distinguish carefully among our identities doesn’t mean the public in general do.

So, why do I as a white gay man fight the good fight for queer people in general? Why, to leverage my privilege of course, where I enjoy it.

I don’t just raise awareness about same-sex couples who are being denied parental rights, though that is an important issue I’ve just written about.

I also raise awareness about homeless queer youth, among whom lesbian and gay young people are actually more present in total numbers than trans kids, though trans kids are disproportionately present.

I write about LGBTQ youth suicide, and I’ve learned that more lesbian and gay kids than trans kids get bullied and suffer toxic consequences, though again, trans kids are disproportionately bullied compared to LGB kids.

Nobody wins in a game of Oppression Olympics.

And while it’s critical that people speak in their own voices, standing together is critical too. I’ve written an essay called “One Queer Umbrella to Bind Them” that explores the history and commonality of the LGBTQ movement, recognizing that our communities are diverse, but that common interests bind us more tightly than differences can (or should) drive us apart.

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